Guides' Report                                       2001

Periodic observations by outfitters and camps during the canoeing season




 2002    2001

September 4    Temagami Outfitting

The past two days have been raining very heavily. Temperature is 10C at 12:30 P.M. today. We've had a couple of trips come back early because they are wet.

September may be one of the best times to go canoeing. Our trip numbers drop to 15 per cent of August, so it is quiet and you don't have to race for campsites. 

And the Germans are showing up. At any moment four separate German couples can arrive on the train. They don't call or e-mail, just show up. They are spontaneous, serious travelers with lots of long vacation time and they like September here. 

Report by Ted Krofchak 

Temagami Outfitting (formerly Lady Evelyn Outfitting) is an outfitter in the village of Temagami  

August 27    Smoothwater Outfitters

Saturday night rained heavily and the ground is wet.  

This week will see a drop off in the number of canoeists going out as we move out of peak season. In September we'll see about a quarter of August's volume. 

We encourage everyone to filter or treat their water.

Report by Audra Lindsey 

Smoothwater Outfitters  is located north of the town of Temagami on Highway 11 

August 16    Wanapitei

It rained lightly this morning, but by afternoon had stopped. Certainly it wasn't enough rain to affect the fire ban. It is now overcast, but humid and warm. 

Main routes seem busier with canoes than any other year on Temagami and Lady Evelyn.

We have had only one bear encounter all summer, the Diamond Lake incident reported on July 14. Other than that we had a bear sighting on the Sandy Inlet beach last week. After the Diamond encounter our trips haven't camped on Diamond Lake. We haven't been hanging our food this summer, but we have been taking precautions. We check all campsites for bear sign before choosing a site. The campsite is kept clean and food set at a distance from the tents.

The Sandy Inlet beach has been disgusting this summer. It has been littered with toilet paper, beer cans, cigarette butts, corn cobs. This is not the mess of canoeists, but from the motorboats that come for day trips and the houseboats. We send out regular cleanup crews, but it has been hard to keep it under control. There was also an accidental dump of sewage from a houseboat on the long weekend.

Our trips, in coordination with the other youth camps on the lake, have been cleaning up every campsite we stay at, bringing back the garbage to base camp.

No reports of swimmer's itch this summer.

Parking continues to be vandalism free (there was a spate of problems in the early 90s).

The Red Squirrel Road, a gravel road, has gotten worse, but is fine to drive if you take it  slowly at about 40 kilometers per hour. So the 28 km. road will take 45 minutes.

The footbridge at Red Squirrel Falls collapsed last year and hasn't been replaced.

For people trying to reach the Ferguson Trails we maintain a canoe that acts as a ferry-by-rope across the Red Squirrel River where the Kokoko Sideroad bridge used to be.

Report by Robyn Mitz 

Camp Wanapitei and Wanapitei C.A.N.O.E.  is a camp and outfitter, respectively, on Sandy Inlet of Lake Temagami  

August 10    Taylor Statten Outpost

So dry it looks like September, with some leaves changing color, curling and dropping.

Fires are around because we've seen choppers and water bombers moving around and scooping water.

Blueberries, some trips have reported, are abundant in certain spots. Go figure.

No bear encounters, but we've had more bear sightings than any other year. There is also a high fox population.

There were bear hunters last year in late August and early September in the Wolf Lake area.

Report by Hugh Doran 

Taylor Statten Camps has an outpost on Maskinonge Lake in the Chiniguchi area 

August  9    Project C.A.N.O.E.

The water level at our base camp on Lake Temagami is noticeably lower, as it is everywhere. 

We still have trips doing the Temagami River and they report that the water level is low, but passable.

Most trip leaders have noticed deteriorating campsite conditions (i.e. very dirty) compared to earlier in the summer and since last summer. This is especially true on the hub of Lake Temagami. There is also a general increase in the number of large trips (10+ people).

The Temagami Lake Access Road (Mine Road) is in really bad shape this week. Be careful.

Report by Noah Genner 

Project C.A.N.O.E.  is a camp on Lake Temagami 

August  8    Camp Wabun

Our season is now over and the campers have left for home. 

An MNR helicopter has been patrolling, spotting for illegal campfires

All summer we have only had one nuisance-bear encounter, and that was the one reported earlier (see July 19 below) on Diamond Lake.

This summer camps on Lake Temagami are performing cleanups and posting No Trace Camping signs on campsites around their base camps.

Report by Nibby Hinchman

Camp Wabun is a canoe camp on Lake Temagami

August 7    Camp Temagami Clearwater

As most everyone knows by now, the weather over the past three weeks has been hot and very dry. Bugs, with the exception of the biting houseflies that go for the ankles, have not been too bad - even at dusk. Sections have thoroughly enjoyed watching the recent full moon rise without being bothered by the skeets.

Bear sightings continue to be more frequent than in recent years. A bear and her yearling peered into opposite ends of the tent in which two of our guides were sleeping at a campsite on the Southwest Arm of Lake Temagami. The section left the campsite, though apparently the bears also left, but after tipping over the wannigans and partaking of some bug juice.

A section passed through Diamond without incident, but stayed away from the island campsites.

There are rumors that people have been baiting bears in anticipation of the opening of bear hunting season on August 15th. 

Water levels on several rivers, not surprisingly, are low. The Wakimika River is low, but passable, with liftovers required in several spots. The Sturgeon River remains very low. 

For those traveling down the Obabika River from Lake Obabika, the river is just deep enough to be passable and the current relatively swift. However, south of the portage numerous liftovers are required - several of which are relatively challenging given the size of the obstructions (beaver huts and fallen logs both), depth of the water and lack of easy unloading options. Count on spending extra time negotiating the Obabika River. 

The Wawiagama River (creek) heading upstream to Wawiagama Lake is passable - but again, several liftovers are necessary. Our guides counted 7 liftovers from the Obabika River to Wawiagama Lake - almost all over beaver dams. Unloading is not necessary if two people lift the canoe over these obstructions. 

Obabika Lake has quite a bit of boat traffic on it, but none of our sections saw any boaters monopolizing campsites.

The portage from Wawiagama Lake to Obabika Lake may be the subject of a land dispute. The regular trail, marked with orange ribbons indicating that you should turn right when you get to the main road, has a "private property - no trespassing sign" posted on it - and a chain dragged across the trail, as well as several freshly cut trees blocking the trail, about 200 meters from Obabika Lake. There is an alternative trail, which from Wawiagama can be reached by turning left instead of right when you get to the main road and then taking a right toward Obabika again - the alternative trail length, however, is probably 1.5k total, as compared to 1k or so. No one seemed to have an explanation - and there is no sign at the Obabika Lake end of the trail so people portaging from Obabika to Wawiagama are likely to take the regular route. The trees are cut such that canoes need to be dropped and then lifted over. Further investigation into this situation is needed.

Report by Rob Daisley 

Camp Temagami Clearwater  is on the Southwest of Lake Temagami  

Editor's Followup: Wawiagama Portage                                Maps

Ok, here's the scoop. The sign and chain near the portage on Obabika Lake were erected by the owners of Obabika Lake private property on their land. This property is located 200 feet to the south of the portage. The portage DOES NOT fall on or cross any private property. 

From Obabika Lake: If you see an old dock or cabin, then you are still too far southeast. The portage is 100-200 feet northwest of there. Don't use the private property. The portage trail is easier and shorter anyway. 

From the road: If you see the sign after taking a trail off the road on the east side of it, then you are not on the portage, but on a parallel trail south of it. Don't cross the chain. It is private property. Use the portage. It is located NORTH of the gate on the road, about 1,200 feet. 

If parking, don't park north of the gate don't even drive through an open gate, as it could have been vandalized. An unauthorized car north of the gate is a violation of the law and MNR takes it seriously.

From Wawiagama Lake: There is an access point south of the portage that gets mistaken for the portage. Make sure you are in the most northerly of the two eastern bays. The wrong trail is a lot longer than the portage. When on the portage, don't take the north-south road when you get to it. The portage continues on the other side of the road.

August 6    Temagami Outfitting

There was a wildfire on Diamond Lake yesterday on an island just west of the main narrows in the western lake. MNR got an attack crew out there and kept it from spreading to the mainland, but most of the island was burned. It was caused by a poorly extinguished campfire. This is very upsetting as we are in middle of a fire ban and people are still lighting fires! 

Report by Ted Krofchak 

Temagami Outfitting (formerly Lady Evelyn Outfitting) is an outfitter in the village of Temagami  

August 1    Camp Wanapitei

Water levels have started dropping quickly in the last week, so our trips are staying to bigger water volume. 

Main routes seem a little busier with canoes than last year.

Alex Matthias, a member of the Temagami First Nation, has a telephone that can be used for emergencies only. He lives at the mouth of the Obabika River on Obabika Lake.

Report by Chris Davison 

July 31    Taylor Statten Outpost

We have not had many blueberries, it is too dry.

Bugs were bad earlier in the summer. They are still slightly worse than normal, but have improved.

Kelly's Portage (2.5 miler to the Sturgeon River) conditions have improved since the skidder, used by a mining-exploration company, went down the trail in 1995-96. Enough people have gone through that the trail is much less confusing, more re-established.

There has been more canoe traffic this year coming through Maskinonge Lake and campsites are continuing to deteriorate from heavy use. More garbage and human waste. We've cut back on using some of our most frequently-used campsites.

Trips are going out with stoves due to the fire ban.

Report by Ben O'Hara 

July 27    Project C.A.N.O.E.

We have a trip that reported running into the Diamond Bear while doing The Barn (Diamond Two-Miler Portage between Diamond Lake and Lady Evelyn River). The bear managed to paw through a couple of packs as they watched. They made lots of noise and scared it off. It was meandering along the side of the portage, so be aware when carrying a canoe. They were also hit again at the Diamond end of the portage while they were away getting their second loads. This bear did rip open a pack. It could not be scared off with noise and the group had to wait 20 minutes before it left on its own.

A Temagami River trip just returned. They report that the water level is pretty good and that it has been a great route. They took out at the boat access in River Valley.

Project C.A.N.O.E., in conjunction with the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, recently placed five box privies in the Temagami area. Three are located on Wasaksina Lake, one on Cross Lake, and one on the island on Gull Lake.

Report by Noah Genner 

July 20    Camp Wabun

Six of the last seven days have been beautiful and clear. Blueberries are just starting. People here think it will be a good blueberry season if we get some rain. 

Wasps and bees are plentiful. There have been a large number of benign bear sightings on Diamond and Hobart and at Frank's Falls. With the exception of the incident mentioned in the report yesterday, the bears have left quickly when they saw people.

There is low water in the Sturgeon River below Kettle Falls down to Upper Goose Falls. Unless you're willing to do a little extra walking, don't take this section. Peter Gwyn, one of our more experienced guides, says it's the lowest he's ever seen it. He says the Obabika and Round (Wawiagama) Rivers are fine, however.

Lady Evelyn River is also low, but the problem spots are all normally portaged, so it is not a problem for travel.

The Temagami River from Cross Lake down to Red Cedar is low, a rock pick. It takes extra work to make the runs. However, there is a lot of water on the river below Red Cedar.

Makobe River water level is fine. 

Again this summer, houseboats on Lake Temagami have been occupying campsites that are not at the main sandy beaches. An ATV was parked at Kettle Falls on the Sturgeon River. This is the first time we've heard of this and are unsure how it got in.

Report by Nibby Hinchman

July 19    Camp Wabun

A bear is in possession of an island in western Diamond Lake. One of our trips came across a group of canoeists on the island who said a bear was going through their packs and wouldn't leave. This is the large round island, center of the channel, just southeast of the Diamond Two-Miler portage.

Report by Nibby Hinchman

July 14    Camp Wanapitei

We have had a few trips bump into bears so far, especially on Nonwakaming (Diamond) Lake. As Nonwakaming is probably the busiest lake around, the bears know that's where the campsites are. Camping on an island won't help either, the bears know how to swim. So while Wanapitei usually doesn't hang food bags, because there are very few bears in Temagami relative to Algonquin Park, we're starting to hang them on the busy routes.

Report by Bob Olajos

July 12    Temagami Outfitting

Half the trips have come back a day or two early because it has been a little cold. But those who stayed out, love it. Most days are partly cloudy. We've had sporadic weather. For example, thunder for 20 minutes, then the sun comes out and it's 25C. No bear reports. Flies are normal for this time of the year.

Report by Eric Hollenberg

July 11    Camp Wabun

All of our first trips have had at least one day windbound. There's no pattern to the frequent wind: out of the south, west and north. It's been cool and damp so far.

Report by Marg Lewis




 2002    2001

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