Whitefish Lake is located in central Ontario, Canada
, in the township of Parry Sound
. The lake reaches highway 141
, just west-northwest of the town of Rosseau
. It can also be found by following Clear Lake
Road, from highway 141.
Locals of the area refer to the lake in two parts: Big Whitefish
and Little Whitefish
. The two sections of the lake are divided by Broad River
, which flows under highway 141.
Big Whitefish is on the north side of the highway and is larger in area than Little Whitefish and much deeper and cooler. Big Whitefish also contains a shoal
, which is basically an island that lies just beneath the water level making it difficult to see. The shoal area is great for snorkelling
and where you’ll find some of the largest fish in the lake
Little Whitefish Lake is also divided into two sections by what is called The Channel
. The Channel connects the south part of the lake to the north part. The south part of the lake is about 30 feet deep at most and consists of some flooded land
(permanent, man-made swamp
). There are many swampy areas, which are good for fishing.
The northern part of the lake divides into Broad River, heading north to Big Whitefish, and the rest of the lake, which is a long stretch west to a shallow channel to Clear Lake.
Points of Interest
At the southern most part of Little Whitefish there used to be a store called Chalimar. In the 1980s the store was owned by a nice retired couple who maintained the store, a boat launch, winter boat storage and a 9-hole mini-putt course. Off the dock of the store was caught the largest bass ever to come out of the lake.
In the 1990s a family of 5 purchased it and the mini-putt was removed and the store fell into disrepair and was eventually closed. The family still lives there, although I hear Mom switched teams and lives with the kids and Mom #2 in what used to be the store, while Dad lives in the boat house. Poor Bruce.
Also on Little Whitefish, at the point north of The Channel where the lake splits into the Broad River, there’s an old compound that used to be a nudist colony. This place was closed before I was old enough to realise what that meant (probably the early 1980s). I’ve trespassed here in recent years and found it (like all abandoned places are) kind of spooky. At one point, some friends and I popped the lock on the front door of the main cabin and took a look inside. Weird. Everything was small; low tables, chairs, small stairs, a little rocking chair. It looked like the place had been designed for dwarves. Last time I checked it was still for sale. Fishing off the east shore is good.
At the north end of Little Whitefish there are some nice 25 foot cliffs where you can dive into the lake. When you approach the area by boat it looks a little swampy at first, but head right for the high granite and you’ll find it clear.
Following Little Whitefish north and west you’ll find a shallow channel that leads to Clear Lake. There are many islands, some shoals, and good cliff diving on that lake. But that’s another node.
In Big Whitefish, just north of where the Broad River flows under highway 141, you’ll find Lee’s Small Engine Repair. Since Chalimar closed this is the only place on the lake to get gas. The owner of the place is David Lee, a thin, weathered old guy who’ll be more than happy to help you store your boat for the winter, sharpen your chainsaw chain, or wrench a stuck trailer hitch off the back of your Chevy S-10 (thanks again Dave).
Lee’s used to be on the south side of the highway, but needed more room than was available there and moved to the north side.
Recently (summer 2003) the Super Build project has been expanding highway 141 across the river, near Lee’s place. At one point the engineers failed to adequately cover an area of granite that was to be blasted and some of it broke loose and took off into the air. A few good-sized chunks of rock fell through Dave’s house, store and boat storage. No one was hurt, but I hear his wife was ready to strangle someone. Stay tuned for lawsuit updates…
And finally there’s the shoal in Big Whitefish. The shoal appears to be a column of stone that rises from the middle of the lake and just breaks the surface. This is a great area to snorkel around as you can find just about every variety of fish the lake offers (rock bass, large mouth bass, perch, sunfish (crappie)). The prevailing winds usually blow west to east, so moor your boat on the east side to avoid hitting the rocks.
The best way to find the shoal, when entering from Broad River, is to head due east while keeping an eye to the northeast. When heading east from the river, the shoal will appear just to the north. One part of the shoal usually peaks out of the water (depending on the water level), while another part is usually stacked with rocks from divers/swimmers who want to find it again. Since the area around the shoal is bare rock, your best bet for anchoring a boat is to move to the northeast side of the shoal, jump in the water and loop your anchor line around a boulder on the bottom. The water is only about 7 feet deep and clear (most days) from the surface.
Node what you know