person with fish

Fishing at White Lake

Today’s post comes from Mitch Kostecki, Assistant Superintendent at White Lake Provincial Park

Welcome to White Lake!

Our park is a hidden gem located along Highway 17 in the heart of northwestern Ontario. We’re about 60 km east of the Township of Marathon, and 35 km west of the Township of White River (approximately a four-hour drive to either Sault Ste. Marie or Thunder Bay).

White Lake entrance sign

White Lake’s a great destination if you need a little R&R. We’ve got three campgrounds, four hiking trails, two beautiful beaches, and — of course — great fishing opportunities!

Sportfishing is one of the park’s most popular pastimes. Visitors come from across Ontario, Manitoba, and even the northern United States to fish at our park.

What fish species do we have?

White Lake is a very large body of water, occupying 5,800 ha of space. It’s fed by a handful of diverse river systems, including Shabotik River, White River, and Olga Creek.

person with fish
The Walleye (or Pickerel) is the most targeted fish species in White Lake. Caught by Mitch Kostecki

Since White Lake has such a large surface area and volume of water, it can sustain a large variety of fish species.

The most popular species sought on White Lake include Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch. Other species that may be caught in the lake include:

  • Lake Trout
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Cisco
  • Burbot (Ling)
  • White Sucker

Know the rules

White Lake Provincial Park is in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) #7. Before heading out on the water, it’s important to know the fishing rules and regulations.

map of white lake

First, always know the open seasons for the fish species you are seeking. For example, Walleye season is open from the third Saturday in May until December 31.

You also need to know the catch and possession limits of each targeted fish.

In White Lake, you can possess four Walleye with a sportfishing license (with only one greater than 46 cm/18.1”). With a conservation fishing licence, you can possess two Walleye (with only one greater than 46 cm/18.1”).

person holding fish
The Northern Pike is the second most targeted fish species in White Lake. This Pike was caught near the train-trestle towards the south end of the park

Anglers should also bear in mind that there are special sanctuaries located around the lake.

There are special areas with extended closed seasons from March 15 to June 15 at the north end of the lake near the Shabotik River, and another sanctuary towards the south end of the lake near Regan Point and Pic Mobert First Nation.

For more detailed information regarding fishing rules, regulations, and special exceptions refer to the 2019 Fishing Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations summary or visit Fish ON-line.

Here at White Lake Provincial Park, we always want to promote a conservation approach and sustain the beautiful resources we have.

Please do your part by adhering to all fishing rules and regulations while at White Lake Provincial Park.

Water safety

One thing to always remember when heading out on to a large body of water is boat safety.

Out for a full day of fishing? Make sure you have enough food, water, sunscreen, fuel, and extra boat parts!

It’s always a good practice to let somebody know if you plan on being gone all day and give an estimated time that you’ll be back by.

In addition, the north end of White Lake, often referred to as “The Big Lake” or “The North End,” can become very rough in a short amount of time. Know your individual comfort levels when it comes to operating a boat in new territory.

Deer Lake viewing platform

There are also a few shoals located throughout White Lake to watch out for.

There is often little to no way of knowing when a big shoal starts to come up. Before you know it the 30 m of water can quickly become less than two metres.

Locals know the more prominent shoals more than less frequent anglers, but a good depth-finder with side imaging does wonders. Also, be sure to travel at slower speeds when unfamiliar with a lake and its shoal locations.

Boat rental opportunities

White Lake Provincial Park is proud to offer boat rentals (3) for people who do not own a boat of their own or did not want to tow one to the park. Our rental boats are 14-foot (4.2 m) Prince Craft with 9.9 HP Mercury Four-Stroke motor on the back.

One of our three boat rentals, a 14’ Prince Craft aluminum boat that comes equipped with a 9.9 HP Mercury 4-stroke motor

Boat rental kits are included and contain all the necessary emergency equipment such as:

  • a fire extinguisher
  • throw rope
  • flashlight
  • spare prop
  • prop-tool
  • life jacket
  • paddles

Boat rentals prices range from $75 for a single day (includes one tank of gas) to $350 for an entire week (includes two tanks of gas).

Canoe rentals are also available for two, four and eight hour periods, or for weekends

Please ask at the park gatehouse for more details about boat rentals during your next visit.

Get hooked on fishing at White Lake!