To the west upstream of Gannon Narrows you enter Pigeon Lake which is a long, narrow lake with a predominantly north-south. Pigeon Lake is 17 miles long averaging between 1 and 2 miles wide. When you head upstream towards Bobcaygeon you leave the Narrows at about mile 131.5 and the main channel swings northward to Bobcaygeon about 6.5 miles. You will find many fine anchorages here particularly in the back Channel which is to the east of Big Island.
Once clear of the Narrows your course will be approximately 338° up the lake towards Bobcaygeon with a safe mid-lake channel, but do stay in the middle. AS you cross Pigeon Lake on the main channel stay well clear of the west shore where shoals extend offshore a long way. The shoals are marked but can be hard to see if waves when the weather kicks up.
There are a couple of spots worth mentioning here. At mile 133.5 Long Point Shoal is only .26 miles from the charted channel marked by buoy C 339. When transiting the area in poor weather favor the Sandy Point shore. Once clear of Long Point Shoal at mile 134.3 is Three Sisters Shoals near marked by C 341.
Approaching Big Island watch for C 340 marker at Dead Horse Shoal which is off the south end Big Island. The shoal area north of buoy C 343 fairly close to the channel. Headed upstream your course rounds Steamboat Island buoy, and bends westward leading into Big Bob channel.
On the extreme N.W. arm of Pigeon Lake is Nogies Creek Bay which is a narrow arm that holds 20+' to north of Sunset Cottages & Marina (800) 561 3625 It is hard to miss the large signs and yellow roofs and has at least 6 feet of depth along most of the dock. They have transient slips available and the ability to haul boats of up to 10 tons. For the power cruiser they do provide both 30 & 60 amp power and plenty of play space for the younger crowd.
On the west shore of Nogies Creek Bay is a private trailer park which offers no facilities for the transient boater. To the north the average depths falls to only 4' winding its way north of highway 38.
The main channel to Bogcaygeon turns sharply west passing through Stumpy Bay where Pigeon Lake Yacht club can be found. You will see numerous sailboats at moorings and the tall flag pole. There is 5' in the middle of Stumpy Bay and the club offers reciprocal transient space to vessels from other clubs providing your length is under 30'. you will probably notice Port 32 which is a upscale condo lifestyle facility with no services for transients.This is an extremely busy stretch of water and once you round C 345 stay on your toes and remember this is a SPEED CONTROLED ZONE.
Big Island Anchorages
Big Island and the north end of Pigeon Lake offers the Kawartha cruiser numerous opportunities to avoid the chaos of Bobcaygeon if visiting in the peak summer months when Bobcaygeon is a bit of a circus. However during those months we are elsewhere.
For the moment we have little photographically on the northern portion of Pigeon Lake due to a camera malfunction last visit. Your fist option is to the S.E. of Big Island just far enough north to hide from the S.W. wind you can find 10' of depth quite close to the shore and one is well advised to judge your distance from shore carefully as Grandfathers rock with only 2' of depth is almost midway be tween the island and the mainland to the east.
Normally we anchor to the north of Big Island where there is good depth and shelter from the prevailing winds to the east of Birch Point in 15' to 20' of depth. I recommend that you tuck close to the N.E. shore before the shoreline bends north as the eastern side of this anchorage is bounded by a shoal stretching northward to Boarding House Rock. There is yet another spot if this one is full a bit further east on the east tip that is found between North Point and Red Rock with 6' to 10' average depth.
On the far north arm of Pigeon Lake is Hurricane Bay leading to Bald Lake where there are no official markers. The east arm all the way to Bald Lake via Bald Lake Narrows is navigatable but the channel becomes exceedingly narrow and an excursion to Bald Lake requires careful attention to you position and charting skills. All being equal perhaps 2003 will find me exploring a bit more of this area in a small boat.
Big & Little Bald Lake
Bald Lake itself is pretty risky for the cruiser even if there is deep water most cruisers will treat this area as Stony Lake leaving it to the locals and fishermen with 3' of draft. Above all do not attempt entering without a official chart and ideally with a local who knows the way. Oak Shores Marina (705) 657 9488 provides the only services on the lake and directions are well signed all the way from Snake Island. For power boaters of less than 30' you can find mooring here and emergency repairs if you have failed along the way. The marina its self is very cottage with a friendly atmosphere and facilities limited to 15 amp power, water, beach, picnic and best of all the restaurant which is licensed.
For those starting from the south end of the Lake I will repeat the general description.
The main channel of the Trent Severn Waterway cuts across Pigeon Lake perhaps 2/3 of the lakes length north. Pigeon Lake to the south of Gannon Narrows is a shallow with only 4 or 5 ' of water, full of weeds and is unsuitable for all but smaller fishing boats. Due to prevailing winds the south end can get nasty waves when the weather blows up from the north west. South of the Trent Severn channel you would find many areas of stumps and other hidden hazards in the 8 miles south to the Pigeon River. For those not having larger boats Pigeon Lake is a dream for the right boat.
There is not much along the majority of the lake shore until you reach the south end of the lake. To the south there are 4 facilities that cater to fishermen and resort visitors. For this guide we will start from the Pigeon River at the south end as most visitors here are coming to fish and will trailer their boats to the lake. The village of Omemee is about 2.8 miles further south upstream.
About 1.75 miles north the Pigeon River, at the southern end of the lake overhead height is limited by Fee's Landing Bridge which is County Road 14 with a vertical clearance height of 15 ft which is more than enough for the small boats that use this area.
On the east side of the bridge on the shore where the ferry landing once existed is Emily Provincial Park. Working northward Triple T Ceder Resort (705) 799 2316 can take a couple of under 18 foot boats with good depth if you get there, on a transient basis providing you make arrangements in advance. The facility is predominantly a cottage camp ground resort with a playground, go karts and beach and a chip wagon for foor service.
Riverview Pavilion & Marina (705) 799 5837 can be found right next to the bridge identified by a large roof sign and has the corner entertainment with Mickey's Road house has typical bar food and a outdoor patio. There are basic marine supplies and service is available by a mobile mechanic if requested. They do have some transient slips with depths over 6 ' once again if you get there. They do maintain a suitable rental fleet of small boats and canoes for those without a boat.
Egan Marine & Houseboat Rentals (705) 799 5745 Egan has no facilities for transient and is base to a large fleet of houseboats. It does however maintain a fair supply of outdated or hard to get parts for Volvo Penta equipment.
Fee's Landing (705) 799 6497 is on the east side of the bridge and offers cottage rentals catering to fishermen, there is only 2 or 3 ' of water dock side. They do maintain a 7 day a week mechanic is you encounter problems on a weekend.