The Manicouagan Reservoir, 1,942 km2, elevation 360 m, is located in southeastern Quebec, about 140 km from the Labrador border. The second-largest natural lake in Quebec, it was created by a meteorite millions of years ago. The name “Manicouagan” is possibly of Innu origin and might mean “where there is bark” (for canoe making). The lake appears on Jonathan Carver’s map of Quebec (1776) as Lake Asturagamicook, and is shown to be drained by the Manicouagan or Black River.
The circular-shaped reservoir contains a centrally situated island, Île René-Levasseur, capped by 952 m high Mont de Babel. Fed by four rivers, it drains south, via the Manicouagan River, and empties into the St. Lawrence River near Baie-Comeau.
Hydroelectric developments have resulted in the damming of the water flow at the 214 m high Daniel Johnson Dam. One of the world’s largest dams, it is situated 40 km south of the reservoir (1971). The availability of power has attracted several industries over the years, yet the area still retains its attraction for canoeists, fishermen and wildlife enthusiasts.