Skootamatta Lake

relax_panorama.jpgSkootamatta Lake, known for years to local folk as Loon Lake is only one of the hundreds of thousands of freshwater lakes in Ontario. Not suprisingly, the local tourist board is named 'Land O' Lakes'. On the southern part of the Canadian Shield, Skootamatta is part of the large Moira River watershed which drains south into Lake Ontario. Seen from the air, the upper portion of the main lake, together with smaller Sheldrake lake, have been described as "lobster claws" - with the main lake being the lobster's body. The lake sits in a rough circular depression in solid rock - unlike most of the surrounding lakes, which lie in long, narrow troughs gouged into the rock by the glaciers receding to the north-east.

Located in the northern portion of Lennox and Addington county and roughly halfway between Ottawa and Toronto, (farther from the 'big cities' than Gatineau and Muskoka), the area attracts visitors and residents with a heightened awareness of their natural surroundings and comfortable with a relaxed, rural lifestyle. Access is by two well-maintained secondary roads running west from Highway #41. The closest community is the village of Cloyne. Nearby Bon Echo provincial park, with its spectacular scenery, (including aboriginal pictographs on the 100m high rock cliff), gives thousands of holiday campers a chance to get away from their urban surroundings to enjoy 'the great outdoors' every year.

The aboriginal peoples who first inhabited the area undoubtedly used the lakes for transportation and as a source of fish and game. The area was completely logged over in the 19th century and has remained relatively unscathed for decades from the scourge of forest fires. (Perhaps the aboriginal inhabitants were not so fortunate - one meaning attributed to 'Skootamatta' is "burnt shoreline". The far nicer, and more widely accepted meaning is the Ojibwa translation; "A Spilling of Stars").  For a time, the lake served as headwaters for a hydro generating station, downstream on the Skootamatta River, at Flinton.  (The river bore the Skootamatta name for many years before the lake was re-named). In 1955, a concrete dam was constructed on the river, (replacing previous structures), to control and permanently stabilize the lake level approximately 3m above the original level as determined by the lay of the land.

Today, Skootamatta Lake and the two smaller lakes nearby, (Sheldrake and Pringle), are surrounded by mature second growth mixed forest. The district is home to a handful of year-round residents and several hundred seasonal cottage owners. Fish and wildlife remain relatively abundant, but subject to the same potential stresses caused by human development and environmental changes common to rural areas all across the province.

The Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association was formed to represent the interests of all property owners in the area in maintaining the water quality of the lake and to ensure that any development in the area is both envormentally responsible and in keeping with the 'rural residential' designation under which tax dollars are collected.

Like thousands of other Canadians, there's no place we'd rather be than, than "at the lake".


Skootamatta Lake

  • Surface Area  1220 ha (3015 acres)
  • Mean Depth 7 m (24 feet)
  • Max. Depth  30 m (99 feet)
  • Perimeter  49 km (30.9 miles)

Main Fish Species

Lake White Fish, Walleye, Northern Pike, small and large mouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass, Pumpkinseed, White Sucker, Barbot(ling), Rainbow Smelt

Sheldrake Lake

  • Surface Area 185 ha (457 acres)
  • Mean Depth  1.4 m (4.5 feet)
  • Max. Depth  n/a
  • Perimeter 12.5 km (7.8 miles)

Main Fish Species

Walleye, Northern Pike, small and large mouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Pumpkinseed

Pringle Lake

no data available