Gouin Reservoir

Coordinates: 48°35′N 74°50′W / 48.58°N 74.83°W / 48.58; -74.83
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gouin Reservoir
Gouin Reservoir seen from space.
Gouin Reservoir is located in Quebec
Gouin Reservoir
Gouin Reservoir
Gouin Reservoir is located in Canada
Gouin Reservoir
Gouin Reservoir
LocationLa Tuque, Mauricie, Quebec
Coordinates48°35′N 74°50′W / 48.58°N 74.83°W / 48.58; -74.83
Primary outflowsSaint-Maurice River
Basin countriesCanada
Max. length100 km (62 mi)
Max. width48 km (30 mi)
Surface area1,570 km2 (610 sq mi)
Average depth5 m (16 ft)
Shore length15,650 km (3,510 mi)
Surface elevation404 m (1,325 ft)
IslandsDe l'Oasis Island
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

The Gouin Reservoir (French: Réservoir Gouin) is a man-made lake, fully within the boundaries of the City of La Tuque, Quebec, Canada. It is not one contiguous body of water, but the collective name for a series of connected lakes separated by innumerable bays, peninsulas, and islands with highly irregular shapes. It has therefore a relative long shoreline of over 5,600 km (3,500 mi) (excluding islands) compared to its surface area of 1,570 km2 (610 sq mi).[1] It is the source of the Saint-Maurice River.

This large reservoir extends into the cantons of (in order, in row from north to south):

  • Mathieu, Verreau;
  • Lacasse, Toussaint, McSweeney, Magnan, Lindsay;
  • Hanotaux, Cremazie, Lemay, Marmette, Brochu, Déziel;
  • Poisson, Evanturel, Myrand, Chapman, Nevers, Aubin, Levasseur;
  • Achintre, Sulte, Huguenin, Delage, Leblanc, Bureau.

Recreational tourism activities[edit]

With a total of 275 km (171 mi) of waterways, this reservoir is a popular fishing destination with numerous commercial outfitters and private lodges along its shores. There are also a number of outfitters offering recreational tourism activities such hunting trips, fishing trips, excursions in all-terrain vehicles (ex.: snowmobiles, VTT), nautical expeditions, photographic hunting, lodging in cottages, in house-boat, in hostel (auberge)... Many of these outfitters also provide equipment supply and maintenance services related to recreational tourism activities. Generally, each outfitter is equipped with a marina offering various boating services.


The reservoir is named after Jean Lomer Gouin, who was Premier of Quebec when, in 1918, the Shawinigan Water & Power Company impounded the reservoir for hydroelectric development.[2] The Gouin Reservoir has a 600 MW station for local use, but is used to control the flow of the St-Maurice River for the stations down-stream (all operated now by Hydro-Québec).[3]

Initially, the "Commission des eaux courantes du Québec" (English: Quebec Running Water Board) wanted to facilitate the floating of wood that was routed via the Saint-Maurice River, to the paper mills of La Tuque to Trois-Rivières. The first work was built on La Loutre rapids in 1916-1917. The Shawinigan Water & Power Company decided to raise the level of the reservoir in 1948 and it was also decided to divert the headwaters of the Mégiscane River and the Suzie River, which flowed naturally to James Bay via the Mégiscane River, the Bell River (Quebec) and the Nottaway River; and to bring their waters to the Saint Lawrence River by the Saint-Maurice River. A series of dikes and canals were needed to divert the water from these rivers and still today; these works are unknown to the general public.

Village of Obedjiwan[edit]

The small Atikamekw community of Obedjiwan is located on the reservoir's north shore.

During the construction of the first Loutre dam (the name given to the dam prior to the Gouin name as it is known today), the Amerindians lived near Obedjiwan Lake, which was flooded when the reservoir was filled. At that time, the residents moved and rebuilt their village on the site of the present village of Obedjiwan, Quebec.

Village of Oskélanéo[edit]

The village of Oskélanéo is connected to Gouin Reservoir via Oskélanéo Lake and Oskélanéo River. This river flows on the south shore of Bureau Lake (Gouin Reservoir). The village of Oskélanéo was formed following the arrival in 1910 of the transcontinental railway; the station was designated "Oskélanéo River". Through the railway, the village became a supply depot and access point to the Rupert River, Mistassini Lake and other areas of northern Quebec. It also became a starting point for hunting and fishing expeditions in the region, as well as for forestry projects.


Gouin Reservoir at Obedjiwan

Road accesses[edit]

Although no paved road leads to the Gouin Reservoir, it is nevertheless accessible by several forested pathways, snowmobile trails and by air. The hydrographic slope of the Gouin Reservoir is accessible by:

  • North side: route 212 from the village of Obedjiwan, Quebec and heading northeasterly following more or less the north shore of the Gouin reservoir, to the Normandin Lake (Normandin River) area. From Obedjiwan, Quebec, the forested road R1045 and R2046 are serving the North-West area of the reservoir;
  • East side: the forest road 451 connecting Gouin Dam, the village of Wemotaci and La Tuque to the south; this road section serves in particular the valley of the Wapous River and Berlinguet Lake;
  • South side: the forest road 400 serves the south-east part of the reservoir by passing to the Gouin Dam; Forest Road 404 serves the southwestern portion between the villages of Clova, Quebec and Parent;
  • West side: the forested road R1009 (North-South direction) located west of the Pascagama River is serving the West coast of Gouin Reservoir.

Access by waterway from the railway[edit]

Outdoor enthusiasts can reach the Gouin Reservoir by canoe waterway from the Canadian National line connecting La Tuque to Senneterre, passing to the south of the reservoir (railway stops in order from west to east):

West part of the reservoir
Centre part of the reservoir

The village of Parent and the village of Clova, Quebec, both now part of the City of La Tuque. These villages are located approximately 40 km (25 mi) south of the reservoir and are accessible by a forested road and by train with Via Rail.

A seaplane base is located at the top of the Gouin dam.

Main tributaries[edit]

The main rivers flowing into the Gouin reservoir are (clockwise from the Gouin dam):

Main bays[edit]

This large reservoir has many bays and islands making navigation complex. Before the existence of geolocation systems that developed in the 2000s, many navigators lost their way on the water. (Clockwise, from the mouth)

South Shore
West Shore
North Shore
East Shore
Bays of Islands

Main islands[edit]

(Clockwise, from the mouth)

South area
North area
East area

Main lakes[edit]

The main lakes included in the reservoir or related are: Toussaint, Magnan, McSweeney and Du Mâle Lake. (Clockwise, from the mouth)

South area
West area
North area
East area

Main passes[edit]

The many passes between the islands or peninsulas facilitate navigation on the reservoir.(Clockwise, from the mouth)



Fish species present include the walleye, northern pike, and sauger. Fishers sometimes catch lake trout and brook trout, but these species are more marginal because this vast body of water is the ideal reference point for pike, which is very fond of small fish.


Waterfowl present in the region include the American black duck (Anas rubripes), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), green-winged teal (Anas crecca), ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris), common merganser (Mergus merganser), hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus), common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), common loon (Gavia immer), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).


The main mammals in Haute-Mauricie are: moose, white-tailed deer, bears, hares, red foxes, muskrats, skunks and raccoons.

The fishermen are required to comply with the regulations, especially when the number of catch. Depending on the season, hunting is also regulated by territory, type of game and type of weapon.

Gouin Reservoir Community Wildlife Area[edit]

The "Gouin Reservoir Community Wildlife Area" works to preserve the diversity of wildlife, improve the quality of fishing and protect it. In its role of surveillance of the territory, this non-profit organization collaborates with the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) to maintain a good management of the fish resource.[6]


  1. ^ Principal lakes, elevation and area, by provinces and territories Archived 21 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Evans, David (7 February 2006). "Réservoir Gouin". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
  3. ^ Hydro-Québec - St-Maurice Water Resource System Archived 25 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Map of suggested trips in canoes - Accessed May 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "Geonames". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ Gouin Community Wildlife Area

External links[edit]