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Orignal. Photo : CHOK images

Top 5 – Wildlife-Watching Sites in Gaspésie in the Fall

On land, at sea or in a river, enjoy watching wildlife in Gaspésie! Here are five places where you can observe various species in our region.

Atlantic Salmon. Photo: Zec de la rivière Matane

Salmon observation in Matane

Through a window giving you a view of the Atlantic salmon spawning in the Matane River, the Matane Observation centre for the salmon run, Mathieu-D’Amours Dam will give you a closer look at this pink-fleshed fish, whose characteristics will be revealed to you by interpreter guides. The site also features an exhibition about sports fishing on this river and the history of local bridges and dams. Accessible from downtown Matane, the Matane River is 80 km long and offers 79 pools for fishing salmon. Admission to the interpretation centre, which is open from June 15 to September 15, 2019, is free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. There is also a shop on site that sells fishing licences and access passes, rents fishing gear and offers fly-fishing classes.

Moose. Photo: SÉPAQ, Steve Deschênes.

Moose and bear safaris in the Matane Wildlife Reserve

Accompanied by an experienced naturalist guide, discover the wildlife living in the boreal forest this September. This is when moose rutting season begins, and bears start getting ready for hibernation. Beavers are also busy preparing for the cold season. (While they don’t hibernate, they are less active in winter.) Guides in the Matane Wildlife Reserve will tell you all about the behaviours of these animals, their biology, etc. during a safari lasting about 5 hours. This activity is free for accompanied children between the ages of 6 and 17. (It is not suitable for children under 6.) Covering an area of 1275 km2, the wildlife reserve has the highest concentration of moose per square kilometre in Québec. Because hunting season has begun, the reserve is not accessible to hiking as of September 2, 2019, except during this guided activity.

Exploramer. Photo: CHOK Images.

Exploramer, Discovering the Sea, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

The aquariums at Exploramer present a living collection of fish and other marine life that live in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. You will be able to observe over 1000 individual organisms from 60 different species! Exploramer also offers guided tours with biologists, touch basins where you can handle certain species (such as crabs, starfish and sea cucumbers), and various interactive exhibitions revealing surprising facets of the St. Lawrence. These activities are offered until October 6, 2019. You can also participate in an excursion aboard the JV Exploramer, an 18-passenger Zodiac, to explore the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Please note that from September 1 to October 6, you must book this sea excursion at least 24 hours in advance.

Northern Gannets, Bonaventure Island. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Percé

Over 200,000 nesting birds from 11 different species congregate in the seabird colonies in Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, making this the largest migratory bird sanctuary in North America! During a boat excursion around Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island or on foot on the island’s trails, you can observe superb species, including the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world, which is home to 116,000 birds! The park also preserves a rich natural, historical and geological heritage. Discover the park’s built heritage, which bears witness to the lives of the people who inhabited Bonaventure Island in the 19th century. The park is open until October 14, 2019. To discover other sites where you can observe birds, visit our Bird-Watching Tour page.

Wolves, Bioparc de la Gaspésie. Photo: Sophie Jean

Bioparc Wildlife Park, Bonaventure

Home to some 40 animal species that are indigenous to Gaspésie, the Bioparc de la Gaspésie offers you the opportunity to enjoy close encounters with local wildlife. Stroll along the outdoor trails to see the animals in settings that evoke their natural habitats. Various interpretive activities are offered, and you can watch the animals being fed. The wildlife park is also home to a pavilion featuring reptiles and amphibians from Québec (including frogs, salamanders, turtles and snakes); interactive modules and a games app for mobile devices will help you discover this mysterious world. You can also observe about 20 live species and over 1000 mounted specimens in the insectarium. At the little farm, you can interact with the barnyard animals (including ponies, cows, donkeys, hens and rabbits) and can pet goats, sheep and pigs. The Bioparc includes picnic areas, a restaurant, a gift shop and a play area. It is open to the public daily until October 13, 2019, and for groups upon reservation the rest of the year. Family packages are available (admission is free for children under 3). Plan to spend about 3 hours in this wildlife park.

Are you looking forward to seeing wildlife in Gaspésie on land, at sea or in a river? To be in the loop, visit and plan your trip today! #gaspesieautumn

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