Rupert River

Rupert River

Geobox River
name = Rupert River
native_name = Rivière Rupert
other_name =
other_name1 =

image_size = 230px
image_caption =
country = Canada
country1 =
state = Quebec
state1 =
region = Jamésie
region1 =
district =
district1 =
city =
city1 =
state_type = Province
length = 600
watershed = 43400
discharge_location =
discharge_average =
discharge_max =
discharge_min =
discharge1_location =
discharge1_average =
source_name = Lake Mistassini
source_location =
source_district =
source_region =
source_state =
source_country =
source_lat_d = 50
source_lat_m = 57
source_lat_s =
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 73
source_long_m = 42
source_long_s =
source_long_EW = W
source_elevation =
source_length =
mouth_name = James Bay
mouth_location = Waskaganish
mouth_district =
mouth_region =
mouth_state =
mouth_country =
mouth_lat_d = 51
mouth_lat_m = 29
mouth_lat_s =
mouth_lat_NS = N
mouth_long_d = 78
mouth_long_m = 46
mouth_long_s =
mouth_long_EW = W
mouth_elevation =
tributary_left =
tributary_left1 =
tributary_right =
tributary_right1 =
free_name =
free_value =

map_size =
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The Rupert River is one of the largest rivers in Quebec, Canada. From its headwaters in Lake Mistassini, the largest natural lake in Québec, it flows km to mi|600|spell=Commonwealth|precision=0 west into Rupert Bay on James Bay. The Rupert drains an area of km2 to mi2|43400|spell=Commonwealth|precision=0. There is some extremely large whitewater on the river, but paddlers can avoid much of it by portage routes on the side. The most impressive falls, which cannot be avoided except by portaging, are the "Oatmeal Rapids" right at the Route de la Baie James (a set of cascades dropping m to ft|18|abbr=yes) and "The Fours" near the end of the river (a m to ft|24|abbr=yes drop).

The Rupert has long been an important river for the Cree of the area. Every year, a group of Cree youth from the village of Waskaganish, at the mouth of the Rupert, travel up the river to Lake Nemiscau.

Major tributaries of the Rupert are the Marten River ("Rivière à la Marte") and the Nemiscau River ("Rivière Nemiscau").


In 1668, an expedition led by Médard des Groseilliers came to the mouth of the Rupert River in order to bypass French controlled areas along the St. Lawrence River and in doing so, trying to break the French hold on the fur trade. They named the river after the sponsor of the expedition, Prince Rupert. A fort was established at the mouth of the river, which later became the trading post Rupert House, the oldest trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company. From then on, the Rupert River played a vital role in supplying inland trading posts (such as Nemiscau and Mistissini) with regular canoe brigades, right until the beginning of the twentieth century when supplies started to come from the south via rail and later road.

While having lost its importance as a trade route, the Rupert River has long been a popular destination for recreational canoe camping and whitewater canoeing.

Hydroelectric development

The diversion of the headwaters of the Rupert River into the La Grande hydroelectric complex was authorized by the Governments of Quebec and Canada in late 2006 after undergoing joint environmental assessments by the Cree, Québec and Canadian authorities.

This new project stems from a 2002 landmark agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), "La Paix des braves" (literally "Peace of the Brave") in which the two parties agreed to authorize the completion of a long-delayed hydroelectric project on the Eastmain River, just to the north of the Rupert River. A subsequent agreement in April 2004 put an end to all litigation between the two parties and opening the way to the joint environmental evaluation of the diversion of about 50% of the total water flow of the Rupert River (and 70% at the diversion point) northwards to the Eastmain River and into the La Grande hydroelectric watershed. The Grand Chief of the Crees, Matthew Mukash [] , elected in late 2005, opposed the Rupert diversion project, preferring the development of wind turbines in the region.

Image gallery

External links

* [ The Rupert River website]
* [ The James Bay Road website - the James Bay region of Quebec]
* [ Save the Rupert]
* [ Rupert Reverence]
* [ The Rupert Hydroelectric Diversion (Hydro-Québec)]
* [ Environmental assessment process and documents (Ministry of the Environment of Québec) (fr)]
* [ Environmental assessment process and documents (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency)]
* [ "Hydro-Electric Project to Reshape Wilderness" July 14, 2008 NPR radio report]
* [ Rezmutt's Rupert River Archive]
* [ The Rupert River (YouTube Video)]

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