Bald Eagle Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage North, 185 rods, to Turtle
  • Portage East, 190 rods, to a stream, then 40 rods to Gull
  • Paddle South, up the Isabella river
  • Paddle Northwest, into Gabbro


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 18, Lake One


  • DNR Lake No. 380637
  • Lake Map No. B0121
  • Lake Table No. 6B
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Region 6 Lake
Scale 1:42840
Full image approximately 4 miles square

Mist at Dawn, Bald Eagle Lake


Bald Eagle is a large, open lake of over 1200 acres in the lower Kawishiwi River watershed, 10¼ miles west of Forest Center, and 13 miles ESE of Ely. Located near the southern border of the BWCAW, it stretches some 3½ miles on its NW/SE axis. For its size, it is relatively shallow; only 36' at its greatest depth with ¾ of the lake less than 15' deep. It is fed by the Isabella and Snake Rivers from the southeast, Bald Eagle and August Creeks from the south, and Gull Creek from the north. Bald Eagle, in turn, feeds Gabbro and Little Gabbro to the northwest and through them the Kawishiwi.

The forests which ring Bald Eagle are of several different ages. The oldest forest is along the northern shore and dates from a major, stand replacing fire back in 1824. The eastern shore holds the youngest stands, barely a century along, having developed after an 1894 burn. On the western shore, the forests on the west side of the south arm date from 1864, those on the southern shore of the western arm from 1875, and on the northwestern shore of the west arm from 1846. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 had limited impact in the Bald Eagle area, though standing tree losses were estimated at 10% to 33% for the area east of the southeastern arm of the lake.


Bald Eagle supports a baker's dozen of established campsites, on both sides of the great southeastern arm and along the northwestern shore.

Planning Considerations

Bald Eagle is a significant traffic hub in this corner of the BWCA, connecting the Isabella and Perent River systems to the east, the routes through Clearwater northeast to the Number Lakes, and the South Kawishiwi River to the west.


Bald Eagle supports populations of Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Bald Eagle is a big lake and can easily become roiled of wind and wave. We've come as close as we ever have to rolling a canoe in the wind-whipped whitecaps of Bald Eagle on a warm summer afternoon. So if you plan on entering the lake later in the day, expect wind and some relatively impressive waves. (Oh, and make sure you know how to quarter into the wind).

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004