The Rivière Manicouagan, 560 km long, rises in east-central Québec near the Labrador border and flows south through the RÉSERVOIR MANICOUAGAN
to the ST LAWRENCE RIVER
. It drains a rugged, heavily forested watershed of 45 900 km2
, and has been an important artery for moving logs south to supply pulp and paper mills at its mouth. Several hydroelectric power plants (Manic 1, completed 1967, 184 MW; Manic 2, completed 1967, originally 1015 MW, now 1145 MW; Manic 3, completed 1976, 1183 MW, now 1244 MW; Manic 5, completed 1971, originally 1292 MW, now 1596 MW; and Manic 5AC completed 1990, 1064 MW) have harnessed the river's power, some of which is carried under the St Lawrence by a submarine cable to the Gaspé area. The name may come from a Montagnais word meaning "where there is bark" (ie, for making canoes).
Hydro-Québec's Manic 2 is the largest hollow-joint gravity dam in the world (Corel Professional Photos).