Hayes River

Hayes River

Overview
The Hayes River is a river in Northern Region
Northern Region, Manitoba
The Northern Region is a region in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is situated on the Canadian Shield and includes Manitoba's Hudson Bay coastline. The major economic activities are mining and tourism. The region is composed of four census divisions: 19 and 21–23...

, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 that flows from Molson Lake
Molson Lake (Manitoba)
Molson Lake is a lake in Northern Region, Manitoba, Canada and the source of the Hayes River. It is located about northeast of the community of Norway House.The lake is long and wide, has an area of , and lies at an elevation of...

 to Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 at York Factory
York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory was a settlement and factory located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, Canada, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately south-southeast of Churchill. The settlement was headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Northern Department, from 1821 to...

. It was an historically important river in the development of Canada, and is today a Canadian Heritage River
Canadian Heritage Rivers System
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System was established in 1984 by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to conserve and protect the best examples of Canada's river heritage, to give them national recognition, and to encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate them. It is a cooperative...

 and the longest naturally flowing river in Manitoba.

The river begins at an elevation of 221 metres (725 ft) at Molson Lake which is about 55 miles northeast of the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg is a large, lake in central North America, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, with its southern tip about north of the city of Winnipeg...

. It leaves Molson Lake and flows north and northeast to Robinson Like about 10 miles northeast.
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Encyclopedia
The Hayes River is a river in Northern Region
Northern Region, Manitoba
The Northern Region is a region in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It is situated on the Canadian Shield and includes Manitoba's Hudson Bay coastline. The major economic activities are mining and tourism. The region is composed of four census divisions: 19 and 21–23...

, Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 that flows from Molson Lake
Molson Lake (Manitoba)
Molson Lake is a lake in Northern Region, Manitoba, Canada and the source of the Hayes River. It is located about northeast of the community of Norway House.The lake is long and wide, has an area of , and lies at an elevation of...

 to Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 at York Factory
York Factory, Manitoba
York Factory was a settlement and factory located on the southwestern shore of Hudson Bay in northeastern Manitoba, Canada, at the mouth of the Hayes River, approximately south-southeast of Churchill. The settlement was headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Northern Department, from 1821 to...

. It was an historically important river in the development of Canada, and is today a Canadian Heritage River
Canadian Heritage Rivers System
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System was established in 1984 by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to conserve and protect the best examples of Canada's river heritage, to give them national recognition, and to encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate them. It is a cooperative...

 and the longest naturally flowing river in Manitoba.

Course


The river begins at an elevation of 221 metres (725 ft) at Molson Lake which is about 55 miles northeast of the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg is a large, lake in central North America, in the province of Manitoba, Canada, with its southern tip about north of the city of Winnipeg...

. It leaves Molson Lake and flows north and northeast to Robinson Like about 10 miles northeast. Just before reaching Robinson Lake the Echimamish River
Echimamish River
The Echimamish River is a river bifurcation in Manitoba. Like the better-known Casiquiare canal it has the curious property of flowing between two river systems, in this case, the Hayes River and the Nelson River. Located 50 or so miles northeast to the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg, it is about 40...

 comes in from the west. This curious river connects directly to the Nelson River
Nelson River
The Nelson River is a river of north-central North America, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Its full length is , it has mean discharge of , and has a drainage basin of , of which is in the United States...

 and was used by the voyageurs to travel from York Factory on Hudson Bay, up the Hayes and across to the Nelson and downstream to Norway House, Manitoba
Norway House, Manitoba
- Treaty and York Boat Days :Held annually each summer, the York Boat events serve as the main attraction.-External links:* * * *...

 at the north end of Lake Winnipeg. Northeast of Robinson Lake is Robinson Falls and the mile-long Robinson portage which was the longest portage between Hudson Bay and Edmonton. Somewhere in this area is Hill Gates, a mile-long narrow gorge. Beyond this it cuts across Logan Lake, passes the settlement of Wetikoweskwattam to Opiminegoka Lake, where it takes the northeast-flowing Lawford River, flows through Windy Lake and over Wipanipanis Falls to Oxford Lake at a point about 50 miles northeast of its source at Molson Lake. It flows out of the lake at Oxford House
Oxford House, Manitoba
Oxford House is a First Nations Cree community in Northern Manitoba, located on the Oxford House 24 Indian Reserve. According to the web site of the Bunibonibee Cree Nation, "Oxford House was originally one of the trading posts set up by the Hudson's Bay Company, en route to Norway House...

 then southeast over Trout Falls to Knee Lake
Knee Lake
Knee Lake is part of the Hayes River in Manitoba, Canada. It was on the voyageur route from York Factory on Hudson Bay to Norway House, Manitoba on Lake Winnipeg. It gets its name from a knee-like bend in the middle. The upstream western part is about 6 miles from south to north and less than 4...

. Exiting Knee Lake, the Hayes passes over a series of rapids and via several channels and widens into Swampy Lake. At the east end of Swampy Lake, about 125 miles northeast of Molson Lake and 150 miles from Hudson bay is the Dramstone where west-bound travelers took a dram to celebrate leaving the most difficult part of the river. Including the rapids downstream from Knee Lake, in a 50-mile stretch the Hayes looses 5/7ths of its elevation in 1/6 of its length. From Swampy Lake it runs through a stretch of constant rapids, past Brassy Hill, rising 140 metres (459 ft) above the river, and takes in the right tributary High Hill River. The river continues northeast through a small canyon
Canyon
A canyon or gorge is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon. Most canyons were formed by a process of...

 for about 100 kilometres (62 mi), therein passing over the Whitemud Falls and Berwick Falls, and takes in the major left tributary Fox River
Fox River (Manitoba)
The Fox River is a river in northern Manitoba, Canada. It flows east-northeast parallel to and between the Nelson River to the north and the Hayes River to the south. It joins the Hayes about 75 miles southeast of its mouth on Hudson Bay. Seventy five or so miles above its juncture with the Hayes...

 at an elevation of 43 metres (141 ft). The Hayes River continues northeast and takes in the major right tributary Gods River
Gods River
Gods River is a remote, isolated settlement in Northern Manitoba, Canada and the location of the Manto Sipi Cree Nation First Nations community. The settlement is on Gods Lake at the point of outflow of the Gods River....

 at an elevation of 24 metres (79 ft), and finally reaches its mouth at Hudson Bay, immediately to the south of the mouth of the larger Nelson River
Nelson River
The Nelson River is a river of north-central North America, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Its full length is , it has mean discharge of , and has a drainage basin of , of which is in the United States...

 and to the north of the mouth of the smaller Machichi River.

Different parts of the Hayes formerly had different names. According to one source they were: "Hayes River" from the mouth to Gods River, "Steel River" to the Fox River, "Hill River" to Knee Lake, "Trout River" to Oxford Lake, and above Oxford Lake, Weepinipanish River and Franklin's River. Another source has: Trout, Bourbon, Jack Tent, Factory, Steel, Rabbit, and Hill Rivers, and the Rivière du Roc.

Watershed


The river’s physical characteristics include whitewater rapids, large lake systems, waterfalls, deep valleys and gorges, as well as tidal flats. It is 483 km (300.1 mi) long, has a mean discharge of 590 m3/s (772 yd3/s), and its drainage basin is 108000 km² (41,699 sq mi).

History


Long before Europeans came to Canada, Manitoba First Nations
First Nations in Manitoba
First Nations in Manitoba constitute of over 130,000 registered people. Of those, about 60% live on reserve. There are 63 First Nations in the Province and five First Nations linguistic groups. The languages are Cree, Ojibway, Dakota, Ojibway-Cree and Dene. They are listed by common usage names but...

 were using the Hayes River as ancient campsites according to pictographs. It traverses the traditional territory of four First Nations: Norway House Cree Nation, Bunibonibee Cree Nation, Shamattawa First Nation, and York Factory Cree Nation. It continues to be an important source of traditional harvesting for the First Nations.

After the arrival of Europeans in North America, the river became an important link in the development of Canada. In 1684, the Hayes River was named for Sir James Hayes
James Hayes (Prince Rupert's secretary)
Sir James Hayes was secretary to Prince Rupert and first Deputy-Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.He was born the son of James Hayes in Beckington, Somerset. He was educated at St Paul's School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1649...

, a Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 (HBC) charter member and secretary to Prince Rupert
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

, by French trader/explorer Pierre Radisson At its mouth, the HBC established York Factory in 1684, which served as its North American headquarters until 1957. The Hayes was the main route between York Factory and Norway House
Norway House, Manitoba
- Treaty and York Boat Days :Held annually each summer, the York Boat events serve as the main attraction.-External links:* * * *...

 in the interior of the continent for explorers, fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

rs, Voyageurs
Voyageurs
The Voyageurs were the persons who engaged in the transportation of furs by canoe during the fur trade era. Voyageur is a French word which literally translates to "traveler"...

 and European settlers from 1670 to 1870. To get to the Hayes from Norway House required a short trip down the Nelson River
Nelson River
The Nelson River is a river of north-central North America, in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Its full length is , it has mean discharge of , and has a drainage basin of , of which is in the United States...

, then a turn onto the tiny Echimamish River up to the Painted Stone Portage. This tiny 10 metres (33 ft) of stone separates the Hayes watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 from that of the Nelson. This route became the last leg of the York Factory Express
York Factory Express
The York Factory Express, usually called "the Express" and also called the Columbia Express and the Communication, was a brigade operated by Hudson's Bay Company in the early 19th century connecting York Factory and Fort Vancouver. It was named "express" because it was not used only to transport...

 known as "the Communication", once that was established in the early 19th Century, connecting the HBC regional headquarters of the Columbia District
Columbia District
The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

 at Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver
Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost along the Columbia River that served as the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company in the company's Columbia District...

 to York Factory.


Natural history


The Hayes flows through some of the most pristine natural areas of Manitoba. It is home to polar bear
Polar Bear
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

, wolverine
Wolverine
The wolverine, pronounced , Gulo gulo , also referred to as glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae . It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids...

, woodland caribou, the ivory gull
Ivory Gull
The Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea is a small gull, the only species in its genus. It breeds in the high arctic and has a circumpolar distribution through Greenland, northernmost North America, and Eurasia.-Taxonomy:...

, sturgeon
Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common...

, brook trout
Brook trout
The brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior are known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters...

, beluga whales, bald eagles and moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

, as well as a wide range of other wildlife. Traveling from south to north, its banks are lined with dense spruce forests, which change to a mosaic of stunted black spruce
Black Spruce
Picea mariana is a species of spruce native to northern North America, from Newfoundland west to Alaska, and south to northern New York, Minnesota and central British Columbia...

, tamarack and bogs.

Currently, environmental assessments are being conducted in view of the construction of an all weather bridge north of Wipanipanis Falls where a winter road crosses the Hayes.

The Hayes River became a Canadian Heritage River on June 11, 2006.

Economy


Today, the river remains untouched. No dams or development mar its course. It is the longest naturally flowing river in Manitoba and therefore a favorite recreational canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

route. It offers visitors and local people recreational and heritage experience opportunities including canoeing and boating, hunting, fishing, and learning about Canada’s fur trade.

Tributaries

  • Fountain Creek (right)
  • French Creek (right)
  • Ten Shilling Creek (right)
  • Blackwater Creek (left)
  • Pennycutaway River (left)
  • Prost Creek (left)
  • Rapid Hill Creek (right)
  • Fox River (left)
  • Kakwa Creek (left)
  • Tachipo River (right)
  • Apetowikossan Creek (left)
  • Namas Creek (left)
  • Kokasanakaw River (left)
  • Knee Lake
    • Keyask River (right)
    • Wolf River (right)
    • Kaneesatiki River (right)
    • Magill Creek (right)
  • Kapakiskok River (left)
  • Kiasokanowak Creek (left)
  • Oxford Lake
    • Laidlaw Creek (right)
    • Wapatakosanik River (left)
    • Semple River (left)
    • Minaposkatay River (left)
    • Carrot River (left)
    • Porcupine Hill Creek (left)
    • Oskatosko River (left)
  • Lawford River (left)
  • Muskwa Creek (right)

External links