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Expédition Baie d’Hudson 2001

Testing the waters
Jonathan Tessier and Sophie Cassis were taking a break from kayaking on lac Guillaume-Delisle in northern Quebec when they witnessed a circus-like performance that took them by surprise. “We were on the beach when a seal came near,” says Tessier. “It was pirouetting in the water and watching us.”

Tessier, 24, and Cassis, 23, both graduates in outdoor education and adventure tourism at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, spent a month last summer exploring lac Guillaume-Delisle and nearby lac à l’Eau Claire to scout out the potential for developing ecotourism in the remote region. Their trek was supported in part by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s expeditions program.

Linked to Hudson Bay by a narrow channel, Guillaume-Delisle is an unusual lake, with brackish waters that attract freshwater fish and shorebirds as well as a number of marine species, including seals and belugas.

The students’ research is of interest to a number of their sponsors, particularly la Société de la faune et des parcs du Québec, which is planning a conservation area near the lake.

— Monique Roy-Sole

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