Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area


Baie de l’Isle Verte National Wildlife Area is open to the public for day-use only. While most trails are open, some facilities may remain closed until such time that they can be safely re-opened.

Interpretive activities are suspended until further notice.

Respect the environment and leave no trace.

Remember, you are responsible for your own safety.

We are committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians, visitors and employees. Social and physical distancing restrictions will remain in place until further notice from local and regional health authorities. 

For more information, please consult our Q&A page.


Baie de L'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area (NWA) covers a riparian strip running some 20 kilometres on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary northeast of Rivière-du-Loup. This protected area of 322 hectares was created in 1980 by Environment Canada to protect the intertidal cordgrass marsh of L’Isle-Verte and coastal habitats that are important for waterfowl, particularly the American Black Duck, and other animal species. The L’Isle-Verte Marsh is one of the largest cordgrass marshes in southern Quebec and is recognized as a Wetland of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention. Although the NWA only includes a section of the L’Isle-Verte Marsh, it forms a protective strip between this wetland and human pressures from the south. With its adjacent areas, the NWA is one of the most important nesting sites for the American Black Duck in Quebec.

The wildlife area consists of cordgrass marshes, swamps, farmlands, wildlands and forest patches predominantly composed of Black Spruces. The diversity of its habitats contributes to the year-round presence of a large number of animal species. More than 100 species of birds are found in this territory, a large proportion of which are possibly breeding. The NWA is also home to several species at risk, or of precarious status, such as the Peregrine Falcon, Short-eared Owl, Bobolink, Nelson’s Sparrow and Hoary Bat.

Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area, landscape. Photo: B. Jobin


Thousands of migratory birds pass through the wildlife area every spring and fall, among them the Greater Snow Goose, the Canada Goose, the American Black Duck, the Green-winged Teal, the Northern Pintail, the Common Eider, and scoters. Shorebirds such as the Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper are also very abundant during migrations. The area is also frequented by the Nelson's Sparrow, a species that is considered as a rare or uncommon breeder in Quebec. Mammals found within the wildlife area include the Snowshoe Hare, American Porcupine, Red Squirrel, Woodchuck, Red Fox, Muskrat and American Mink.

The wildlife area is exposed to a number of threats and presents management challenges, such as neighbouring land development, land drainage, the presence of invasive alien species, and the risk of oil spills in the St. Lawrence.

More information on Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA is provided in the summary table below.

The American Black Duck. Photo: Daniel Bordage


NWAs are protected and managed according to the Wildlife Area Regulations under the Canada Wildlife Act. The primary purpose of NWAs is the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitats. For this purpose, and according to the legislation, Environment and Climate Change Canada can prohibit all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife. Consequently, public access and activities are prohibited in most NWAs. Nonetheless, the Ministry has the ability to authorize some activities, whether through public notice or the issuance of permits, as long as these are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWAs Management and Activities section.

Access to the Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA is restricted to designated areas and certain times of the year. Public notices listing the authorized activities within the wildlife area are posted at access points and include hiking, nature observation and photography. Hunting for migratory birds is permitted in the fall within the wildlife area with required permits with the exception of the following areas: Salicorne (rivière des Vases), Roitelet, Soucy-Duvetnor, du Quai and Aboiteau Girard wildlife enhancement works, in an agricultural parcel located east of route du Quai, and in L’Isle-Verte Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Permits may be issued for research activities in keeping with the priorities set out in the management plan for the wildlife area or for conservation activities such as surveys, or the enhancement or restoration of habitat.

Priority will be given to collaborative activities with local agencies and organizations to promote the protection and the conservation of wildlife species and their habitats in the NWA. For example, initiatives could be launched or continued with the following entities: universities or research centers to address gaps in scientific knowledge; the province to implement recovery measures for species at risk (particularly those falling under provincial jurisdiction); or non-governmental organizations or municipal authorities to build public awareness of the wildlife area's objectives.

More information on access and permitting for Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Notice from Environment and Climate Change Canada

Public notice

Gros-Cacouna Marsh Birding Site

Environment and Climate Change Canada wishes to inform the public about the rules for using the Gros-Cacouna Marsh Birding Site to ensure the conservation of wildlife and their habitats as well as the safety of users.

Hiking, nature observation and photography are permitted at this site in the following designated areas: trails, towers and observation decks. These activities are prohibited outside the designated areas.

To protect this site, it is prohibited to:

  • fish
  • hunta
  • destroy or remove a plant
  • walk off the trailsb
  • allow any domestic animal to run at large
  • swim, camp or light a fire
  • picnic, except in designated areas (tables, benches)
  • undertake an unauthorized activity
  • use any means of transportation, except on the access road to the parking lot
  • remove, damage or destroy any poster, sign or other structure
  • dump or deposit any waste material.

a Migratory bird hunting is authorized, in accordance with the regulations, in the portion of the marsh’s southwest pond indicated on the attached map (125 m from the dike) from behind temporary blinds and from sunrise until 2 p.m. on the dates set out each year in the Migratory Birds Hunting Regulations for the Quebec region, namely:

  • Waterfowler Heritage days;
  • the first two weekends of the regular season;
  • weekends after October 28, until the end of the migratory bird hunting season.

b Hunters may walk to their hunting locations.

For more information or to report a problem, contact the Department’s Public Inquiries Centre at 1-800-668-6767 or at

This notice shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any Aboriginal treaty or other rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA, landscape

Public services

Activities and services are offered by the Corporation PARC Bas Saint-Laurent in Baie de L'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Area, including guided hiking tours, activities to build awareness of wildlife species habitat conservation, and welcome area and information services at the Maison Girard. Please contact that organization for additional information.

Special warnings

Biting insects in summer, camping prohibited, dogs allowed on leash, waterfowl hunting in the fall.

Location of wildlife area (access)

Several access points along Route 132, in L’Isle-Verte, about 30 kilometers east of Rivière-du-Loup.

Interpretation centre - Maison Girard

371, route 132
L'Isle-Verte (Quebec) G0L 1K0
Tél. : 418-898-2757

More information on services offered to public can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Baie de l'Isle-Verte National Wildlife Reserve 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.

  • Long description 

    Map showing the area surrounding L'Île-Verte, Quebec, on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. The boundaries of Baie de L'Isle-Verte NWA, as well as those of L'Isle-Verte MBS, are indicated. The wildlife area is divided into multiple sections which follow parts of the shoreline between Highway 132 and the St. Lawrence River. The bird sanctuary overlaps in part with a terrestrial section of the wildlife area and extends into the St. Lawrence near L'Île-Verte. The scale on the map is in km. Permanent water, intertidal water, roads and highways are all indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

Summary table

Summary Table for the Baie de l'Isle-Verte NWA
Category Information
Protected area designation National Wildlife Area
Province/Territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 48°01' North / 69°21' West
Size 322 hectares
Reason for creation of protected area Protection of a cordgrass marsh and coastal habitats along the St. Lawrence Estuary to benefit various waterfowl species (particularly the American Black Duck and the Snow Goose) and other animal species.
Date created (Gazetted) 1980 - Legal description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category IV - Habitat/Species Management Area: protected area aim to protect particular species or habitats and management reflects this priority.
Additional designations
Keystone or flagship species American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Bobolink, Salt-water Cordgrass
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) At leas six species listed under the Species At Risk Act, including the Short-eared Owl, the Peregrine Falcon, and the Least Bittern and nine species under the Quebec's Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species, including the Nelson’s Sparrow.
Main habitat type Tidal cordgrass marsh.
Faunistic and floristic importance With adjacent areas, the wildlife area is one of the most important nesting sites for the American Black Duck. The area is also important for the Nelson's Sparrow, which could be designated as threatened or vulnerable by the provincial government. In addition, the site serves as a major staging area for the Greater Snow Goose and the Canada Goose.
Invasive species The NWA contains two invasive exotic plant species: the Common Reed and the Purple Loosestrife
Additional links

Birds: Northern Pintail, Common Eider, Red-winged Blackbird, Song Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat

Mammals: Snowshoe Hare, American Porcupine, Red Squirrel, Woodchuck, Red Fox, Muskrat and American Mink.

Main threats and challenges Impact of human activities, land fragmentation, neighbouring land development, land drainage, presence of invasive alien species, and risk of oil spills associated with maritime transportation.
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Access restricted to designated areas and to certain times of year. Activities permitted: visit of the interpretation centre at the Maison Girard, hiking (4 km of trails), and waterfowl hunting in the fall in designated areas and with the required permits.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page and any notice posted at the NWA site, the notice prevails as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas
801-1550, D’Estimauville Avenue
Québec (Quebec)
G1J 0C3

Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)

Corporation PARC Bas-Saint-Laurent
43, rue Alexandre, suite 100
Rivière-du-Loup (Quebec) G5R 2W2
Phone number: 418-867-8882 poste 201

Web Site: Parc Bas-Saint-Laurent

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: