Indian Lake, Ontario, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario -

Also known as:  Rideau Lakes

Every North American chain of lakes seems to have an Indian Lake; Ontario’s Rideau Waterway is no exception. The name no doubt came from the original inhabitants of the natural lake before the Rideau Canal imposed its many changes on the former aboriginal canoe route. By 1820, Samuel Chaffey had built a mill at the outlet of Indian Lake. The mill area had already become a busy little settlement by the time British Colonel By came here to build a canal. Colonel By not only ordered a channel dug through to nearby Clear Lake, but he tamed the existing rapids at Chaffey’s Mill by building a lock and weir overflow dam. This water control structure raised the level of Indian Lake by seven-and-a-half feet. Today, every boater using the Rideau Canal passes through Chaffey’s Lock, right past the 1870s mill and through Indian Lake.

Indian Lake is one of the more populated lakes on the Rideau Waterway. Cottages and year-round homes line the southern shorelines and several islands in the lake. With depths as deep as 78 feet, the lake lends itself to all types of watersports. Sailing, pontooning, windsurfing, water skiing, swimming and fishing are all popular here. The irregular shoreline is ideal for canoeing and kayaking. A total of six lakes, including Indian Lake, surround a high point of land called Scott Island. Several of the lakes are the drowned channels of creeks and rivers that existed before the lock was installed. Scott Island forms a shoreline of each of these lakes, and it is possible for small boats to pass through all six lakes around Scott Island and return to their starting point without having to pass through any locks. The distance is considerable, though, and the passageway fraught with submerged rocks and stumps. Fishermen find the series of lakes particularly attractive as the varied terrain offers perfect habitat for a wide variety of fish.

Indian Lake holds black crappie, northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, sunfish, and particularly largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. As different lakes have differing fishing rules, anglers should obtain a copy of Ontario fishing guidelines to make sure all planned activities are lawful. The marina at Chaffey’s Lock will have all licensing and regulatory information necessary, along with approved bait, tackle and even fishing charter information. Among the many vacation rentals found for Indian Lake, a few fishing resorts still exist. These usually include lodging, a boat and some meals, freeing serious anglers to concentrate on their favorite sport.

Indian Lake also has much to offer the visitor who desires off-water activities. Many country lanes are ideal for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. The landscape remains wooded, and the area around Indian Lake is a birdwatcher’s paradise: chickadees, goldfinches, woodpeckers-including the spectacular pileated woodpecker- blue jays and sparrows all co-exist quite comfortably among the cottages. Osprey, great blue herons and loons frequent the lake. Muskrat, beaver, all types of ducks and waterfowl share the shallows. Children enjoy watching the turtles, frogs and minnows along the shoreline. Indian Lake has much to offer the nature-lover of any age. The serious hiker will enjoy the Cataraqui Trail which passes near Chaffey’s Lock. The trail follows the old Canadian National rail bed and is open year-round for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and horseback riding. The trail is a part of the Trans-Canada Trail System and crosses the Rideau Trail near Smith’s Falls.

Many visitors become acquainted with the Rideau Lakes while boating the famed canal. The Rideau Canal is the oldest operating canal system in North America; its significance is recognized internationally as the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site. Much of the Canal Corridor is recognized as part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. The famous 125-mile canal was completed in 1832 and utilized existing lakes and rivers with some modifications to create a navigable waterway between Kingston on the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa on the Ottawa River. Although built for defensive purposes, the canal was never used for military supply lines: instead the canal became first a busy commercial waterway aiding in the settlement of Upper Canada (Ontario). Now used exclusively for pleasure boating, the canal makes use of 47 individual locks and a dam that was the largest in North America when built. Several lock stations contain early 1800s defensive blockhouses, some of which are restored and open for visitors. Traversing the Rideau Canal one way takes at least three days. Most boaters plan for a week or more so they can enjoy the sights.

The Indian Lake area contains several historic structures that will both brighten a rainy afternoon and fill the visitor in on local history. Nearby Chaffey’s Lock is a small resort and tourism community that offers a museum in the old Lockmaster’s house and a walking trail to a historic cemetery. The 1870 Opinicon Hotel was first in operation as a fishing lodge and is now a lovely resort. Both driving and cycling tour routes provide a way to see much of the waterway from land. Internet resources provided on the left sidebar poffer suggestions and maps to help visitors plot an enjoyable course.

Finding vacation rentals on and around Indian Lake are plentiful. Both commercial resort cottages and privately-rented homes and cabins are usually available. Some are quite modern; others are rustic and remote as befitting a Spartan family lake hide-away. Hotels and motels, bed-and-breakfasts and tourism-related amenities are available in the larger towns such as Newboro or Westport. Indian Lake is a great place to relax, unwind and recharge from the hurried world of the city and work. For this reason, real estate is often in great demand. Plan a fishing trip or a long vacation at Indian Lake today. Soon, you’ll be looking for a way to spend every weekend here!

Things to do at Indian Lake ON

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Indian Lake ON

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Indian Lake ON Photo Gallery

Indian Lake ON Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Parks Canada

Surface Area: 643 acres

Shoreline Length: 7 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 400 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 398 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 401 feet

Maximum Depth: 78 feet

Completion Year: 1832

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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