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Administrative opinions on the public or private nature of the bed of a lake or watercourse

The Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) may issue an administrative opinion on the public or private nature of a lake or watercourse bed (public ownership), upon request. This information may be of use in a variety of circumstances, including the following:

  • Applications to regularize a right on water property in the domain of the State
  • Applications for environmental authorizations
  • Applications for judicial recognition of right of ownership.

Following an application for judicial recognition of right of ownership of a parcel of land adjacent to water property in the domain of the State, the Attorney General of Québec is served with a petition in which the MELCC recommends that state attorneys ensure that a protection of water property in the domain of the State clause be kept on file by the Court in the event that similar applications are submitted by neighbouring landowners.

How to apply

Fill out the Request concerning the ownership of the beds of lakes and watercourses This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French) online form. In case of problems, send an email to domaine.hydrique@environnement.gouv.qc.ca or call 4185213818, ext. 7500.

An acknowledgement of receipt will be provided once the application has been submitted.

A check will be made to determine if the lake or watercourse falls within the water property in the domain of the State. The determination is confirmed by email.

Last update: October 31, 2022

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