Katchewanooka is an Ojibway word, which means lake of many rapids. Before the Trent Severn Waterway was built the lake was narrower with faster moving water. The lake runs south from Clear Lake to a point where it narrows to become the Otonabee River, just north of the Village of Lakefield. The lake is 8 kilometers long and half a kilometer wide and is one of the smaller Kawartha Lakes but its key position makes it an important part of the Trent Severn Waterway. Lock 27 is north of Katchewanooka at Young’s Point and Lock 26 is to the south in Lakefield. It is a shallow sandy lake not much more than 9 meters deep with many hazards for boaters to avoid.
Early settler Sam Strickland was drawn to Katchewanooka by reports of great fishing with the lake also connecting to several other larger lakes. Sam Strickland’s famous writer sisters Catherine Parr Traill and Susannah Moodie followed him and moved there with their families after him in the 1830s. There is a historical plaque dedicated to Susannah Moodie at the site of her former farm on Katchewanooka Lake.
Now the lake is home to Katchewanooka Resort, Lakeside Cottages, Lake Edge Cottages, Ringtail Camp and a number of private year round residences and cottages. Lakefield College School is on the east shore. Katchiwano Golf and Country Club is on the west shore. There is public access to the lake from the Otonabee River at the public boat launch at Lakefield Marina on Water Street in Lakefield.
The fishing is not as good as it was in the days of Sam Strickland but bass fishing is usually productive with Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, lots of Yellow Perch and large Carp. There are also Walleye and Muskellunge that may be caught from time to time.
Photo Credit January Ferguson