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Adopt a River – Magpie River

River Magpie

Photo credit: Fondation Rivières

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

The Magpie River is one of the most majestic rivers in Quebec. Just like the Romaine before its harnessing, it flows into Minganie in an untouched wild landscape, and conceals rich and fascinating ecosystems! A true playground for thrill-seekers, the Magpie promises anyone who has the privilege of venturing there an unforgettable experience that makes you want to protect it.

Do you know the Magpie River?

Innu name

Mutehekau Hipu (“the river where the water passes between square rock cliffs”)


North Coast



Average flow

250 m3/s


Labrador Plateau

Memorable expedition

Certain sections of the river – the West Magpie and the lower Magpie – represent a true paradise for paddlers: the Magpie is even classified among the 10 Best Whitewater Rivers in the World by National Geographic! Since its rapids are steep and difficult to access (by seaplane only), it is better to go there with an organizing group. The proposed expeditions last approximately five days. It is also an extraordinary place for hiking, an activity more accessible than going down the river. The very impressive Third Falls can also be observed from a walking path.

Rights, like a human being

Despite its unique character, the Magpie River is not safe from the construction of a hydroelectric complex, as it already has a dam at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. To prevent this jewel from suffering the same fate as the Romaine, strong initiatives have been set in motion: theAlliance Mutehekau-shipu fought for make him recognize his rights, a first in the country, and the Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP) Quebec is also working to create a protected area.

What are the challenges of the Magpie River?

River harnessing - Hydroelectric dam construction

In its 2009-2013 strategic plan, Hydro-Québec estimated that Magpie has a potential of 850 megawatt hours (MW) of power and 3.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy. When the plan was released, the president at the time indicated that the development of the Magpie was possible after 2025. The strategic plan 2022-2026 does not plan any construction of new dams before 2050.

However, the Legault government estimates that it is necessary to build them to increase electricity production at the rate of “half a Hydro-Québec” to meet the projected needs resulting from Quebec's energy transition. This announcement also relaunches the social debate on the management of electricity, including the construction of wind turbines and new hydroelectric dams.

The Fondation Rivières initiated an expedition to recognize the recreational tourism potential of the Magpie in 2004, when it was threatened by the construction of a private hydroelectric dam. Groups and public figures were also there, such as the SNAP Quebec, International Rivers Network, Nature Quebec,Greenpeace as well as Robert Francis Kennedy Jr.

Since then, Fondation Rivières has participated in public hearings on the creation of a protected area. She defends the Magpie in a “macro” way by means of awareness campaigns, analyses, recommendations and memories (The Roman, 11th fall of the Mistassini River, Val Jalbert, etc.). Following the release of the documentary After the Roman, Fondation Rivières and collaborators united to encourage the government to achieve the energy transition while respecting the last wild rivers, including the Magpie.

Can you swim in the Magpie River? 

The Magpie River is a wild river, far from cities and their sewer networks. The risk of contaminationE.coli is tiny, despite the presence of certain birds, so that some people drink river water without hesitation!

Is the Magpie River navigable?

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

Parcours canotables - Eau vive Québec et Canot Kayak Québec

Help us by adopting the Magpie River

The Fondation Rivières is mobilizing on this river to:

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.

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Organizations involved in the field

The Magpie River was adopted by

Our articles on the Magpie River


  • The Magpie River: a world-class river to protect, Outdoor expertise and research laboratory (LERPA) of the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi, June 2013
  • Quebec Toponymy Commission

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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