Click here to view the 2017 Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary.
Click here to view Zone 11 Fishing Regulations and Map (includes West Nipissing).
Lake Nipissing is the focus of so much of the area's fishing and boating activity that it's safe to say it's Lake Nipissing that defines much of the character, historic and otherwise, of the entire region's fishery. This rich, fertile lake has a history of human settlement going back into the mists of time, back to days when the Sturgeon Fish of Lake Nipissing were known throughout North America as a trade item of the mysterious and mystical people who populated the area. The Jesuit Fathers in their recollections of the 16th century described the native inhabitants of Nipissing as sorcerers and magicians. Whatever the history, one thing is evident - these people knew and understood the wealth of this vast fishing ground.
Click on one of the links below for new information about Lake Nipissing.
- FACTSHEET - Lake Nipissing Fisheries Management Plan
- Lake Nipissing Fisheries Management Plan (draft March 2014)
- Lake Nipissing Data Review 1967 to 2011 (Final Report - November 2012)
Lake Nipissing is approximately 67 km long and 26 km wide, covering about 85 470 hectares (130 km of shoreline), where we will find in the west a virtual paradise of uninhabited islands, waterways, fishing grounds and inlets, dotted with lodges and camps.
Click here to view a list of accommodations in West Nipissing.
Lake Nipissing is a relatively shallow lake, with its deepest points around the estuaries and tributaries. The mix provides for a healthy balance throughout the year of shallow weed beds (harboring fantastic fighters like the Great Northern Pike), and the cooler, deeper waters required as summer heat comes on (providing for pickerel/walleye populations). Other important sporting species include smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and muskellunge. Lake Nipissing varies in depth (4.5 meters average), and is fed by a vast region of inland lakes and rivers from Temagami south. The lake drains through the headwaters of the French River system into Georgian Bay.
The entire area of West Nipissing is home to more than 40 different species of fish - from the tiny smelt which runs in the spring to the mighty muskellunge, the furious warrior of the waters. Myriad lakes and streams dot the area, creating an angler's delight from Marten River to Crystal Falls. The youngest of anglers can enjoy bringing in sweet tasting perch or the colorful sunfish. There are bullheads and catfish, ling, cisco, northern and gar-pike, herring, lake white fish, speckled, brook, lake and rainbow trout, carp, drum suckers and sheepshead. The local bass families include rock, white, silver, small and largemouth. Fish can be caught from shore, from boat, and from docks within easy walking distance of camps. They can be caught in every season too, when the boats disappear and ice fishing take over.
Click on one of the links below for information about Walleye, Perch and Bass in Lake Nipissing:
- Walleye Information - Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Perch Information - Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Bass Information - Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
|Lake Muskosung||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye|
|Lake Chebogan||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye|
|Lake Tomiko||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye|
|Red Cedar Lake||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye, Muskie, Lake Trout|
|Marten River||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye, White Fish, Lake Trout|
|O Pee Chee Lake||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye|
|Manitou Lake||Bass, Perch, Pike, Lake Trout|
|Island Lake||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye|
|Marion Lake||Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye, Muskie|
|Emerald Lake||Pike, Lake Trout|
|Lake O'Babika||Bass, Perch, Pike, Lake Trout|
|Lake Nipissing||Catfish, Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye, Muskie,
Ling, Cisco, Gar-Pike, White Fish, Carp
Although most people are aware of spring fishing, one time of year which is often neglected is the fall. West Nipissing offers excellent fall fishing, in September and October, especially for walleye and muskellunge.
Click on one of the links below for information about FMZ 11 (Fisheries Management Zone 11):
The River Valley area right over to Marten River and down to Crystal Falls, with lakes such as Emerald, Manitou, Red Cedar, Tomiko and Chebogan, and their tributaries, offer wonderful opportunities for brook and lake trout and walleye. There is excellent bass fishing in Lake Nipissing and the inland lakes, while pike fishing is another major draw. The whole waterway system provides great fishing opportunities and plenty of action.
Lake Nipissing and all the other West Nipissing lakes enjoy an extremely active winter fishery. It is quite exciting to see the small towns develop on the lakes as the winter ice forms. In fact, Lake Nipissing is considered to be the finest ice fishing lake in all of Ontario by many experienced anglers.
Yes, the winter ice fishery in West Nipissing is exceptional. Locally, people wait with anticipation for that first solid crust of ice to form. Roads and snowmobile trails line the surface of the area lakes like spider webs as people drive everything from half-ton trucks to snowmobiles, spending entire weekends in their ice huts. And the ice-huts! Some are like mini-mansions with all the comforts away from home, while others are more basic.
Whatever your style, you will have fun fishing here. Local lodge and resort operators do generally have ice hut rentals, and will supply travel to and from those strategic and well-known fishing locations. They are also in the habit of moving the ice huts rather frequently so that no one area is over fished. Some of the many lodges and camps in West Nipissing offer year round accommodations and everything you'll need for a wonderful fishing vacation/experience.
And if you didn't come for the fishing, you're sure to enjoy the scenery! The vast majority of the 130 km shoreline surrounding the lake is untouched, a treasure of natural wilderness for the bold explorer. The shoreline offers a particularly stunning spectacle in autumn as the colourful leaves shimmer in the sunlight.
Bring your camera to catch the mysterious loon on film, or just in case you catch the "big one".
Tourism around the lake is quite an important part of the West Nipissing economy, and area businesses have managed to make the best of this great natural asset by offering visitors and locals the best in accommodations and fishing necessities, from bait to equipment and boat servicing, conveniently located for easy lake access.
Other Useful Resources
Click on one of the links below to view/use other useful resources:
- Information about the Crown Land Policy Atlas
- Crown Land Use Policy Atlas
- Fishing in Ontario - (Renew, replace or udpate an Outdoors Card, Zone Maps, etc.) - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH)
- Ontario Out of Doors
- Fish ON-Line Tool - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- 2017 Northeastern Ontario Discovery Guide