Nina Moose Lake

Making Connections

  • Paddle North, down the Nina Moose River
  • Paddle South, up the Portage River
  • Paddle South, up the Moose River
  • Portage Northwest, 220 rods, to Lamb


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 12, Moose River


  • DNR Lake No. 690340
  • Lake Map No. C2747
  • Lake Table No. 2A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Nina Moose Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Nina Moose is a broad and quite shallow lake at the head of the Nina Moose River in the Lac La Croix basin, 20 miles ESE of Crane Lake and 20½ miles NNW of Ely. A mile long and almost ¾ mile wide, the lake has a surface area of 430 acres but a maximum depth of only 6' (and a median depth of but 4'). The water clarity has been measured as 2'. The waters of the Moose and Portage rivers and their tributary streams enter Nina Moose along its marshy southern shore. Their combined outflow leaves the lake at its northern end as the Nina Moose River, on its 3½ mile journey north to Lake Agnes. Out of its southern end, a 220 rod portage heads west to Lamb, climbing 35' above the lakeshore in the first 40 rods then easing off to a more gradual carry over the crest of the hills before dropping 50' into Lamb in the final 30 rods.

The forests off the western half of Nina Moose date from the fires of 1863/64, with remnant stands from the 1755 fires. The forests off the eastern half of the lake are a mosaic of various age classes, having their origins in the stand replacing fires of 1681, 1755-59, 1863-64, 1894, and 1904.


Nina Moose Lake supports ten established campsites, none with access to deep, clear water in this broad, shallow soup bowl of a lake. Plan to filter your water, unless you like it on the crunchy side.

Planning Considerations

Nina Moose is one of three lakes in the Nina Moose loop, a 7½ mile circuit among Lamb, Nina Moose, and Ramshead lakes, with connections to the Moose, Nina Moose, and Portage rivers. Through Lake Agnes, at the mouth of the Nina Moose River, these three lakes are linked to the east/west, Pauness/Boulder Bay route, which heads north and east out of Upper and Lower Pauness on the Little Indian Sioux River through Shell, Little Shell, Lynx, Ruby, Hustler, Oyster, and Lake Agnes, to Boulder Bay on Lac La Croix.

Nina Moose is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 3, 7, 11, 18, 19, and 20.


Nina Moose Lake supports populations of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens). It's probably pretty good moose habitat as well, given that the water depth would allow them to wade and feed almost anywhere on the lake's 430 acre expanse.

Notes and Comments

Nina Moose was once on a BWCA motor route. The origins of the name are obscure. Who, or what, is Nina?

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004