Oyster Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 65 rods, to Rocky
  • Portage East, 60 rods, to the Oyster River
  • Portage West, 240 rods, to Hustler


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


Oyster Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Oyster is a large, deep lake in the Boulder River drainage of the Lac La Croix basin, 17 miles ESE of Crane Lake and 25½ miles NNW of Ely. Over 1¾ miles long and up to 1 mile across, Oyster is marked by the presence of a long narrow bay, itself 1½ miles long, along its northwestern side, and separated from the central bay by a mile long peninsula. Oyster has a surface area of 714 acres, over ¾ of which is deeper than 15' with a maximum depth of 130' reached in the central bay, just northwest of the head of the Oyster River. Oyster accepts the flow of a number of small streams as well as the larger Manes Nord Creek at the south end. It is, in turn, the head of the Oyster River, which flows south and east to join the Nina Moose River just above Lake Agnes.

Out of the south end of the long northwestern bay, a 240 rod portage leads to Hustler, dropping quickly at first, before beginning a long and gradual climb until, 74 rods short of Hustler, the trail begins its final descent, dropping 65' to the lakeshore. Out of the north end of the narrow bay, a 65 rod carry heads northward, to Rocky Lake, gaining 28' in elevation over the first 17 rods only to drop 14' to the lake in the final 48. Along Oyster's eastern shore, a 60 rod portage bypasses the upper reaches of the Oyster River, leading to the Nina Moose River and Lake Agnes.

The forests which ring Oyster Lake are a mix of younger growth dating back to the fires of 1864 intermixed with older stands of mid-18th century origin, including most of the northwestern shore. 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.


Oyster Lake supports ten established campsites.

Planning Considerations

Oyster Lake is a link in 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. It is also the southern terminus of the Gebeonequet/Oyster route which runs south from the mouth of Gebeonequet Creek on Pocket Creek, through Gebeonequet, Green, and Rocky lakes, to Oyster.

Oyster is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 3, 13, 15, 16, and 17.


Oyster Lake supports populations of Burbot (Lota lota), Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), 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

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004