Kawasachong Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Kawishiwi Lake #37 Fishing: MN DNR Fish Survey; Northern Pike, Walleye, Rock Bass
Maps: Fisher F-5; McKenzie #20 Lake Depth: MN DNR Lake Map; 11 feet
Fire History: 2011, 1875 and 1863-64
Lake Size: 200 acres
Campsites: 4; however 2011 Pagami Creek Fire damaged all of them and many may be closed by the U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Seen on Visit: Waterfowl (ducks)
Last Visited: May 25, 2015 Lake Elevation: 1639 feet
To Townline Lake: Walk the 189 rod portage
To Kawishiwi River (between Square Lake and Kawasachong Lake): Walk the 5 rod portage and the 20 rod portage along this stretch

Kawasachong Lake

Tofte Ranger District

None visited yet.

This lake is quite shallow with a maximum depth of 11 feet. The north bay where you find the portage up to Townline Lake is very shallow (less than 5 feet).

The Kawishiwi River flows through the lake, entering along the west shore and exiting out along that shoreline about one-third mile to the north, near the point. From Kawasachong Lake, you stop following the Kawishiwi River and portage overland through Townline Lake, to the north, to reach Lake Polly. At Lake Polly, you once again begin to follow the Kawishiwi River, if you are continuing north to Koma Lake.

The name of this lake comes from the Ojibwe. The meaning is "foam" or "mist" (Pauly, 2005).

The entire lakes shoreline, including the islands, have been completely torched by the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. The two southern most campsites on the west shore are definitely open. The campsite on the east shore and the northern most campsite on the lake may or may not be open as of late 2020.

The walleye fishing in Kawasachong Lake is reported to be good.

The portage leading north out of Kawasachong Lake is a long one to Townline Lake. From Kawasachong Lake, the portage slopes gently upwards and then levels out as it travels through forest completely burned out by the fire. As the portage approaches Townline Lake, the portage descends steeply to the lake. There are a few muddy sections along this portage, which portage crews have attempted to mitigate with some success, using boards and well placed logs and rocks.

Heading to Square Lake from Kawasachong Lake involves paddling upstream along the Kawishiwi River. There is relatively little current. There are two small portages between Kawasachong Lake and Square Lake. There was also one beaver dam liftover when this area was last visited. Also, there is a narrow section just west of Kawasachong Lake that requires some good steering of your canoe through a tight, but short boulder strewn channel where the current picks up a bit. The 5 rod portage is just after you turn right, heading toward Square Lake. If you stayed left here, you would enter another creek that leads out toward Short Lake and Watonwan Lake to the southeast. The 5 rod portage is around a tiny waterfall. There is good fishing here; you will sometimes see many fish surfacing just below the little waterfall. This is also a good place to see eagles. There were three eagles sitting together on a log last time through this area. The 20 rod portage that leads into Square Lake is somewhat optional. It is possible to bypass it staying right. You may have to liftover a beaver dam though, if you elect to skip the portage.

Beymer, Robert, Boundary Waters Canoe Area – Volume 2 – Eastern Region (Berkeley: Wilderness Press, 2006), 47, 50, 52, 55.
Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 236.

Exploring Kawasachong Lake

Routes to locations on Kawasachong Lake are shown below:
Paddling from Kawishiwi River to island just southeast of where Kawishiwi River exits lake
Paddling from where Kawishiwi River exits the lake to nearly the Townline Lake portage

Click on the photos below to see the full resolution image - Use your browsers back button to close photo and return to this page.


After entering Kawasachong Lake from the Kawishiwi River, you continue to paddle along the lakes western shoreline, heading generally north. This stretch of paddling ends at the south side of the island, that is just southeast of where the Kawishiwi River flows out of Kawasachong Lake.

Kawasachong Lake 1
Paddling along the western shoreline of Kawasachong Lake.

Kawasachong Lake 2
Peering east while paddling along the western shoreline of Kawasachong Lake. This island failed to escape the fire.
Explore Another Route
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Kawasachong Lake 3
This fallen pine tree on the north side of the river mouth, marks the location where the Kawishiwi River flows out of Kawasachong Lake along the west shoreline. The river is quite wide where it makes its exit. Note that the Kawishiwi River cannot be easily followed to Polly Lake due to many downed trees, beaver dams and short bushwhacks around blockages in the river. The regular route to Lake Polly is by portaging through Townline Lake.

Paddle into the north bay of Kawasachong Lake, stay along the bays eastern shoreline and approach the portage to Townline Lake. (Note: There were people at the portage, so couldn't film the landing.)

Kawasachong Lake 4
Standing at the start of the portage of 189 rods, you take one last look at Kawasachong Lake before turning around and heading north to Townline Lake. The view here encompasses the entire north bay of Kawasachong Lake.
Portage to Townline Lake -or- Explore Another Route
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Route Connections for Kawasachong Lake

From Kawasachong Lake, you can portage to Townline Lake. You can also paddle into the Kawishiwi River which passes through Kawasachong Lake.

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