No-see-um Lake
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Nearest Entry Point: Mudro Lake Fishing: Unknown
Maps: Fisher F-17, McKenzie #11 Lake Depth: Unknown
Bushwhack Rating: Lake Size: 34 acres
Campsites: None Wildlife Seen on Visit:
Last Visited: Never Lake Elevation: 1330 feet
Water Clarity: MN DNR Fire History: 1894 and 1822

No-see-um Lake

Have not yet visited this Primitive Management Area lake. The information displayed on this page are notes used for planning a future trip to this area. Use the information on this page at your own risk.

Tick Lake PMA

The drainage for No-see-um Lake is through a small creek flowing out of the lakes north tip. This creek flows for about a half mile and empties into a larger unnamed creek that seems to not have an official name. It is often referred to as 'Moosecamp Creek' though. This larger creek transfers the waters of Moosecamp Lake south into Fourtowns Lake which in turn flows into Horse Lake. Webfoot Lake and Tick Lake also flow into this same drainage just downstream from Moosecamp Lake.

The name of the lake "no-see-um" refers to small bloodsucking insects. In this part of the world, that insect is probably the gnat which belongs to the Ceratopogonidae family. There are over 4,000 species in this insect family. Gnats are very small (but you can see them) and during certain parts of the year can form large swarms that make being in the northwoods miserable without a headnet and a good supply of bug spray. They are most prevalent from late May to early July, but can be nasty during other parts of the summer too.

The fire history of this area includes the 1894 Chad Lake/Cummings Lake/Lac La Croix/Crooked Lake complex. This was one of two large fires that affected the western part of what is now known as the BWCA during that year (Heinselman, 1999).

Another fire affected this area way back in 1822. This burn is known as the Hook Lake/Hegman Lake/Crooked Lake complex (Heinselman, 1999).

Heinselman, Miron, The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).
Pauly, Daniel, Exploring the Boundary Waters (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 136, 157.

Approach to No-see-um Lake

An unnamed creek that is navigable in most water conditions provides the approach to No-see-um Lake. This unnamed creek flows between Moosecamp Lake to the north and Fourtowns Lake to the south. There are a large number of beaver dams along this unnamed creek. There are two ways to reach No-see-um Lake. One is to follow the little creek that flows directly out of No-see-um Lake's north end into the larger unnamed creek. The other is to go to a GPS point on the unnamed creek due west of the northern tip of No-see-um Lake. From here, bushwhack directly east. This will be the easiest way and is only about 35 rods.

Bushwhack to No-see-um Lake

From the northern tip of No-see-um Lake, draw a line due west to the unnamed creek. This is the route you follow from that unnamed creek. The entire trip is about 35 rods. To find this point, use a GPS and navigate to the coordinates, or just get a good idea of what bend of the creek it is on your map.

A much harder way into No-see-um Lake would be to follow the creek that flows out of the north end of No-see-um Lake into the unnamed creek. This is about half a mile. However, the creek is definitely not navigable all the way. Also, even navigable sections will have beaver dams and fallen logs to liftover and navigate around. This entire creek flows through an extensive peat bog habitat.

There used to be a portage from Horse Lake shown on old maps of this area that led to No-see-um Lake. This may have been a winter only portage, as it crossed a swamp. As of 2002, there was no trace of this portage to be found at the north end of Horse Lake (Pauly, 2005).

Exploring No-see-um Lake

Other than to just say you've been here, another reason for visiting No-see-um Lake is for the opportunity to see wildlife. The lake is fairly shallow, but unlike Webfoot Lake and Tick Lake which are nearby, No-see-um Lake has open water and isn't choked with vegetation. Of course, if this lake lives up to its name, and has swarms of no-see-ums flying around, paddlers not soaked in bug spray probably won't want to hang around for long.

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
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