Lake Nipissing Location

Located a mere four hour drive from the bustling city of Toronto, Lake Nipissing is the fourth largest lake in Ontario, covering a surface area of 831 square kilometres. (This works out to 67 km in length and 26 km in width.) Known to the Ojibway people as Gichn-bee or “Big-water,” Nipissing has an average depth of 4.5 metres and is deepest near the mouth of the French River, where 52 metres of water can be found.

The vastness of this lake means good news to the fisherman or boater as calm water can be readily found in the small inlets and islands that cover the lake. (It can get rough due to its large expense, however, so caution should be exercised during unstable weather.)

A Fertile lake

Lake Nipissing is one of the most fertile lakes that can be found in Ontario, which translates into a thriving fishery that is very healthy. The water is extremely clean and unpolluted, and supports a diverse list of fish species. Walleye reign supreme in these “fish-rich” waters, and an average of 157,000 fish of this species is caught each year. With more than 5% of all fishing done in Ontario happening here, there must be something special about this fishery. (The Ministry of Natural Resources says that the fishery here is of an “exceptional” stature and is home to more than 40 species!)

Wide but Calm Lake

Nipissing’s shoreline encompasses more than 130 km, with the vast majority of these areas remaining untouched and in their natural state. Sightseeing along the shore or swimming in the 22 degree Celsius water that occurs during the summer months are just some of the thrills that await you.

The water at Lake Nipissing is kept at a steady variance between 195.75 and 195.95 metres above sea-level, although the lake can be drawn down as much as 1.5 metres during the winter months in preparation for the spring melt-off. This human component of lake fluctuation does not tamper with turnover – this natural process occurs every three-quarters of a year, and turns over the entire water volume of Lake Nipissing.

The Government of Canada owns and operates three dams on Lake Nipissing at the headwaters of the French River. These three dams, Big Chaudiere, Little Chaudiere and Portage Dam, each play a fundamental role in effective water management, navigation and quality