Hydro-Quebec warns boaters to beware as Saint-Maurice River water levels rise

A Hydro Quebec logo is seen on their head office building in Montreal, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Hydro-Quebec says the flow rates on the Saint-Maurice River are exceptionally high, warning boaters to avoid approaching the power plants and dams there.

The Crown corporation notes water levels are expected to remain very high for several more weeks on the river, in the Haute-Mauricie region flowing into the Saint Lawrence River, more than 500 kilometres downstream.

According to Hydro-Quebec, recent spring flooding and rainfall over the past few weeks have significantly slowed river flows, forcing the public utility company to open several of its spillway gates.

This could pose a danger to boaters venturing nearby as powerful currents created by the open spillway gates can quickly drag boats and their occupants into very dangerous areas.

Hydro-Quebec adds that, despite the presence of booms, the flows of the Saint-Maurice River remain powerful.

Booms are slated to be installed at the Rocher-de-Grand-Mère and La Gabelle power plants in the coming weeks, if water and weather conditions permit.

Hydro-Quebec specialists estimate that the flow of the Saint-Maurice River could return to normal towards the end of July.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 23, 2022.