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A new season of
hydrographic surveys

The Canadian Hydrographic Service launched the new season of hydrographic surveys of Québec's navigable water bodies on March 31, 2011. The surveys primarily focus on the navigation channel in the St. Lawrence, the ports of Sept-Îles, Montréal and Trois-Rivières, as well as approximately 15 harbours on Chaleur Bay, the Gaspé Peninsula's north shore, the North Shore and the Magdalen Islands.

Surveys are also scheduled for a large sector south-east of the Mingan Islands to collect data on crab habitat and for an area off the Gaspé Peninsula to map the American Bank.

The surveys are conducted using hydrographic launches equipped with highly precise sounders and electronic positioning systems. The surveys measure siltation levels at various locations and provide the data used to calculate the volumes that need to be dredged; the information gathered—on the location of shoals, for instance—is also used to update the official nautical publications and charts produced by the Department, the ultimate goal being to ensure safe navigation. 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 the Canadian Hydrographic Service when they discover a hazard (or an apparent hazard) to navigation 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 mariners to specify 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 to

Nautical charts, tides and water levels

Fisheries and Oceans Canada would like to remind recreational boaters and mariners of how important it is to be well prepared and to ensure safenavigation by having current nautical charts on board and staying informed of water levels.

Before going out onto the water, call toll-free at 1-877-775-0790 or visit for the most recent information on water levels and tidal predictions for the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Kristine Bossé-Fortin
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