Whale watching by boat or on land
It is relatively easy to observe marine mammals along the coasts of the North Shore. Whales are found from mid-May to the end of October in the waters of the region. You will find whale cruise companies in the following municipalities: Tadoussac, Escoumins, Les Bergeronnes, Essipit, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, etc.
Located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and the majestic Saguenay Fjord, Tadoussac is the gateway to the most beautiful whale-watching site in the world. A true crossroads of life, the region is full of food for marine mammals, making it a privileged destination for all nature lovers. The bay of Tadoussac has already been named "Most beautiful bay in the world"! Of course, patience is required when watching whales!
Migratory whales use the St. Lawrence to feed, especially during the summer season.
The Laurentian Channel is an underwater valley almost 450 m deep from Cabot Strait (at the mouth of the Gulf) to the estuary and about 300 m to Les Escoumins. At the height of Tadoussac, the valley reaches a shoal, with a depth of about twenty meters. This is called the head of the Laurentian Channel.
The deep waters of the Laurentian Channel are cold and rich in decomposed organic matter. In the deep layer, water moves from the Atlantic to the head of the Laurentian Channel. When it reaches the shoal, it is forced to rise under the effect of the tides. It then mixes with surface water, enriches it, cools it and oxygen.
It is these cold runs, or upwellings, that explain the high productivity near the mouth of the Saguenay. The phytoplankton on the surface proliferates thanks to the nutrient supply of the lifts and the light energy of the Sun. Because phytoplankton is at the base of the food chain, it promotes the accumulation of zooplankton and then fish, which serve as food for marine mammals.
Crédit photo : Parc marin du Saguenay-Saint-Laurent