La Grande 2 Reservoir NAM-28

Riparian Nation(s) Canada
Surface Area 2486 km2 Mean Depth 21.8 m Volume 52 km3
Shoreline 4550 km Catchment Area 176810 km2 Residence Time 0.53 yr
Frozen Period Dec-Jun Mixing Type Dimictic Morphogenesis/Dam Artificial
Related Info/Site


La Grande 2 (LG2) Reservoir is a man-made lake, created as part of the La Grande Complex (James Bay) Hydroelectric Project. "Located some 1,000 km north of Montreal, three dams were constructed on La Grande River, starting with LG2, the second largest hydroelectric power station in Canada at 5.328 MW. An additional powerhouse (LG2A), constructed to meet peak power requirements, will increase the installed capacity to 7,326 MW, the largest in Canada. Two major diversions channel extra water from other rivers into La Grande through Opinaca and Caniapiscau Reservoirs" (1).

La Grande 2 Reservoir was initiated in November 1978 and took one year to fill. It was constructed by "Societe d'Energie de la Baie James", a crown corporation of Province of Quebec as part of a $ 16 billion (Can $) development project, called La Grande Complex Phase 1.

There is one town, Radisson, near the reservoir. A Cree Amerindian settlement, Chissasibi, is about 100 km by road. The area was used in the past for hunting, trapping and fishing by the Cree people. Hunting and trapping has continued, but the reservoir fisheries were closed down after 1985 due to high mercury levels in fish (2). LG2 dam and the powerhouse is the largest tourist attraction in Northern Quebec (Q).

Photo of La Grande 2 Reservoir
Photo: M. Kislalioglu and F. Berkes