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Adopt a river - Batiscan River

River Batiscan

Photo credit : Simon Couturier

Adopt the Batiscan River to:

Your contribution allows us to continue to protect Quebec's rivers

The Batiscan River is a gateway to the imposing hinterland that is Mauricie. Just at its entrance, in Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan, the magnitude of its enthusiasm is felt: the waterfalls rumble, bubble. Their agitations are fertile ground for the imagination: what is happening upstream, in these vast Mauritian forests? Less than an hour from Quebec and Trois-Rivières, the Batiscan remains accessible while being a tumultuous passage towards the enigmatic…

Do you know the Batiscan River?

Name Abenaki

Patiskô (“the Batiste camp”)

Wendat name

Ektuhnthe (“carry on the back”)

Length

196km

Source

Lake Edward

Region

Mauricie

Average flow

1,086 m3/s

Total elevation

375m

In canoe-camping paradise

Mauricie has no less than 17,500 bodies of water! This wealth of water makes it one of the most pleasant regions in which to go on a canoe-camping adventure. Saint-Maurice is particularly popular near La Mauricie National Park; On the sidelines, the Mattawin River and the Batiscan also have a lot to offer. We quickly forget the sometimes difficult management of the equipment and the portage, the weather hazards and the mosquitoes as soon as the adrenaline generated by certain rapids shows up... always followed by a good dose of fullness!

The fall of the Nine, a preserved star

In the heart of the village of Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, the fall of the Nine had an unexpected success: a very similar fall was illustrated on the Bank of Canada five-dollar bill from 1954. Many people then came to witness their eyes the beauty of this fall, which quickly became called the Cinq-Piastre fall.

This waterfall was the subject of a hydroelectric dam construction project, but it was saved by Operation Adopt a River 20 years ago. She is not the only one: a few years ago, the fall of Les Ailes was spared thanks to the work of the citizen group Les Ami(e)s de la Batiscan and the co-founder of Fondation Rivières, Alain Saladzius. Then, in 2005, their forces joined forces to save the fall of Two!

Photo credit : Simon Couturier

What are the environmental issues?

Water quality

Overflow structures along the Batiscan River frequently overflow, thus affecting water quality. Moreover, some of the region's wastewater treatment plants are not meeting their regulatory compliance targets. Agricultural practices also have a detrimental effect on water quality.

Since 2020, the Fondation Rivières has disclosed the list of municipalities that stand out in terms of the intensity of their wastewater discharges into waterways, including the Batiscan River. This exercise makes it possible to distinguish municipalities which have improved their situation in previous years from those where the situation has deteriorated. THE prize list serves as a lever to encourage elected officials to make the necessary corrections to improve the health of the rivers into which wastewater is discharged.

Can you swim in the Batiscan River? 

Of many beaches border the river, but they are often private and access is possible by paying a daily fee. This is the case of the Batiscan River Park where it is possible to swim provided you pay the park entrance fees.

Is the Batiscan River navigable?

Yes! Discover the canoe routes of the Batiscan River in accessing the Canot Kayak Québec and Eau Vive Québec map

Parcours canotables - Eau vive Québec et Canot Kayak Québec

Agricultural pollution

The agricultural land is vast along the Batiscan River. The MRC des Chenaux, located at the mouth of the river, alone holds 95 % of agricultural land over its entire surface area, for example. Unfortunately, agricultural pollutants such as phosphorus, nitrite and nitrate have been contaminating the river for several years.

The project to build a megapiggery in Saint-Adelphe raises concerns about the consequences of the spreading of pig manure on the water quality of the Batiscan River.

The Fondation Rivières added its voice to that of the citizen group Vers un val vert as well as other organizations and experts in a open letter to ask the Ministry of the Environment to use an article of the Environment Quality Act, which would allow the holding of a Public Hearing Office on the Environment (BAPE) to consult the population, among others. (This involves the construction of a piggery of 4,000 pigs; the project promoter plans to divide its facilities into three piggeries of 3,999 pigs each.)

Unfortunately, the minister's response is clear: it does not intend to use its discretionary power or review the rules for granting authorizations. The Foundation will continue to monitor this matter closely.

Abandoned hydroelectric dam

The Saint-Narcisse hydroelectric dam, built in 1904, has no longer been in operation since 2018. Since it no longer produces energy, and it would cost more to put it back into service rather than demolish it ( 30 million $), this dam has, so to speak, only negative effects. Starting by fragmenting a natural environment rich in biodiversity, here populated by lake sturgeon and walleye, in particular. This fragmentation, which occurs both when a dam is active or inactive, isolates species of the same family from each other, which can lead to the spread of certain diseases. Environmental impact studies are underway to assess the repercussions of dismantling.

In 2021, Hydro-Québec made the decision to dismantle it to restore the river to its natural character. Work should begin in 2025, which, in our eyes, is a great victory: the fauna and flora will finally be able to return to their original state. We are following the file closely in preparation for the start of work.

Photo credit : Simon Couturier

Help us by adopting the Batiscan River

The Fondation Rivières is mobilizing on this river to:

  • Reducing the impact of agricultural pollution on water quality
  • Preserve the natural character of the river and its ecosystems through the dismantling of the Saint-Narcisse dam

Donate and join an important mobilization movement!

Charity receipt

Fondation Rivières issues tax-deductible donation receipts, regardless of the amount. A receipt will be sent to you by email at the beginning of the year following the year of your adoption.

Organizations involved in the field

    • Friends of the Batiscan
    • Eau-Vive-Batiscan
    • Free fall 

The Batiscan River was adopted by:

Make a difference for the environment

Become a member of the Foundation by donating. Your contribution allows our team to continue to mobilize to protect Quebec's rivers and waterways for future generations. 

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