Eugene Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage East, 85 rods, to Gun
  • Portage East, 30 rods, to Little Beartrack
  • Portage Southwest, 60 rods, to Fat
  • Portage West, 45 rods, to Steep


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 14, Loon, Wilkins Bay


  • DNR Lake No. 690473
  • Lake Map No. C0901
  • Lake Table No. 2B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Eugene Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Eugene is a moderate sized, relatively deep lake in the Lac La Croix drainage basin, 12½ miles ENE of Crane Lake and 33 miles northwest of Ely. Eugene is pinched by the surrounding topography into three distinct bays totaling 166 acres of surface area. Most of the deep water is in the central bay, with a maximum depth of 60'. Beartrack Creek enters at the south end of the lake, through the marshy arc below Beartrack Lake, and exits at the north end bound for Lac La Croix by way of Bourassa.

An 85 rod portage heads east out of the northern bay of Eugene for Gun, picking up 32' of elevation in the first third before leveling off for most of the middle third and dropping 57' in the final stretch. A shorter portage heads east out of the southern bay to Little Beartrack in a 30 rod up-and-over, with a quick 28' climb followed by a gradual 16' descent. Another carry out of the southern bay is the 60 rod climb southwest up to Fat, gaining 38' of elevation, virtually all of it in the first half of the portage. Finally, a lovely, open, somewhat rocky, 45 rod portage west out of the central bay of Eugene gains 53' in a steady climb before dropping 6' into Steep. Look for the Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina) which lines large stretches of the trail.

The forest surrounding Eugene dates back to the stand replacing fires of 1864 which charred a large area to the south of Lac La Croix. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Eugene supports three established campsites, one on the northeastern shore of the central bay and two near the northern end of the southern bay. The northern site seems the better, from the map anyway, given its southwest exposure, deep water close to shore, and separation from three of the four Eugene portages.

Planning Considerations

Eugene is a link in the Snow Bay/Pocket Creek route, the arc of which drops south and east out of Snow Bay on Lac La Croix through a string of lakes (North/South, Steep, Eugene, Little Beartrack, Beartrack, and Thumb) before turning northeast at Finger to Pocket, returning to Lac La Croix at the mouth of Pocket Creek. It also provides access north to the Gun/Takucmich loop, a cluster of interconnected lakes on the south shore of Lac La Croix. Eugene has the only developed portage connection into Fat.

Eugene is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, and 19.


Eugene supports populations of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

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Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004