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Wilderness adventures draw people to Wollaston Lake in northeastern Saskatchewan. Sparsely populated, Wollaston Lake is home to copious amounts of wildlife, birds and freshwater fishing fun. Wollaston is one of a few lakes in Saskatchewan offering anglers the chance to reel in pike, lake trout, walleye and arctic grayling.
Wollaston Lake is 110 miles long and 45 miles wide. There are 2,700 miles of shoreline. The nearly 400 islands dotting the lake account for some of that total. Wollaston Lake originates from melted glaciers. It is the largest lake in the world that naturally drains in two directions. The Fond du Lac River flows out of Wollaston Lake to the northwest. On the northeastern side, Wollaston Lake drains into the Cochrane River.
Wollaston Lake is surrounded by forest land and wide open spaces. Set up a tent at Wollaston and your closest neighbor is likely a moose. There is only one settlement on the lake, a village bearing the same name. About 1000 people call Wollaston Lake home. Here the wildlife definitely out number the people. Some of the mammals you may see on your trip to Wollaston Lake include moose, barren-ground caribou, woodland caribou and grey wolf.
Birds are plentiful as well. The northern goshawk, the spruce grouse, black-backed and three toed woodpecker and the white-winged crossbill frequent the area. Osprey and bald eagles have been known to breed there as well.
The excellent freshwater fishing at Wollaston Lake reels in anglers from all over the world. Fish found in the lake include northern pike, lake trout, Arctic grayling and walleye. Out of the 100,000 lakes in Saskatchewan, only a few can boost these highly sought after catches. Wollaston Lake's strict catch and release policy has helped make it a great place to catch gigantic fish. 30 pound lake trout, 27 inch walleye and four feet long northern pike are commonly caught by anglers.
The Saskatchewan is a land of extremes and so is Wollaston Lake. Temperatures range from a mean of -4 degrees in the fall and winter to a normal of 68 degrees in the warmer months. The lake freezes over in mid-November and breaks up again sometime around mid-June.
You can watch the ice thaw and the birds return to Wollaston Lake for the summer from the porch of your rented cabin. Vacation rentals at Wollaston Lake include private homes and cottages as well as privately operated hunting and fishing lodges and campgrounds. The government runs Hidden Bay campground, a rustic retreat located on Wollaston Lake's Hidden Bay within walking distance of the scenic Umpherville River. These are primitive sites without electricity. There is a boat launch, picnic tables and barbeque pits. Canoeing, boating, fishing, birding and wildlife viewing are the popular past times.
Even though Wollaston Lake is a remote destination it is served by its own airport. The Wollaston Lake airport is adjacent to the lake. Some of the lodges and campgrounds have their own airstrips as well. Getting to these lodges and campgrounds via car is possible, but the gas stations are few and far between on the lonely, rough roads.
If you are looking for a wild and wonderful destination, wide open spaces and world class freshwater fishing put a trip to Wollaston Lake on your calendar. The air is crisp. The water is clear and the fish are biting.
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