Hamilton Inlet

Hamilton Inlet, together with Lk Melville, forms the largest estuary, over 250 km long, 40 km wide (at the western end) and 150 m deep, on the Labrador coast.

Hamilton Inlet, together with Lk Melville, forms the largest estuary, over 250 km long, 40 km wide (at the western end) and 150 m deep, on the Labrador coast. The 2 are separated, 90 km from the sea, by a narrow passage, 2 km wide and 30 m deep, at Rigolet. Four major rivers, the Churchill, North West (an extension of the Nauskapi R), Kenamu and Goose, draining a substantial portion of the Ungava Peninsula, enter the system. Hydroelectric development at Churchill Falls constitutes a major industrial benefit to the region. The existing generating station, with an installed generating capacity (5225 MW) more than 10 times that of a conventional station, was completed in the early 1960s. Further developments on the Churchill at Gull Island (1700 MW) and Muskrat Falls (600 MW) are under consideration. The region was first visited by John Davis in 1586 and provided sites for French and English traders in the 18th century. The inlet was named for Charles Hamilton, governor of Newfoundland 1818-24. Rigolet was founded by the HBC in 1837. The estuary was surveyed 1949-53 as part of the Blue Dolphin expedition sponsored by the Arctic Institute of N America. There are no major commercial fisheries at present within the inlet, but Hamilton Bank just offshore is the centre for a large international cod fishery.


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