On the Canche river Image 1

On the Canche river

The Canche river passes through the Pas-de-Calais along approximately 100km. The river has found its home at the foot of the ramparts.


It is due to the Canche that the town of Montreuil bears the name “sur Mer” or “by the sea”.  In the 9th century the town was a flourishing and much appreciated port. At the end of the Middle Ages, the Canche river was filled with silt and the port fell into decline. Today the port no longer exists.

Matthieu Susanne is an activity organiser at the Pas-de-Calais fishing federation (Fédération de pêche du Pas-de-Calais). Like many other fishermen, he appreciates the wide diversity of the Canche. “The Canche has many salmonid species (Atlantic salmon, fresh and salt water trout),” explains Matthieu Susanne.  "Salt water trout is very sought after, but there are also rainbow trout,  pike, roach, etc. which are easy for beginners to fish."

The hydraulic power of the river was an important advantage for Montreuil in the Middle Ages. Between the 10th and 12th centuries, the Canche powered many watermills, which became an inspiration to painters in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

There are 8 magnificent walking trails in the marshes, some of which are open to mountain bikes. This is where the Frappadingue or “crazy-mad” obstacle course takes place every September. In 2015 6,300 participants took part in the race. Kayak enthusiasts love the fast current of the Canche at Montreuil. The town’s canoe-kayak club has an impressive list of awards. It is the model for slalom athletes in the Pas-de-Calais. A tranquil outing in calm waters or slalom in white water: the club proposes introductory sessions for half or whole days. A great way to discover the Canche and its unique surroundings!