Niswi Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Burntside Lake or Big Lake Fishing: Northern Pike, Yellow Perch and White Sucker; DNR Fishing Survey
Maps: Fisher F-8, F-9, McKenzie #15, #16 Lake Depth: 8 feet
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 119 acres
Campsites: Unknown Wildlife Seen on Visit: Never visited
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1450 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1910, 1894?, 1755

Niswi Lake

Canthook Lake PMA

Niswi Lake is the largest of this little group of PMA lakes. If you can get to Niswi from Neewin, getting to Neesh Lake and Bezhik Lake will seem easy. This is lake "Three" in the Ojibwe language. Since the Ojibwe spoke many different dialects of the language, there is no official spelling for words translated to English. So Bezhik, Neesh, Niswi and Neewin (one, two, three and four) are often spelled differently depending on who did the translation to English. For a primer on Ojibwe, check out this article. Niswi Lake appears to be the most interesting of these three PMA lakes (Bezhik Lake, Neesh Lake and Niswi Lake). There is a large island in the lake. Fish surveys indicate that northern pike and yellow perch are present in the lake.

This area was most recently burned in 1910 by the Sioux River, Bootleg, Big Moose and Cummings Lake complex. In 1894 it may have been impacted as the Chad, Cummings, Lac La Croix, Crooked Lakes complex raged near this area. Also, around 1755 the area was burned during the Big Moose, Oyster, Lac La Croix complex fires.

Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 77.

Approach to Niswi Lake

Niswi Lake is approached from Neewin Lake after portaging north from Cummings Lake.

Bushwhack to Niswi Lake

This appears to be a very difficult bushwhack from Neewin Lake to Niswi Lake. There once was a U.S. Forest Service maintained portage between these two lakes which depending on the map has been listed from 320 to 380 rods. If some of the old portage still exists, then this bushwhack will be a little easier since you won't have to continually check your location and heading. Likely though, the 1999 Independence Day Windstorm wiped out much of this old portage. From satellite images, there appears to be quite a bit of blow down damage in the area. This bushwhack is briefly mentioned in "Exploring the Boundary Waters" book by Daniel Pauly on page 77. That author surmises that this will be a tough one. There is only one way to find out how hard this bushwhack is though...

Exploring Niswi Lake

There is little information for Niswi Lake that I am aware of. However, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did a fish survey and a mapping survey of this lake. See the right side of the PMA Lake Directory on this website for links to both of those Minnesota DNR surveys. There is an old post from 2001 on the Internet mentioning that there might have been a campsite at one time on this lake.

PMA #1: Weeny PMA #4: Tick PMA #7: Pitfall PMA #10: Hairy
PMA #2: Canthook PMA #5: Spider PMA #8: Mugwump PMA #11: Weasel
PMA #3: Sundial PMA #6: Drag PMA #9: Humpback PMA #12: Fungus
Bezhik Creek Canthook Lake Niswi Lake Triumph Lake
Bezhik Lake Neesh Lake Triumph Creek Van Vac Lake
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