Spring icebreaking on St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec

News release

February 21, 2024

Québec, Quebec - The Canadian Coast Guard will begin its spring icebreaking operations on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec on the morning of February 26. These activities could start earlier due to the increased risk of shore fast ice break-up caused by the warmer weather. Icebreaking will continue thereafter on several streams, rivers, and river mouths in Quebec.

Annual operations on the St. Lawrence River, including those near Lac-Saint-Pierre, are designed to break coastal pack ice into smaller pieces, thus preventing large blocks of ice from drifting and blocking navigation channels. As for the icebreaking operations on the smaller rivers, they are designed to clear ice from the entrance of the tributaries to prevent ice jams and subsequent flooding that may occur during the spring thaw.

This type of icebreaking is carried out by Canadian Coast Guard air cushion vehicles (hovercrafts), the CCGS Mamilossa or the CCGS Sipu Muin, the engines of which make a sound similar to that of an aircraft.

The Canadian Coast Guard reminds the public that it can be very dangerous to venture onto the ice of the St. Lawrence River and suggests that they familiarize themselves with our ice safety tips. As a reminder, it is also always dangerous to venture onto the ice when icebreakers, hovercrafts or any other vessels are in the vicinity. Ice movement can occur and pose a real danger to anyone in the operational area of these vessels, even long after the vessel has left the area.

People who have left facilities or equipment on the ice are advised to bring them back to shore as soon as possible.


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canadian Coast Guard, Quebec Region

Stay connected

Page details

Date modified: