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Have you ever found yourself pondering what lies beneath the water as you stand on shore, gazing out upon a lake's surface? Or how about the depth below the canoe or kayak as you troll or cast over open water to enjoy catch and release action or fishing for dinner?

Will I get hung up? Is this a good spot to fish? Where should I start?

These custom designed, unique and accurate contour maps help answer those questions and more. When it comes to pre-planning, preparing and actively fishing a waterbody, an accurate and detailed view of a lake's subsurface topography is an extremely useful tool. Experienced anglers can quickly eliminate up to 80% of a lake with the use of quality bathymetric maps. In other words, they can maximize their angling efforts by targeting fish-holding structure and avoiding the less fishy regions of a lake.

As an angling tool: These maps identify:

  • Key structural features that attract and hold active fish through the seasons:
    • saddles, humps or sunken islands, breaklines, feeding flats, deep channels, drop-offs, extended tapering points, steeply sloped banks, shallow and deep bays, etc.
  • Visualization of all lake regions: littoral, pelagic and demersal
  • Regional water depths, including deepest spot in the lake
  • Inflow/outflow rivers and creeks with current (if exist) and flow direction identified

Other uses: For the photographer, young families, nature enthusiasts,explorers, etc. These maps can help identify:

  • Extended shallow stretches along shore - potential sandy beaches for swimming and lounging
  • Deep areas for water collecting, keeping things cool in the summer, swimming and diving
  • Marshes and creeks - wildlife viewing/photography hot-spots
  • Islands, small bays and emergent rocks not found on most maps - navigation support
  • Positionally accurate Crown and Park-managed canoe/hiking campsites and portages
  • Current and falls - snorkeling and water play
  • Public roads and parking areas beside Access lakes (if exist)

Various sizes of maps are available for purchase on laminated media: tabloid, legal and/or letter. Additionally a 60-page publication including 15 bathymetric maps of char lakes and comprehensive sections packed with fishing tips and techniques, char seasonal preferences, physiology, locational information, recipes and more can also be purchased.

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Catch and Release

The Park's native brook and lake trout populations face many threats: invasive species, warming global temperatures, acidification and overfishing continue to stress these fish. Char, being a sensitive species with slow growing rates and demanding physiological and environmental needs, suffer easily from these challenges.  Sadly, many Algonquin Park lakes have seen their native lake trout and/or brook trout populations reduced and even extirpated from some waters.   

The remoteness of most park lakes, limited access, seasonal sanctuary status, increasing conservation practices, educational awareness among anglers and the ban on live baitfish help buffer and protect the remaining fisheries. We as fisherman can do our part by practicing and promoting catch and release in conjunction with good fish handling and releasing techniques. These are key factors we can control to help ensure the remaining fisheries remain healthy and strong. Should a fish meal be on the menu, retain one of the smaller one(s) only and release all larger fish so they can pass their proven genes on to the next generation.



Consider purchasing an Ontario Conservation Fishing License Tag as opposed to the standard Sport Fishing License. The Conservation option reduces the limit and possession numbers of harvestable species and is only half the cost of the standard license. Become familiar with the fishing regulations and exceptions within the Park as they change from year to year. Finally, for those starting their trip from Access 11 (Opeongo Lake), consider requesting and completing the Park's Voluntary Trout Survey Form. These returned volunteer surveys help fishery managers monitor char populations and enhance our knowledge of these amazing fish. The forms are available from the Permit Office. For more information on the Survey please visit Algonquin Provincial Park's official website.



Site Last Updated: October 2013