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new season of
hydrographic surveys
Survey launch

DFO  J. Beardsell

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) began its hydrographic survey season on Quebec’s navigable water bodies on April 19, 2010. The surveys focus particularly on the maintained channel in the St. Lawrence, the ports of Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Sorel, Sept-Îles and some harbours on the Gaspé Peninsula. Other surveys will also be conducted in the Lower North Shore, Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands areas as well as on the stretch of the St. Lawrence between Québec and Montréal.

The surveys are conducted using hydrographic launches equipped with highly precise echo sounders and electronic positioning systems; the information gathered – on the location of shoals, for instance – is used to update the official nautical publications and charts produced by CHS, the ultimate goal being to ensure the safe navigation of waterways. By the end of the season in December, the hydrographic teams will have covered over 10,000 km to monitor the condition of the St. Lawrence channel.

Report hazards
Mariners are invited to notify CHS when they discover a hazard (or an apparent hazard) to shipping or if they observe changes in the data recorded on nautical charts. To make it easier for CHS teams to spot reported hazards, it is important for the people making the reports to indicate the nature of the hazard, its position, the date and time it was observed, etc. Information can be reported by phone (418-775-0502) or by e-mail ( Current nautical charts are essential to safe navigation.

The Canadian Hydrographic Service is responsible for mapping Canada’s navigable waters. It prepares, publishes and updates the nautical charts and official nautical publications that are essential to all mariners. Its Quebec catalogue features 60 nautical charts.

Richard Sanfaçon