1. Territory

The territory of the Assinica and Lakes Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi (AAMW) wildlife reserves is unique due to its vastness and geographical isolation, comprising over 5,000 lakes in the northern region. Given the extensive territory and short operating season, the Nibiischii Corporation cannot maintain access routes to all water bodies or their launch sites. It is the responsibility of users to inquire with the Nibiischii Corporation about the condition of access routes to the lakes they plan to visit during their stay. While the Corporation cannot guarantee the quality of access and the accuracy of information, it will inform users to the best of its knowledge. However, information may not be up-to-date, and the quality of access may not be as anticipated. Despite this, the access right remains non-refundable, and the use of water bodies with uncertain or unknown access is at the users' own risk.

2. Communication – Cellular Network

Due to the geographical remoteness of the AAMW wildlife reserves, the territory is not covered by the cellular network except at the Rupert reception and certain other locations, including the Waconichi Lake cabins. Main accommodation sites, camping areas, Corporation vehicles, and service points are equipped with radios and satellite communication means reserved for Corporation employees for logistical and safety reasons. Users are strongly advised to have a satellite communication device when accessing the backcountry, large water bodies, and isolated regions, ensuring its proper functioning. Emergency numbers provided by the Corporation should also be programmed into these devices in advance. Communication constraints and the distance from hospitals and emergency services can lead to significant delays, sometimes several hours, in case of emergency intervention. Moreover, the distance of some water bodies, the quality of their access, and the peculiarities associated with water rescues can complicate emergency interventions and cause additional delays.

3. Inherent Risks in Territory and Activities

The territory of the AAMW wildlife reserves and the activities practiced therein pose certain risks to safety. Users must be aware of the inherent risks in the territory and activities, possess the required skills and abilities, and respect their capacities while having appropriate equipment when necessary.

Water at the sites is not potable for consumption. It is recommended to bring drinking water, a filtration and purification method, or boil the available water on-site for 5 minutes.

Weather conditions vary and can change suddenly. Even during the summer period, temperatures can drop, and nights can be cool. Water temperature remains cold, especially on large water bodies. Weather conditions can be adverse (high winds, heavy rain, lightning, heatwaves, cold, fog, etc.). It is important to have suitable clothing and to pack warm, waterproof, and spare clothing.

To prevent forest fires, campfires are only allowed in designated areas, and it is prohibited to throw cigarette butts into the forest.

To avoid unpleasant encounters with wildlife, including black bears, waste and food must be stored properly in designated areas if applicable.

Most roads in the territory are gravel, and their condition varies. In some locations, a four-wheel-drive vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended or even required. Some access roads are not maintained, and their use could lead to vehicle damage. Users should equip their vehicles with the recommended safety gear for the road and vehicles presented in the "preparation for the stay" section of the information guides. Occasionally, roadworks and forestry transport take place on certain roads. The risks of accidents or vehicle damage are increased in such circumstances. Users can inquire about ongoing roadworks, forestry transport, and road/track conditions from the Corporation before their stay.

4. Equipment

The equipment provided and available on-site varies depending on the type of accommodation and from one site to another in the AAMW wildlife reserves. To obtain detailed information on this equipment, users should refer to the information guides of the site they plan to visit. Rental equipment is also presented in these guides and is listed in the Table of Services. Equipment and accessories provided to users during their stay must be used with care and diligence. If equipment or an accessory is missing or defective, the user must cease its use and promptly report the situation to a staff member. Any damage or injury resulting from the use of damaged or inadequate equipment is the exclusive responsibility of the user.

In addition to their personal equipment, users must provide the mandatory safety equipment for watercraft as required by current regulations1 (not provided with watercraft2). To know the required equipment according to the type of watercraft and additional recommended equipment, consult the Transport Canada-approved Boating Safety Guide (pp.. This equipment can be rented or purchased from the visited facility at the user's request.

5. Watercraft and suggested motor power

A boat over 5 meters (16 feet) with a 30 HP engine is strongly recommended, along with a 10 HP auxiliary motor for lakes within the territory of the AAMW wildlife reserves.

6. Road access

Both wildlife reserves are close to two cities: Chapais and Chibougamau. The Rupert reception center is located at km 251 on Route 167 N, 20 km from the city of Chibougamau.

From the Rupert reception :





Waconichi lake

North Road KM 4

0 km

12 km

Penicouane bay

North Road KM 32

0 km

40 km

Albanel lake

Route 167N KM 412

51 km

107 km

Chalifour river

Route 167N KM 312

51 km

7 km

Robineau lake

North Road KM 132

0 km

160 km

Comencho lake

  • NORTH ACCESS: By taking the North Road and Route 32 South
  • SOUTH ACCESS: By taking Routes 167 South, 113 South, and 32 North

North access: 0 km

South access: 77 km

North access: 171 km

South access: 75 km

Opataca lake

  • SOUTH ACCESS: By taking Routes 167 South, 113 South, and 32 North

77 km

50 km

Cachisca lake

  • NORTH ACCESS: By taking the North Road and Route 32 South
  • SOUTH ACCESS: By taking Routes 167 South, 113 South, and 32 North

North access: 0 km

South access: 77 km

North access: 175 km

South access: 70 km

Some water bodies in the territory are vast and unmarked. It is the responsibility of users to inquire at the reception about the condition of water bodies and risky areas such as shallows, rocky outcrops, rapids, waterfalls, etc. Users must ensure they have the mandatory safety equipment, enough gasoline if necessary, and a map of the water body (when available) on board the watercraft. Users on human-powered vessels should choose bright and contrasting colors to be spotted by motorized vessels. Transport Canada's pre-departure checklist allows users to prepare for a safe water outing.

Navigation on lakes and rivers carries risks of capsizing, immersion, loss, or breakage of equipment due to poor maneuvering or colliding with an obstacle, etc. The consequences of these risks can be significant (e.g., hypothermia, drowning, etc.). To reduce the likelihood that these risks lead to complications, users must adopt responsible behavior, know how to steer the watercraft, wear a life jacket respect the watercraft's loading limits, and never consume alcohol or drugs while operating the watercraft. To limit the risk of impalement by a fishing hook, users should maintain a safe distance between them and secure hooks, lures, and sharp tools during transport.

7. Regulations, Requirements, and Guidelines to Follow

Federal regulations3 prohibit anyone from operating a motorized watercraft unless they possess evidence of successfully completing a Canadian boating safety course before April 1, 1999, or hold a pleasure craft operator card issued in response to passing an examination accredited by Transport Canada.

The sport fishing regulation4 in Quebec mandates that anyone wishing to fish must possess a valid fishing permit.

As stipulated by the wildlife reserve regulation5, anyone engaging in fishing activities must, upon exiting the wildlife reserve, report their activities at the designated location, indicating their daily catches. Violation of this regulation constitutes an offense and is subject to a minimum fine of $250.

Pets are strictly prohibited in accommodation areas, rental units, and all public buildings. However, they are allowed at Albanel lake Campground and Penicouane bay Campground. For information on current rules in our wildlife reserve, please contact the establishment.

Please be considerate of the tranquility and space of other groups on the site. A group that fails to demonstrate such respect will receive a warning. If this initial warning is not heeded, the site manager may expel the group without reimbursement. Additionally, kindly respect the work of the staff and adhere to the site's opening hours (7 AM to 10 PM).

1 Small Vessel Regulations (DORS/2010-91)

2 With the exception of the manual propulsion device which is supplied with the boats supplied by the Corporation.

3 Small Vessel Regulations (SOR/2010-91)

4 Quebec Fishery Regulations, 1990 (SOR/90-214)

5 Regulation respecting wildlife sanctuaries, CQLR c C-61.1, r 53