Kawishiwi River (between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake)
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Nearest Entry Point: Kawishiwi Lake #37 Fishing: Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye
Maps: Fisher F-5; McKenzie #20 River Depth: Over 5 feet in places through this section
Fire History: 1875 and 1863-64
River Length: From its source at Kawishiwi Lake to its mouth at Fall Lake, the river is 75 miles long including 33 miles of distance for the 18 lakes it flows through. The Kawishiwi River drainage covers and area of 1,230 square miles.
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit: Many Bald Eagles
Last Visited: May 25, 2015 River Elevation: Headwaters at Kawishiwi Lake at 1643 feet. Mouth at Fall Lake at 1319 feet. From Kawishiwi Lake to Square Lake the river drops one foot of elevation from 1643 feet to 1642 feet
Water Clarity: N/A Routes from Kawishiwi River (between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake):
To Koma Lake: Walk the 24 rod portage
To Malberg Lake: Walk the 24 rod portage

OVERVIEW

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Kawishiwi River (between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake)

Tofte Ranger District

A powerful and easily viewed stretch of rapids pours the waters of Koma Lake quickly into the south end of Malberg Lake. The view of these rapids from the Malberg Lake side of the 24 rod portage is worth a photo or two. A huge glacial erratic sits in the middle of the Kawishiwi River with whitewater gushing around it.

The name of this river comes from the Ojibway language. Kawishiwi translates roughly to mean "the river of beaver lodges".

The bottom of the rapids is a popular place to see people fishing. Northern pike, walleye and smallmouth bass can all be caught here.

The 24 rod portage along this stretch of the Kawishiwi River is well worn and easy to walk across.


Paddling the Kawishiwi River (between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake)

Kawishiwi River between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake in the BWCA
Looking up the Kawishiwi River in the direction of Koma Lake (south) while you are standing at the end of the portage at the head of the rapids. The start of the rapids are just to your right. There is a fair amount of current from where the Kawishiwi River leaves Koma Lake leading up to the 24 rod portage. The portage is on the right as you approach it from Koma Lake.


Kawishiwi River Rapids BWCA
The upper part of the rapids between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake along the Kawishiwi River.



Portaging along the rapids between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake.


Kawishiwi River in the BWCA
From about midway along the portage, you peek out through the trees and brush at the rapids of the Kawishiwi River. You can see Malberg Lake to the right in the distance.


Kawishiwi River BWCA
From the tail end of the rapids at the end of the portage on Malberg Lake, you get a good look at the large glacial erratic that sits in the Kawishiwi River rapids just above its mouth.


Route Connections for Kawishiwi River (between Koma Lake and Malberg Lake)

From this section of the Kawishiwi River, you can paddle and portage into Koma Lake or Malberg Lake.

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