Churchill River (Hudson Bay)

Churchill River (Hudson Bay)
Churchill River
Otter Rapids (Sask.), view south from Churchill River Bridge of lower half of the rapids
Country Canada
Province Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Source Beaver Lake (Alberta), Beaver River (Canada), Sand River (Alberta), Cold Lake, Winefred River, Churchill Lake, Peter Pond Lake and Lac Ile-a-la-Crosse
 - coordinates 56°6′22″N 108°14′46″W / 56.10611°N 108.24611°W / 56.10611; -108.24611
Mouth Hudson Bay
 - coordinates 58°47′45″N 94°12′15″W / 58.79583°N 94.20417°W / 58.79583; -94.20417 [1]
Length 1,609 km (1,000 mi)
Basin 281,300 km2 (108,600 sq mi) [2]
Churchill River Basin in Canada

The Churchill River (French: Rivière Churchill)[3] is a major river in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. From the head of the Churchill Lake it is 1,609 km long.[4] It was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1685 to 1691. The Cree name for the river is Missinipi, meaning "big waters".[5]

Located entirely within the Canadian Shield, its source is in Central-East Alberta (Beaver Lake (Alberta), Beaver River (Canada), Sand River (Alberta), Cold Lake, Winefred River), which flow into a series of lakes in Saskatchewan (Churchill Lake, Peter Pond Lake, Lac Île-à-la-Crosse). The main tributary, the Beaver River (Canada), joins at Lac Île-à-la-Crosse. Nistowiak Falls — the tallest falls in Saskatchewan — are on the Rapid River, which flows north, out of Lac la Ronge into Nistowiak Lake on the Churchill just north of La Ronge.

A large amount of flow of the Churchill River after Manitoba - Saskatchewan border comes from the Reindeer River, which flows from Wollaston and Reindeer lakes. Flow from Reindeer Lake is regulated by the Whitesand Dam. From there, the Churchill River flows east through a series of lakes (Highrock, Granville, Southern Indian and Gauer), then flows via a diversion for hydro-electric generation into the Nelson River (60% of flow), and the rest flows as the Churchill River into Hudson Bay at Churchill, Manitoba.[6]

The Churchill formed a major part of the "voyageur highway" in the 17th to 19th centuries after Dene people showed Peter Pond the Methye Portage which connects the Hudson Bay watershed with the ClearwaterAthabascaMacKenzie rivers which flow to the Arctic Ocean.[7] See Canadian Canoe Routes (early).

1900 map..


Fish Species

The Churchill also contains fish species including: walleye, sauger, yellow perch, northern pike, lake trout, lake whitefish, cisco, white sucker, shorthead redhorse, longnose sucker, lake sturgeon and burbot.

See also

  • List of longest rivers of Canada
  • List of rivers of Manitoba
  • List of rivers of Saskatchewan


  1. ^ "Churchill River, Manitoba". Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Canada Drainage Basins". The National Atlas of Canada, 5th edition. Natural Resources Canada. 1985. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Names of pan-Canadian significance". Natural Resources Canada - Mapping Services. Retrieved 2010=01=13. 
  4. ^ "Principal rivers and their tributaries". Statistics Canada. 2005-02-02. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  5. ^ [1] Canadian Encyclopedia entry
  6. ^ "Churchill River". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre. 2006. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  7. ^ "La Loche". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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