Spectacular Arctic Char Migration

Spectacular Arctic Char Migration

  • Labrador
  • Photography
  • Quebec
  • Wildlife

Written by Alain Lagacé

Make the most of your trip to the far north of Quebec and Arctic Labrador with this unique floatplane tour to witness one of the greatest wonders of the natural world – the Arctic char migration. It's also the perfect opportunity to see bears and the incredible landscapes of the Arctic Cordillera.

In August, the short Arctic summer draws to a close, it is the time of year when millions of Arctic chars storm the rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean. The rivers then transform into veritable breeding grounds of red and silver fish that shine under the sun.

[“We could cross the river by stepping on the fish!”]

The falls become stages for high jump shows, you can see Arctic char weighing 5 to 20 pounds leaping out of the water like torpedoes, others wriggling vigorously in the powerful whirlpools of white water. These powerful salmonids must defy countless obstacles to return to the place where they were born to spawn.

The rivers teem with Arctic char and the water is so clear that you can see more fish than you can count. In the narrow passages of shallow rivers, it sometimes happens that the run is completely blocked. Then it’s the chaos of rush hour traffic, where nothing is moving forward, and it is impossible to go back due to lack of water. This is where the expression takes on its full meaning: “We could cross the river by walking on the fish!”

This is what happens when the run-up is very strong, when the tide goes out too quickly and the water in the river is at the right temperature, but not high enough.

Fishing bears

During migration periods, polar bears, black bears and sometimes even wolves of Arctic Quebec-Labrador find themselves facing a feast of almost unimaginable proportions. It sometimes happens to see nearly ten (10) polar bears fishing in the same area. The ability developed by polar bears to fish for arctic char in the rivers of the Golden Peninsula is a unique behavior in the world.

Tips for viewing the migration.

Bring polarized sunglasses, as well as sets of polarized lenses for your camera.

Binoculars will be useful to combine your migration experience with the observation of bears and other wildlife that gorge on arctic char.

Latest availability

From August 20-27, 2024, there are only four (4) places available to witness this incredible migration on the Golden Peninsula.

Developing and designing your tailor-made trip is our specialty!

Specialist in tailor-made trips for more than 30 years, take advantage of our know-how and our knowledge, to live authentic discovery experiences in the heart of one of the most beautiful, preserved regions in the world, with a choice of circuits adapted to your needs. tastes, your interests and what you really want to discover.

Alain Lagacé – alain@goldenpeninsulatours.com

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