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About Island Lake

Fish species present: native Brook Trout,small baitfish

Lake size- (water surface)388 acres/157 Ha

Mean Depth- 11.2 feet

Maximum depth- 42 feet

Feeder sources:2 small streams,primarily spring-fed

Bottom: primarily rock/gravel

Shoreline distance: 40,689 feet(7.7 miles)

Ice out date: generally between May 10 and 14

Location: (approximate center of lake)- 46.58.34 N/ 66.50.05/W (degrees/minutes/seconds)

Drainage: Tobique River watershed

County: Victoria, two miles +/- from Northumberland county line

Provincial Wildlife Management Zone (WMZ) - #11

Island Lake is situated at 1500 feet above sea level,making it the highest elevated lake of its size or larger in the Maritime provinces

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Loon at Island Lake NB

Historical Notes

Original Name: Milnagek (Maliseet word for "lake of many islands")

First road/trail to the lake- constructed in 1866-known as "The Old McDougal Pine Road";was built from the Little Southwest Miramichi-likely used to harvest large White Pines as most of these trees in the river basins in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were cut and exported to England for ship masts by this time.It's use was short lived as the advent of the steamship replaced sailed vessels about this time also.By the time Dr. William Francis Ganong made his treks to Island Lake(circa 1900) as noted below-this "road" had "disappeared".

First appearance on a map- probably circa 1686 by French cartographers who did not in fact explore this area of New Brunswick -rather relied on accounts from natives-hence -possibly due to a language barrier,the lakes had no names and were misplaced ;the only discernable image on the map was Trousers Lake,due to its distinctive shape.It's believed that no White man laid eyes on Island lake until the 1830's when a surveyor listed in historical accounts as "Deputy Garden" surveyed the area however, his results were not incorporated into a map until 1859,some data was either lost or missing.Even past this point and into the 1880's accurate maps of the area did not exist as cartographers relied on descriptions from hunting guides,and many of the same places were referred to by different names,depending on who you asked-hence there was duplication and misplacement and nonexistent streams connecting lakes.It was not until 1886 that the Canadian Geological Survey sent a cartographer/surveyor named William McInnes.He was the first person to explore the area near Island Lake with reliable equipment,including a barometer to measure elevation and he created the most accurate maps at 1 mile to the Inch scale.

The Basics:

Moving your cursor over the images to the right and clicking will expand the images-

top left-"Camp Comfort"-located near the outlet of Island Lake circa 1900-used by woodland caribou/moose hunters.

top right- View from canoe August 1901-

bottom left-hand drawn map of Island Lake area,1901 -note the Maliseet  name for the Lake on the upper left "Milnagek"-

bottom right- "Oglivy's camp site" -1907-located about 3 to 400 yards from current camp location-used by Caribou hunters as this area was one of the last known havens for New Brunswick's woodland Caribou.

Photos from over 100 years ago

View of Island Lake NB from canoe 1901
Oglivy's campsite 1907
camp comfort,Island Lake circa 1900
Hand Drawn map of Island Lake NB 1901

The above images are from the collection of Dr. William Francis Ganong, noted New Brunswick explorer,surveyor,naturalist,fisherman and photographer These images are copyrighted property of the New Brunswick Museum,Saint John N.B,and used by their permission.(accession#'s S224 F446 7,-1987.17.1222.87,-1987.17.1218.131-1987.17.1218.104 )

Access-Island Lake is located east of Plaster Rock N.B on private land owned by Acadian Timber (formerly Fraser Inc. land)-entry to this area is via Renous checkpoint,located near Plaster Rock.-more information on this is available on the directions page of our site.