Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Greater Snow Geese
Photo: Chantal Lepire © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Greater Snow Geese.

The Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) lies on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, near the hamlet of Trois-Saumons, southwest of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Located in the St. Lawrence River's flood zone, the sanctuary's boundaries are defined by the high and low water lines. Therefore, the tides have a major impact on shoreline movement and land vegetation.

This 157 hectare protected area was established in 1986 to safeguard an important staging area for the Greater Snow Goose. The sanctuary's landscape is made up of brackish water wetlands formed mainly by muddy deposits, rocky outcrops and herbaceous meadows. The latter, formed largely of American Bulrush, covers approximately half the sanctuary. A number of trees, including Red Maples, make up part of the vegetation found in the periodically flooded riparian zone.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Trois-Saumons MBS is recognized as an important concentration area for migratory birds, such as the Greater Snow Goose, Canada Goose and dozens of species of ducks. Inventories carried out during fall migrations have recorded numbers of nearly 60 000 Greater Snow Geese and over 1000 Canada Geese. Several shorebirds, including the Semipalmated Sandpiper, can be observed in groups of over 2500 birds during migration.

Although species like the Double-crested Cormorant, Ring-billed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls can be observed during the summer months, the Spotted Sandpiper remains the only species likely to nest in the sanctuary.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to Trois-Saumons MBS: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless specifically authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited, and dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

Access denial or restrictions imposed by the owners of land within the MBS may also apply.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

  • Map of Saint-Vallier Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Quebec, Trois-Saumons and the St. Lawrence River. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which runs along the shoreline and extends into the water near Trois-Saumons. The scale of the map is in tenths of a kilometer.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary table

Summary Table for Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 47° 09' 30" N 70° 20' 00" W
Size in hectares 157 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category III - Natural Monument or Feature
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Herbaceous meadows
Key bird species Greater Snow Goose and Semipalmated Sandpiper
Other species Birds: Canada Goose, Spotted Sandpiper, American Black Duck, Mallard and Green-winged Teal.
Plants: American Bulrush, Wild Rice
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Unit
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
9250 - 49th Street
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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