Are you Prepared for a Fishing Adventure?
In the North, Atlantic salmon mature in the hostile seas between Greenland and Labrador endowing it with a powerful character and making it the ultimate strike for any expert fly-fisherman. When it takes your line the peacefulness of your surroundings will erupt like a furious explosion. Streaking into the air, over and over again, this robust fish will relentlessly try to throw your line. Beyond a doubt, Atlantic salmon is the hardest fighting fish in the region. The four main river basins for Atlantic salmon in Nunavik are the George, the Whale, the Koksoak and the Leaf.
Almost exclusively a Northern fish, Arctic char is not well known among anglers. Yet once hooked, the fight it puts up easily rivals that of the Atlantic salmon. Arctic char swim out in long runs and can skilfully throw a barbless fly with characteristic, powerful shakes of its head. Arctic char is definitely the rarest kind of delicacy, the prize catch of only the most adventurous anglers.
Brook Trout or Sea-run Trout
Brook trout, widespread throughout Quebec, is much sought after by fly fishermen. In Nunavik, you will have an excellent chance of finding that trophy you so much want to be a part of your fishing excursion. Brook trout shares many similarities with its cousin, the Arctic char. In particular, some populations, known as sea-run trout, will move to salt water estuaries in summer and adapt their colouring to this marine environment. At sea, brook trout is generally light green on the back with silvery sides; while in freshwater, a darker colour is displayed.
Since lake trout grows to a healthy size, it is a favourite among trophy anglers. That heavy tug that comes when this species strikes your lure is something all anglers dream about. Make your dreams come true in Nunavik where, as throughout the rest of Canada, lake trout inhabits many lakes and streams, not to mention cold rivers.
Trophy fish are the elders of Nunavik's underwater renewable resource and you are sure to hook more than one as they dart through their silent, discrete environment. It must be recalled, however, that the harsh climate of ice and snow has an impact on all wildlife in the region, fish included. Since they reach reproduction size much later in life than their southern cousins, the replacement rate of many fish species in the North is lower. Arctic char and brook trout may only reproduce every two or three years, while Atlantic salmon spawns no more than four times over its life span. Consequently, conservation of large mature fish through catch and release is highly recommended by the region's fishing camp operators. A single barbless hook and live release will preserve fish stocks and allow future generations to also enjoy this unique experience.
Sport Fishing Season and Regulations
In Nunavik, the sports fishing season for Arctic char, Atlantic salmon, landlocked salmon, sea-run trout, brook trout and lake trout starts on June 1st and ends on September 7 of each year. On the rivers identified as salmon rivers, the sport fishing season for Atlantic salmon, as well as for Arctic char, is also possible until September 30, under certain conditions. In the territories operated by the region's outfitters, it is also possible to fish for lake trout from September 8 to 30, if using the services of an outfitter, but for catch and release only.
In Nunavik, certain specific Quebec government regulations apply to anglers. The territory is subdivided into three categories of lands. To fish on Category I or II lands, Quebec residents must not only have a valid provincial fishing license, but also obtain the necessary authorizations and permits from the local Inuit landholding corporation. In certain areas under Inuit juridiction, anglers must also be accompanied by an Inuit guide. For their part, non resident must always use the services of an outfitters to fish in Nunavik, regardless of the land category. In such case, the outfitter will provide all the necessary fishing permits and authorizations. Anglers may therefore contact the outfitters members of the Nunavik Tourism Association, directly for complete details on the different packages offered and applicables prices.
For more information:
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF)
Tel.: 418-627-8600 or 1-866-248-6936 toll free (from Canada only)
Nunavik's Wildlife Protection office (in Kuujjuaq)