Shuswap Lake is a very large lake located beside the town of Salmon Arm and has many communities near its vast shores. The lake is heavily used in the summer months for boating, fishing and water enthusiasts.
Shuswap Lake is also a house boaters paradise, with summer temperatures is the high 20s and over 1000 kilometers of pristine shoreline it is one of the most popular house boating lakes in Canada.
Shuswap Lake is not a stocked lake but contains good numbers of several different species of fish.
There are several species of fish in the lake which include kokanee, rainbow trout, lake trout and dolly varden, to name a few. Several species of salmon migrate through the lake back to their spawning grounds in the late summer and into fall.
The fish in the lake are known to grow to very large sizes. Trolling is the best way to catch fish in the lake and the use of downriggers is very helpful as the fish are often found at depths.
DID YOU KNOW?
Shuswap Lake is made up of run-off from over 500 rivers, lakes and streams.
Shuswap Lake is shaped somewhat like a capital 'H', with four distinct 'arms' that are connected in the middle. The four arms are the Seymour Arm, Anstey Arm, Shuswap Arm, and Salmon Arm. Each of the arms have points of interest like hiking trails, water falls, lighthouses, and sand beaches, just to name a few.
The four arms are connected by a narrow strip of the Shuswap Lake called the Narrows. This is one of my favourite spots to camp. In the Narrows, you will find rustic cabins, tent sites, and nice docks where you can moor your boat. You will also find a floating convenience store with gas pumps and a floating restaurant.
Shuswap Lake satellite image. Click image to enlarge.
Be sure to check out the restaurants near the water. My favourites are Moose Mulligans, up the Salmon Arm in the town of Sicamous, and Finz Bar and Grill, in the Shuswap Arm in Blind Bay near Sorrento. Both offer quality menus, lake view decks, and boat parking while you visit.
Because Shuswap Lake can be very busy, especially in the summer months, it may be hard to find a quiet bay for fishing. Bastion Bay up the Salmon Arm, near Totem Pole Resort and Marina, has been a lucky spot for fishing kokanee. Another kokanee hot spot is Annis Bay which is located just a little south west of Sicamous. The water drops off quite quickly along the shores of Annis Bay and has plenty of structure on the bottom making a good hang out for kokanee, rainbow trout, and bull trout. It can be a good idea to run one line just under where the kokanee are holding if you want to go after some of those big trout. Plan to steer clear of Copper Island and other tourist areas during the summer months.
Directions to Shuswap Lake. Click to enlarge.
Shuswap Lake is a little over an hour drive from Kamloops, depending on which access point you choose.
Shuswap Lake has several access points are right off the Trans Canada Highway. The lake is just shy of 310 square kilometers with 1100 kilometers of shore line and a depth that reaches 530 feet.
It is common to want to explore the entire lake- but be prepared. Each Arm is about 30 to 50 kms long, and exploring the entire lake will take several hours at cruising speed. Some sections of the lake, particularly up Anstey Arm, are quieter- but expect a hefty tow bill if your boat breaks down!
Shuswap Lake depth chart. Click image to enlarge or download the PDF.
Shuswap Lake is a popular tourist attraction. It is a very large lake with several sand beaches and four distinct arms, each offering a unique experience.