Parc du Bic


Sunset on the Gaspé Peninsula

I have spent a few days mammal watching in Quebec. I drove from Quebec City to New Brunswick, and then back from Maine to Quebec City, in July 2006, when I saw a Groundhog just over the border near Lac-Mégantic. In March 2013 I visited Parc du Bic, and returned there in October 2013 when I also went to the Gaspé Peninsula and whale-watched on the St Lawrence out of Tadoussac (see my 2013 trip report).

Rivière du Loup

Rivière du Loup is 2.5 hours east of Quebec City on the south bank of the St Lawrence, opposite Tadoussac. In 2006 I stopped briefly at the town and saw Belugas easily from the shore near the ferry port. Belugas live year round in the St Lawrence River, and there is a large (very large and very busy) whale watching industry based around Tadoussac.

Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas

In the summer the Belugas are joined by large numbers of Minke, Fin and Humpback Whales, with occasional Blue Whales and Orcas. Harbor Porpoises are around too. In October 2013 I saw Belugas from the ferry to St Simeon, and saw more on a whale watching cruise out of Tadoussac, along with Humpbacks, plenty of Minkes, Grey Seals and Harbour Porpoises. I just missed the first (and possibly last) Atlantic White-sided Dolphins of the year. Harp Seals are reportedly common in the river in the winter and spring.

Parc du Bic

Parc du Bic, near Rimouski, is about 80 km north east of Rivière du Loup. I visited in 2013 after hearing rumours it was a great site for Fishers. I was in Quebec for the weekend with my kids, primarily to visit the Hotel du Glace in Quebec City (a lot of fun for a night but would be much less fun if we’d stayed any longer). I took the opportunity to check out the park.

The woman working in the visitors centre seemed not to know anything about Fishers and her English (like many people we met in rural Quebec) was not at all good. The park is closed to vehicles during the snow season so we spent 3 hours walking the trails one afternoon, and another 3 hours the next morning. No Fishers. We maybe saw some tracks though I wouldn’t swear to it. The only mammals we saw in fact were a couple of Red Squirrels.

My daughter hated looking for Fishers. I mean hated it. I still threaten her with some Fisher-searching if she starts acting up.

Family fun looking for Fishers

The reports from a few years earlier made it sound like you could see as many as three Fishers in a day around Parc du Bic, which back then had a Porcupine plague. I thought perhaps I might have more luck in the summer, but after returning in October 2013 I doubt that. During my second visit I was stopped by the police 20 minutes after I entered the park at night. After a good deal of suspicion they told me to leave the park, and also told me that they’d never seen a Fisher during their patrols (see my 2013 trip report). It is possible to camp in the park so in principle one is allowed to drive around at night… but they don’t seem to like strangers much in that bit of Quebec.

The Gaspé Peninsula

In October 2013 I drove along the Gaspé to the small town of Percé. The whale watching trips had already finished, though sight seeing boat trips were still happening. But the Atlantic White-sided Dolphins I was hoping for had already moved on: it seems they are reliable only during the second half of August. I did see plenty of Minkes from the road, and lots of Grey Seals during a circumnavigation of Isla Bonaventure (see my 2013 trip report).

Community Reports

Quebec City to Tadoussac, 2024: Greg Easton, 3 days & 13 species including Beluga, Porcupine and Red (Cross) Fox.

Gaspesie and Forillon National Parks, 2023: Wildlife Watcher’s note of a short trip with mammals including Moose.

Northeast USA & Quebec: Mihir Zaveri’s note includes an American Marten in New Hampshire, Beavers near New York City & Belugas in Quebec.

Forillon National Park, 2018: John Van Neil, 1 week & 17 species including Atlantic White-sided Dolphin, Short-tailed Weasel and (presumed) Rock Vole.

Quebec, 2017: Ben Balmford, 2 weeks & 28 species including Rock Vole, Fisher (at what might be a reliable location for this species) and Long-tailed Weasel.

Quebec, October 2013: Jon Hall, a long weekend with a few species including Minke Whales and Belugas..

Quebec, Ontario and a bit of New Hampshire, 2013: Vladimir Dinets, 1 week & 26 species including Star-nosed Mole, Red (Algonquin) Wolf, Marten and Northern & Southern Bog Lemmings.

Quebec, 2013: Steve Babbs, and some notes on a visit to Quebec in August 2013 where species included Blue Whale, Caribou and Beluga.

Quebec, 2011: Simon Feys, 2 weeks & 24 species including Beluga and Southern Bog Lemming.

Also See

RFI whale watching on the St Lawrence River, Quebec (Jan 2013)

RFI Fishers and Red Wolves (Nov 2012): some useful information on Fishers in Quebec and Algonquin (Ontario).

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