Trout Lake, Ontario, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario -

Located in Ontario’s Nipissing District, Trout Lake has everything to offer the northwoods adventurer looking for water-based activities. Often overshadowed by its larger sister Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake offers all of the fishing, frolic and fun that the bigger lake does, just on a bit smaller and less crowded scale. Lake Nipissing guards the City of North Bay’s front door, while Trout Lake graces the back yard. This smaller lake provides the water supply for North Bay, and over 600 cottages and year-round homes enjoy its 32-mile shoreline. To make sure the lake is accessible to both local residents and visitors, the City of North Bay provides two swimming beaches with lifeguards on the west end of the lake at the edge of town. Trout Lake is popular for sailing and waterskiing and hosts many visitors on warm weekends. Several public access points are provided for small boat launching around the lake.

Crowned with 25 small islands, Trout lake is almost two lakes in one. Two connected lake basins nearly separated by a peninsula of land offer a long shoreline and somewhat different hydrology. Together the lake basins form the headwaters of the Mattawa River which flows into the Ottawa River and eventually the Saint Lawrence River. Trout Lake was a vital part of the old voyageur fur-trade waterway long before the Saint Lawrence Seaway became world-famous as a travel route. Once those traveling by canoe made it past the infamous Narrows near the head to the Mattawa River and traveled the seven-mile length of Trout Lake, it was a short four miles overland across what is now North Bay to large Lake Nipissing. Because this was a critical waterway for fur trappers and explorers, North Bay was a natural portage place along the Ontario water trail. It wasn’t until later that North Bay became the center of outdoor recreation for which it is known today.

Trout Lake provides an air base for float planes on Delaney Bay on the north side. The air base is popular among those who use North Bay as a starting point for fly-in fishing and hunting trips farther north in the many remote areas without road access. Nearby a marina provides boat launch facilities, bait and tackle and rents pontoon boats, aluminum fishing boats with motors, paddle boats, canoes and kayaks. There is a camping area located near the marina with shops selling snacks and souvenirs. Some well-known eateries are located along the lakeshore.

Trout Lake is considerably deeper than Lake Nipissing and offers an excellent cold water fishery with bragging rights to lake trout and whitefish. Northern pike, yellow pickerel, muskellunge and smallmouth bass are also caught. In the past, landlocked Atlantic salmon were planted in the lake and thrived for many years, using Four-Mile Creek for spawning. A major toxin spill from a train derailment upstream dumped an excess of zinc into the creek, destroying the spawning ground. After this occurred over 40 years ago, the salmon became scarce because there was no other inflowing stream suitable for spawning. A recent, more concerted effort at cleaning up the spill has improved the creek’s water, and salmon have again been introduced and appear to be reproducing once more. Ice fishing is also popular on the lake, and snowmobiles use it as a long stretch of open snow in winter.

A number of private lakefront owners rent their cottages to vacationers year-round. North Bay and Trout Lake are considered one of Ontario’s premier snowmobiling hot-spots. Several hundred miles of snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing trails crisscross the area. The local snowmobile club grooms the trails and sells the required Province of Ontario permit to use them. Laurentian Ski Hill on Janey Avenue has a 310-foot vertical drop, a state-of-the-art quad chair lift, and snow making provisions. Facilities include ski, snowboard, terrain park and ski patrol.

In warmer weather the area’s trails are often used for bird watching, wildlife viewing, and hiking. Some of the trails in and around North Bay are suitable for mountain bikes and roller blades. The Laurier Woods Preserve offers 200 acres of marsh and woods with miles of trails. When added to the boating, fishing, and sailing activities going on at Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake becomes a very attractive location for a vacation both summer and winter. Three-and-a-half hours from either Toronto or Ottawa, Trout Lake can be reached by road in an afternoon.

Trout Lake is considerably deeper than nearby Lake Nipissing: the main basin reaches depths of 226 feet and 3384 surface acres. The other basin is called Four Mile Bay, with another 756 acres reaching depths of 112 feet. Extensive water testing was performed in the 1980s to assure water quality continued to meet standards for drinking water. The lake passed with flying colors, and local officials are committed to making sure it stays that way. There will likely be little additional development allowed along the shoreline. Water quality continues to be monitored. Having a cottage or home on Trout Lake is bound to become more difficult for those wishing to build. A few existing homes can usually be found for sale, and weekly lodgings along the shore or on islands can be reserved. The City of North Bay has a number of motels and hotels that offer rooms or efficiencies for the snowmobile crowd and often provide longer-term parking for snowmobile trailers.

As with most large, deep lakes, rumors of a ‘lake monster’ have emerged over the years. The disappearance in 1956 of a couple, their dog and their boat from their cottage along the lake led to speculation of the lake monster having caused their disappearance. A full 50 years later, sonar soundings located the boat and the bodies of the couple preserved in the deep, cold waters of the lake. The mystery was apparently solved: no lake monster, just a simple tragic boating accident. Still, the rumored lake monster is fun to talk about around the summer campfire, feeding the fantasies of youngsters and the young at heart. So, if planning a visit to Trout Lake, come prepared for all of your favorite water sports and outdoor activities, including binoculars to watch for lake monsters! Nearby North Bay offers all of the necessary amenities including theaters, shopping and golf courses. Winter or summer, Trout Lake has everything you desire in a northwoods get-away.

*Statistics listed are for the combined basins of the lake.

Things to do at Trout Lake ON

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Trout Lake ON

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Trout Lake ON Photo Gallery

Trout Lake ON Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 4,136 acres

Shoreline Length: 32 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,293 feet

Maximum Depth: 226 feet

Water Volume: 229,189 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 43 sq. miles

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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