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The lake

Importance of the lake

Situated in the southern part of the Eastern Townships and crossed by the Canadian-American border, lake Memphremagog is the largest body of water in the region. More than 170,000 people, representing more than 90% of the population of Sherbrooke, get their drinking water from the lake. This important drinking water reservoir, surrounded by Mounts Orford, Chagnon, Elephantus, Owl’s Head and Bear Mountain is renowned for the beauty of its natural landscapes. It is noted for its rich biodiversity, including a number of flora and fauna classified as “At Risk”. The wide range of recreational activities available, such as swimming, boating, windsurfing and fishing attract a large number of tourists and locals alike every year, making it a major tourist draw in the Eastern Townships.

Morphological picture of the lake


The lake’s basin was created as a result of glacial retreat at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation period, approximately 11.000 years ago. The lake formed about 9,500 years ago, coinciding with the end of the Champlain ocean era.

The lake’s geographical situation

Lake Memphremagog is situated at the southern limit of the province of Quebec. The Canadian portion is in the Eastern Townships, and the American portion in the State of Vermont. The lake is in the heart of the Appalachian mountain chain, surrounded by large peaks.

Description of the watershed of Lake Memphremagog

Source of the lake’s water: 71% of the water comes from Vermont (Dimension Environnement Ltd., 1980)

Oriented north south, the lake’s source is in Vermont, and flows to its outlet, the Magog river. The water flows to the St-Francis river, thence to the St-Laurence. The lake is thus a part of the Magog river sub basin, and of the medium basin of the St-Francis. (For more information, see http://www.cogesaf.qc.ca/).

Main municipalities and political ridings

In Quebec, the watershed of Lake Memphremagog is under the governance of the MRC Memphremagog, as well as a number of municipalities.

Source: http://www.mamrot.gouv.qc.ca/repertoire-des-municipalites/fiche/municipalite/45072/

Canadian tributaries

More than thirty permanent or intermittent tributaries flow directly into the lake in Quebec.

American tributaries

Sampling stations



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