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Looking at taking a camping trip up by Duluth and was wondering how busy the campsites on the reservoirs are. Is it usually tough to get a campsite on the weekend? I know both Fish Lake and Island Lake have campsites but is there anywhere to camp on Boulder Lake too? Thanks for the help.

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I'm not sure about Boulder but Island has alot of great sites. I think it's on first come ,first serve basis. As far as busy on the weekends, it can be but there are plenty of sites

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there are campsites on Boulder also. they are on the Otter side of the lake [boat landing side]. one thing to remember as i'm sure you do this, but keep the campsites clean when you leave. there was one little island site that the power company closed due to people leaving trash. i have camped on Boulder for years. good luck.

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Thanks for the info. Reinhard, I can assure you we always leave our camp cleaner than we found it. I do a lot of backcountry camping especially in the BWCA so this is always a big one for me too.

Quick follow up question, since this is a reservoir, do you ever have to worry about them dropping the water level overnight to the point where your boat would get grounded on shore? Do you do anything special beaching your boat at night to prevent something like this happening?

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there are three group sites i believe operated by the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center on the Otter Side of the lake is used for learning groups only. they can be used for day use only if not occupied by a group. otherwise further north on the lake on the same side are some islands that you can camp on overnight.

google "Boulder Lake Environmental center" and scroll down to where it says Moose Island Group and click map next to that. that will show you where these sites are located. they have a contact number there also where you can ask questions of possibly parking at the center while camping on the lake and may be able to send you a map with islands highlighted for camping and shoreline locations.

i have camped on some of the islands on the north end of the Otter side. i just pull my boat up on shore as far as where i put my boat. you can PM me also if you want and if you have a map handy of the lake i can tell you what island i camp on mostly. good luck.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I'm pretty sure you can see a map with campsites at Minnesota Power website.

Print it off as that will save you a lot of looking for sites.

Water won't drop overnight to leave your boat beached.

Your not going to have much choice as to where your boat will be parked so you can't count on it being sheltered from the waves if they happen to pick up.

What happens is the waves start splashing and soon your boat will be filled with water.

Could be enough that your boat will sink past the gunnels and your bilge pump useless.

It happens all the time.

Park the boat with bow pointed offshore and use an anchor with rope10 X the depth in length to hold it there. Your boat should be in enough water so it won't bottom out in waves and outboard trimmed up.

Use a stern line tied to shore. You might have to get your feet wet to do this.

Now your boat will ride over the waves instead of crashing against and over the stern.

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I checked out the website and they even have GPS coordinates for the campsites so that should make finding them even easier.

ST, thanks for the suggestion on anchoring the boat. I've beached my on Cass Lake a couple times only to wake up with it swamped so hopefully this method will help with that.

One thing I read on the Boulder Lake website was that this lake doesn't lend itself to large outboards. I can understand by the name that there are a lot of rocks lurking around. I have a Pro V with a 150 on the back, am I best just sticking to Island or Fish perhaps? I heard that Boulder is more scenic and quiet so I thought that might be the best to check out.

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i have a Chrestliner 1850 with a 115 Merc 4 stroke. i know the lake so i dont have a problem with rocks. i would not let that hold you back. if you want to go to Boulder PM me and i can tell you some of the areas to use your hydrolics. i stay on the islands on the north end and the island i camp on is shelterd and i never have a problem with waves ect. however Surface Tension makes a great point on positioning a boat if you are not in a shelterd situation. i would also suggest going more in the fall for the fishing is better then.

in Boulder i dont fish deeper than 8 feet early or late in the season and catch most of my walleys during the day. i have cought eater walleye's right off the island i fish on in 4 feet of water just to give you a idea. good luck.

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reinhard, thanks for the info, I think I might have to take you up on the offer for some of those danger spots on the lake. I do think that I'm going to hold off on going until the fall as you suggested.

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when you decide to go, PM me and i'll try to help as much as i can and show you some good spots to fish. good luck.

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Park the boat with bow pointed offshore and use an anchor with rope10 X the depth in length to hold it there. Your boat should be in enough water so it won't bottom out in waves and outboard trimmed up.

Use a stern line tied to shore. You might have to get your feet wet to do this.

Now your boat will ride over the waves instead of crashing against and over the stern.

Very good tip. I was camped out on Fish Lake a few years ago and it got pretty nasty out late on the first day. I really had to work to convince some of the guys to tie the boats up bow out so they could ride through the weather. Glad they finally listened to me, I'm sure we'd have had 2 swamped boats if we hadn't.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Luckily we don't have large open areas of ice that break away, such as on Red Lake.   Stay safe and warm.
    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
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