Canadian Canoe Routes

Crown Land camping in Quebec
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Author:  Ghost [ May 2nd, 2012, 5:41 am ]
Post subject:  Crown Land camping in Quebec

What are the rules to camping on Crown Land in Quebec?

Do you have to pay a fee, if it is not part of a designated operating park or "reserve faunic (spelling?).

Is there a crown land atlas for Quebec like there is for Ontario?

Do you have to be a Quebec Resident to camp for free?

Also, what can you tell me about Lac Vert, north of Ottawa?

Author:  Hiker Neil [ May 2nd, 2012, 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

I've always found camping on Crown Land in Quebec to be pretty much hassle-free as opposed to staying in Parks, which can be regulation-heavy. You have to do more homework though.

Author:  Esther [ May 4th, 2012, 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

Hi Ghost,No fees here to camp on crown land for residents or non-residents.Clearing of land is not allowed,as with permanent structures being set up.Camping is fine.Lac Vert(Green Lake) is not too far from where I live. I have been there once stayed at a cottage. I don't recall campsites.

Author:  Frederic [ May 12th, 2012, 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

I may be raising more questions than providing answers…

I grew up with the naive impression that I hold a fundamental right of access to public lands. Courtesy towards other users and common sense should rule an unregulated activity such as canoeing. Meeting people in the wood was always a good experience and seemed to confirm my point of view.

May 2011 I ran a river that flows accross several ZEC and saw something puzzling. On the river side a sign was saying : ZEC XYZ Enregistrement obligatoire Amende de 250$ (ZEC XYZ Mandatory registration Fine 250$).

Another trip September 2011 led to me seriously question the assumed unregulated nature of canoeing public lands. This time we saw several signs from fishing/hunting lodges : Pouvoirie XYZ – Droit exclusif chasse et pêche (Outfitter XYZ – Exclusive fishing and hunting rights). We met a few clients and the experience was new for us. They were not returning our greetings and seemed rather surprised to see another party. At one point we paddle past a fishing lodge. A motor boat quickly ran after us. An employee told us that we entered the territory of an outfitter with exclusive rights. We manage to explain that we are canoe camping and we do not fish nor hunt. He asked for our itinary and let us go after warning us not to camp within the lodge territory.

Back home I made some research about ZECs and outfitters…

Canoeing ZEC and outfiters territories:

ZEC with established canoe route (Example : Kipawa)
- You need to register
- You need to pay the fees for using the established canoe route

ZEC with no established canoe route
- You need to register

Outfitter with exclusive rights
-You need to register

Outfitter without exclusive rights
-Nothing to do

Other considerations
-I have not researched fishing in such territories.
-There is a fee for using a road with a motorized vehicule in a ZEC.
-Official registration should be done at ZEC/Outfitter office. This can be very tricky from a canoe. Try registering by phone or email.


If interested I can give references to legal documentation (1 law sets the framework and 2 by-laws provide details) but those with the most pertaining information are only available in French since they are by-laws.

All in all, you can probably still go a long way with courtesy, common sense and good camping ethics. You are an ambassador of the canoeing community.

Bear in mind that fishing and hunting are important activities in those regions.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse in Court… But it may work in the woods.

Arguing in French may be an asset… But not understanding a word of French may work too.

Only a Court can fine you… Not a ZEC or provider representative. They need to report you to the police (Sureté du Québec) Police will send a report to the Crown attorney of the district. An assesment of the possibility to get a result will be made before a trial is decided… In other words, this is a provincial offence…

Please take note that I am a canoeist not a lawyer. You should seek professional legal advices from qualified sources if needed.

Author:  recped [ May 16th, 2012, 4:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

But not understanding a word of French may work too.

This has always been a successful approach for me. If you don't want to play the dumb anglaise them an absolute denial of any intention to fish (or hunt) or use anything but a stove is usually good enough.

The licensed outfitters are much more of a problem than the ZEC's themselves although I've encountered a few who don't instantly want to kick you off their territory.

Author:  cheryl [ May 16th, 2012, 5:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

what exactly defines a ZEC?

I have never gotten a satisfactory explanation.

But then, I am still confused by what a SEPAQ member is as well :oops:

Author:  Hiker Neil [ May 16th, 2012, 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

cheryl wrote:
what exactly defines a ZEC?
You'll have to use an on-line translator but this web page defines "ZEC" quite completely.

Author:  cheryl [ May 16th, 2012, 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

So other than paying a fee to use or pass through, as a paddler, I really should not be affected/bothered etc. by the manager of a ZEC if I am just passing through.

Managing a ZEC based on four main objectives:

1. The Wildlife Conservation
Management agencies must ensure the monitoring and control of wildlife harvesting to ensure a balance between user demand and supply for wildlife.

2. Accessibility to the wildlife resource
Organizations must provide equal opportunity for all to access land and recreational use of wildlife.

3. User involvement
User participation is an essential element of the concept of zecs. These areas are demographic entities, managed and administered by volunteer users.

4. Cash flow from operations
Cash flow from operations in Zecs must be ensured by revenues primarily from the sale of membership cards and access rights and the sale of hunting packages or fishing packages or combining both activities.

Activities offered
The list of activities offered in Zecs is almost endless! In short, we could say that all those that can be exercised in the wild are found in these territories, but not necessarily in all zecs.

For your information, here is a list of what you can do at home independently:
· Hunting (moose, deer, black bear, partridge, hare)
· Fishing (brook trout, lake trout, walleye, pike, other species)
· Hiking
· Canoeing
· Canoe Camping
· Mountain biking
· Climbing
· Holiday and cottages
· Camping
· Observation of nature and wildlife
· Berry picking, etc..

Also, several lakes are bordered by beautiful beaches while the territories has many places of interest various waterfalls, geological formations, scenic spots, etc..

To find out if you will be able to practice a specific activity on the territory you plan to attend, visit the website of the ZEC. It's so easy!

To attend a zec
A ZEC is an area accessible to all outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike other wildlife areas, it is not necessary to plan the trip well in advance or to provide for reservations. Moreover, once the scene, it is possible to move from one lake to another without too many constraints. However, in order to preserve wildlife and protect these areas, the proponent of outdoor life must register at the reception station and pay a user fee. This law will contribute to the flow of Zec while the registration is to ensure the security and control of users.

Author:  Frederic [ May 16th, 2012, 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

SEPAQ is the government agency that takes care of provincial parks and preserves. Out of context I have no idea what a SEPAQ member is. I know you can buy a card that gives you access to park only without paying the daily fee. Maybe this is a SEPAQ membership?

Author:  cacan [ November 17th, 2012, 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

ZEC for Zone d'Exploitation Controlée, created by René Levesque in 1976 to replace ALL private american hunting & fiching club & give back access to Québecois, Canadians, American, Marocan, Zimbabouins etc. that become yearly member or pay daily or weekly access.
ALL money collected goes towards road maintenance & stocking lakes.
It's great to go down rivers but we need road to get up there . . . or plane $$$$$$.
With the the high cost of fuel & machinery, as you probably notice on road like the Jim lake road, ZEC's dont have anough cash to do a good job, & they are each managed individually, some do better than others.

SEPAQ, well that is complete different thing, they manage all Provincial Parks & Réserves faunique in Québec but not National Parks (Parc Canada) like Parc National de la Mauricie or Parc de la Gatineau.
SEPAQ have money because they charge a lot & they have good roads & great infrastructures.

Crown land is & free for everybody. At the Québec ministère des terres et forêts they will gladly give you a free photocopy of the Crown land you have intention of visiting.
Dont hesitate to go there, they are friendly, bilingual & helpful.
I have been often to the Gatineau bureau & it's always a great experience.

Bravo Frederic & cheryl for great info.

Author:  Prospector16 [ January 27th, 2018, 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Crown Land camping in Quebec

Interesting find while researching crown land in Ontario and Quebec.

My contribution is these two links, one for each province ... cale=en-US ... 7596997aac

Also note the above link is no longer valid :

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