BWCA Bearpelt Creek, Ox Lake Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Quetico Forum
      Bearpelt Creek, Ox Lake     
 Forum Sponsor



member (6)member
02/21/2023 04:07PM  
Having been into Quetico using the entry point at Threemile Lake back in the late 1990's - early 2000's (can't be sure on the year), our group paddled into Wolseley Lake and continued up Bearpelt creek into Bearpelt, Cub, and Omeme Lakes for some excellent walleye fishing. After spending a few days enjoying ourselves, a heavy overnight rainstorm caused a rather large beaverdam to break loose that retained a considerable amount of water in these lakes. Bearpelt creek became Bearpelt river! Returning back down to Wolseley certainly was much quicker than the liesurely paddle up, often needing to line the canoes and deftly navigate around downed trees while dealing with, at times, significant current. We made it safely but it was an adventure to remember.
Since then a number posts to this messageboard have questioned the navigability of the creek. From the sounds of it, it doesn't look so good to make an attempt to make it back up there.
So, looking to make it back up Bearpelt being out of the question for a man of 64 years, not 44, I have a question I'm hoping someone will answer. Has anyone been up the creek from Wolseley into Ox Lake? I'm considering this as an alternative. How navigable? What would you expect the typical water flowage to be like? And of course, fishing expectations. Not looking to camp on Ox, just a day trip fishing experience.
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
distinguished member (104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/22/2023 09:54PM  
Have you considered going in at Quetico lake and portaging to Badwater and then portage into Omeme and Bearpelt?
02/23/2023 07:33AM  
Our group also used to visit and fish the same area of Bearpelt, Cub and Omeme. I made many trips there from the mid 80's up until the dam went out in 2002, I believe. There was a logging era dam that was built and over the years the beavers gradually improved upon it, making the water level of the lake higher and higher. I remember one of my first trips getting hung up on a shallow stump while paddling the creek from Bearpelt to Omeme. By 2002, the creek was much wider and deeper. Lots of pent up potential energy there, waiting for the perfect storm. I was fortunate to have visited Bearpelt the week before the dam went out. I have not been back to the area since, having heard of the poor water level conditions.

I too have wondered about Ox lake, and what secrets it might hold. While I cannot offer any first hand advice, I can tell you that someone has been there and knows some of the lakes secrets. It seems someone has done some sonar recording of the lake's depths and has uploaded them to the Navionics Social Map. You can view this information online for free and can zoom in for greater detail. If you make it to Ox, I would love to hear about what you find, portages, fish and campsites.

member (6)member
02/23/2023 09:19AM  
arnesr -
Thank you so much for the info. What you have provided is way beyond my expectations. If the creek is reasonable to navigate I now intend to make it into Ox and explore its fishing secrets as the depth maps should prove very useful. I will be sure to return your favor and provide feedback about the journey/adventure into Ox.
member (6)member
02/23/2023 10:18AM  
toothy -
I have given it some thought, but not for long, as I have done the portage into Badwater from West Bay too many times for this old man's portaging career. Besides, if I did make that portage I would be more inclined to continue down Badwater into Your, Wildgoose, and Snow Lakes. I've always found some of the best walleye fishing down there.
I've noticed that a portage is marked on the northwestern end of Badwater into Omeme. Has anyone used it? Is it maintained at all? I can't imagine it gets much use as it would be a dead end to any travel through to Wolseley.

distinguished member(2816)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2023 11:56AM  
I haven’t thought about Bearpelt creek in some time but it brings back memories. That creek is a real challenge. So many turns, so many beaver dams. We were exhausted once we got into Wosely! We did the trip back in the late 90’s

Looking at the creek from Wosely into Ox on Google maps shows mostly water all the way. But it looks dicey to me. I would not consider paddling it during low water or late in the summer. I question how much fun it would not be trying to paddle up it and back in one day. Still looks like a challenge and exciting!

member (6)member
02/23/2023 02:35PM  
I guess that I forgot to mention that I will be coming in on June 8th. Hopefully water levels will be adequate but certainly not to last years extremes. The watershed into Ox doesn't appear to be very widespread so I would agree that a late summer/fall trip into Ox would be questionable. I'll be sure to inquire as to overall water levels before entering into the park.
02/23/2023 04:33PM  
Back in the day we used to charter a float plane to take us from Crane Lake to an island on Three Mile and drop us off. I am guessing that is probably what you did as well? I think now you can access that entry point from Flanders road that goes to the village at LLC and then paddle through Wisa Lake to Three Mile and Beyond. I don't know all of the logistics of parking or if you would need an outfitter to drop you off and pick you up.

The Navionics data I know has been out there for at least a couple years, perhaps longer. But just knowing that others have trekked in there should give you some hope that there may be some established portages, however lightly trodden they may be. If the data is correct and I believe it should be, the middle waist of the lake is fairly shallow, and you might find some fish on the 9 foot hump there. Hopefully there are Walleye in the lake and it's not just chocked full of northerns, though that could be fun for a bit too.

Looking at Bing Satellite maps I see some white rocky outcroppings along the Western shore of the lakes midsection. Perhaps you might find a good campsite there. The one finger point peninsula looks intriguing. I also see a bright white spot at the north end of the lake which could either be a rock or more likely a small falls/rapids where the beaver ponds spill into the lake. Another fishing spot to try.

Finally, I would wonder if this area was logged as extensively as Bearpelt to Omeme was back in the day. I know there were logging camps on both Bearpelt and Omeme. While Bearpelt creek is much longer than the creek to Ox, it seems Bearpelt creek might have been more easily flooded to straighten out all of the curves to float logs. The Ox creek doesn't appear as big or perhaps as marshy, just looking at the Sat image. Perhaps if it was not logged, you might find some inspiring sized old growth trees there.

02/23/2023 04:51PM  
I did Bearpelt Creek solo probably 35 years ago and then went all the way to Lac la Croix via Worsley and Namakan River. Even 35 years ago the creek was a major challenge with a lot of draggingand lifting. I tried to get back to Bear Pelt about ten years ago and decided that the portage between West Cub and Bear Pelt was too long and unmarked. The water level after the dam burst was way too low. I am sure you could just follow the empty river but I couldn’t see an end even though there were no trees near the river.
distinguished member (104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/23/2023 06:16PM  
I did the portage from Badwater to Ommee two years ago and it was easy to find and a relatively east portage and from there you can get to Bearpelt
member (6)member
02/23/2023 09:11PM  
arnesr -
If 2002 was when the dam went out, that was my last and only time into Quetico via Threemile entry. I went in there for my first time with a group who had been into Wolseley previously numerous times. We were dropped off and picked up by an outfitter at Wisa Lake as you mentioned and I plan to do that again.
All of my comrades from that trip are now well into their 70's and have moved on to the comfort of boats with motors and cabins with beds, which I admit I have dabbled with a bit more often these last few years. Some of these guys have done the journey into Ox and say that they caught walleyes, smallmouth, and pike. These fellows were probably into Ox somtime in the 80-90's. I was just wondering if anyone has been there maybe in the last ten years or so and could provide some info.

02/24/2023 04:48PM  
Ah, good to know what species exist. Too bad the non native SM have made their way up the creek. What I liked about the Bearpelt-Omeme chain was the lack of SM interrupting your fishing. I do like to catch decent size SM, don't get me wrong, but when I am fishing for a meal, I would rather avoid them.
member (6)member
02/25/2023 07:46AM  
Oh the invasive species. It seems that they are everywhere. But then on closer inspection I guess we humans are the ultimate example. Nice to know that at least for the immediate future our numbers will be controlled in the BWCA/Quetico.
08/24/2023 08:33PM  
bwanna, Did you make it Ox lake? If so how did it go?

Funny story. I met bwanna this past June in Atikokan, as he stayed at the same hotel as my son and I and it just so happened that our Quetico entry was for the same day, different EPs. We got into town kind of late, or it would have been nice to visit more. Still, it was a cool experience to meet someone, unplanned, that I had chatted with on the forum.
member (42)member
12/08/2023 12:11PM  
Sorry for the late reply, Like many who have posted, I started going to BP, Cub and Omeeme in the 70's and 80's with my dad and others.

I revisited in '15, '17, and '18. I entered at Beaverhouse portage, and then Quetico - Badwater - Omeeme. The water level in Omeeme and Cub was exactly the same as last century. Twice I paddled to the exit f cub and went down stream a bit. The water was very low and the marsh is closing in. I tried walking into BP since if there was a creak it was over grown completely. I made it to what should have been the shore of BP and it was marsh grass for at least 300 yards. I suspect not much of that lake is left. Omeeme on the other had is still awesome. I have some trip reports and photos under my handle - good luck!
PS Never been to Ox
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next