LaHave River

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LaHave River Ferry.JPG
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ location
Atlantic Ocean
 ⁃ elevation
sea level
Length97 km (60 mi)
Basin size1,700 km2 (660 sq mi)[1]

The LaHave River is a 97 km (60 mi) river in Nova Scotia, Canada, running from its source in Annapolis County to the Atlantic Ocean.[2] Along its way, it splits the communities of LaHave and Riverport and runs along the Fairhaven Peninsula and bisects the town of Bridgewater flowing into the LaHave River estuary. Tides affect water levels for about 20 km up the river.[3] There are a number of tourist attractions along the river,[4] and it is also well-used for recreational sailing.[5] As well as two bridges at Bridgewater, the river can be crossed by a cable ferry at the town of LaHave.[6][7]

The river and various spots in the area were named after Cap de la Hève, in France, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts in 1604. The name was later anglicized to LaHave.


During the American Revolution, on March 18, 1780, the Lunenburg militia secured the American prisoners taken from the Kitty on the LaHave River. They took the vessel back to Lunenburg and sold it.[8] A month later, on 15 April 1780, the Lunenburg militia (35 men) and the British brigantine John and Rachael captured an American Privateer prize, also named Sally, off LaHave River, Nova Scotia.[9] During the seizure, the privateers killed the head of the Militia (McDonald) and wounded two of the crew members of the John and Rachael.[10][11]

On 1 September 1780, The Brig Observer under the command of John Crymes ran two small American privateer schooners - Dolphin and Dispatch - into the shore at LaHave. The crew of both vessels escaped through the woods.[12]

The river later became a major lumbering and shipbuilding centre. The many large vessels constructed along the river include the famous clipper ship Stag. The river has since become a popular area for salmon fishing, attracting fisherman from mid-May to early July.[2] According to estimates by the Province of Nova Scotia, there are 21,907 people resident within the LaHave watershed in 2011.[13]

In 2017, biologists reported that the salmon fishery was being threatened because chain pickerel, an invasive species, were eating the salmon smolts.[14]

In 2017, government funding totalling $12 million was allocated to improving the quality of the river water by improving the processing of sewage which was being piped into the river.[15] However, in 2018, a broken sewage pipe in Bridgewater led to further contamination of the river.[16] Coordinates: 44°22′2.1″N 64°28′47.1″W / 44.367250°N 64.479750°W / 44.367250; -64.479750


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Natural History of Nova Scotia Archived 2003-06-07 at the Wayback Machine, Volume 1, p. 152
  2. ^ a b "PHOTOS: 150 years along the LaHave River". Chronicle Herald, CYNTHIA MCMURRAY, January 29, 2018
  3. ^ Rick Luettich (13 March 2018). Coastal Hazards Related to Storm Surge. MDPI. p. 190. ISBN 978-3-03842-711-7.
  4. ^ Chloe Ernst (14 June 2011). Scenic Driving Atlantic Canada: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-7627-6947-6.
  5. ^ "Come sail away". Chronicle Herald,
  6. ^ "Life is good along the LaHave River". Chronicle Herald, QUENTIN CASEY, July 11, 2014
  7. ^ "LaHave ferry riders complain price hike too steep". CBC News, Apr 02, 2015
  8. ^ p. 224
  9. ^ The Sally was a prize recently capture by the American privateer General Stark under the command Captain James Pearson on 27 March 1780. The American privateer and her prize got separated in a storm, with the prize ending up at the mouth of the LaHave River.
  10. ^ pp. 310-311
  11. ^ "American vessels captured by the British during the American Revolution", pp. 71-72
  12. ^
  13. ^ "LaHave Watershed - Community Profile". Community Counts. Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Chain pickerel invade critical Nova Scotia salmon habitat". Paul Withers · CBC News · Jun 08, 2017
  15. ^ "Girl's quest to clean up LaHave River nets $15.7M in funding". Ian Munroe · CBC News Jun 29, 2017
  16. ^ "Broken pipe in Bridgewater dumping raw sewage into LaHave River". CBC News, Emma Smith, Feb 17, 2018

External links[edit]