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The St. Lawrence River

Publication by the Ministère

The Ministère is working on several data collection projects about the St. Lawrence River and is producing numerous related reports and documents; some of these documents can be accessed on line (hyperlinks). For more information, contact Information Center. These documents are grouped according to four subjects:

Overview of Water Quality

Since 1990, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs ensures the monitoring of large fluvial water masses of the St. Lawrence River. This network, which is made up of 27 sampling stations, is designed to assess the water quality on the physicochemical and bacteriological levels and to observe how it changes in the course of time.

Documents in Non Technical Language

  • MINISTÈRE DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT DU QUÉBEC, 1993. Le fleuve Saint-Laurent, 1976-1992, Québec, Direction de la qualité des cours d'eau, 8 p.

Technical Reports

  • HÉBERT, S., 1999. Qualité des eaux du fleuve Saint-Laurent, 1990-1997, Québec, ministère de l'Environnement, Direction des écosystèmes aquatiques, envirodoq no EN990161, rapport no QE-119, 38 p., 4 annexes.
  • HÉBERT, S., 1995. Qualité des eaux du fleuve Saint-Laurent dans la région de Québec, 1990-1994, mise à jour des données concernant le phosphore, les coliformes fécaux et les matières en suspension, Québec, ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, Direction des écosystèmes aquatiques, envirodoq no EN950150, 12 p., 1 annexe.
  • HÉBERT, S., 1993. Qualité des eaux du fleuve Saint-Laurent, 1990-1991, Québec, ministère de l'Environnement du Québec, Direction de la qualité des cours d'eau, envirodoq no EN930002, rapport no QEN/QE-81-1, 98 p., 6 annexes.

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Bacteriological Quality of the Shoreline Water

From 1999 to 2003, the Ministère has conducted a study to assess the bacteriological quality of the water at 48 sites between Lac Saint-François and the Île d'Orléans. This program was aimed at providing an overall portrait of the bacteriological quality of the potential swimming sites in the St. Lawrence River in order to assess their potential future use. Since the summer of 2003, of all the sites characterized 16 were selected as "sentinel" sites as part of long-term monitoring activities.

Documents in Non Technical Language

Technical Reports

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Modelling of the Bacteriological Quality of Potential Sites

Since 1999, the Ministère conducted studies to assess some potential freshwater swimming sites and to better understand relationships between environmental variables and fecal coliform concentrations in order to establish a predictive model of the bacteriological quality of the water. Should those sites be opened to the public, such models would be useful to forecast risks associated with swimming in freshwater and thus would reduce chances to expose needlessly people to poor quality water.

Technical Reports

Toxic substances and emerging contaminants

In addition to permanently monitoring the St. Lawrence River with respect to current water quality parameters, the Ministère makes spot check controls of toxic substances and emerging contaminants. While some of these checks are based on samples taken from the St. Lawrence River, they often target a variety of southern Québec watercourses.

Documents in Non Technical Language:

Technical Reports

Toxic Contamination in Freshwater Fish

Thanks to studies conducted by the Ministère since the middle of the 1980s, data about toxic contamination in tissues of certain fish species of the St. Lawrence River have been collected. The data provide a relatively clear picture of toxic contamination by mercury and PCBs which accumulate in fish tissues of some species such as Walleye, Northern Pike and Yellow Perch and help monitor how such contamination has changed in the course of time.

Documents in Non Technical Language

Technical Reports

  • LALIBERTÉ, D., 1993. Évolution des teneurs en mercure, en BPC et en pesticides organochlorés dans la chair des poissons du fleuve Saint-Laurent au lac Saint-François entre 1975-1976 et 1988, Québec, ministère de l'Environnement du Québec, Direction de la qualité des cours d'eau, rapport no QE-91-15, 86 p., 3 annexes.
  • PAUL, M. et D. LALIBERTÉ, 1988. Teneurs en mercure, plomb et cadmium, BPC et pesticides organochlorés des sédiments et de la chair des poissons du fleuve Saint-Laurent et de la rivière des Outaouais en 1985, Québec, ministère de l'Environnement du Québec, Direction des relevés aquatiques, rapport no QE-86-07, 97 p.


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