Otter Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage East, 5 rods, to Cummings
  • Portage Northwest, 120 rods, down the Little Indian Sioux


  • Fisher F-8, Vermilion, Trout Lake, Vermilion River, Bootleg Lake; F-9, Cummings, Big Moose, Fourtown Lakes
  • McKenzie No. 16, Burntside Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 690326
  • Lake Map No. C5080
  • Lake Table No. 1
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Otter Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Otter is a small, relatively shallow lake at the head of the Little Indian Sioux, 24½ miles southeast of Crane Lake and 15½ miles WNW of Ely. Its 78 acres have a maximum depth of 17'. Out of its northwestern corner, a 120 rod portage follows the left bank of the Little Indian Sioux, bypassing the rapids that mark the beginnings of that stream. At its far eastern end, a short, 5 rod tossover connects Otter with much bigger Cummings.

Much of the forest surrounding Otter was spared the strong downburst winds of the Independence Day windstorms of 1999. The area south of the lake, between it and the long southwest arm of Cummings, was hardest hit, with damage estimated at 34% to 66% tree loss. Some blowdown also occured on the point to the west of the campsite..


Otter supports a single established campsite, along its northern shore.

Planning Considerations

Otter has the only campsite on the upper reaches of the Little Indian Sioux, from its origins to its crossing of the Echo Trail, 24½ miles downstream.

Otter is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 2, 5, 11, 12, 13, and 27.


Otter supports populations of Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments


Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004