Trout Streams of the Cub Hills

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1 Trout Streams of the Cub Hills Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Their Future is in Our Hands

2 Trout Streams of the Cub Hills The Cub Hills are located in central Saskatchewan approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Prince Albert. Glaciers formed the landscape over 10,000 years ago, leaving behind many small lakes and streams, steeply rolling hills and flat lowland areas. The Cub Hills are part of the mixed-wood section of the eastern boreal forest zone within the mid-boreal upland ecoregion. Many of the streams and lakes of the Cub Hills are located within Narrow Hills Provincial Park. These waters are managed with a variety of game fish. The area is especially noted for its abundant trout species. In fact, all seven species of Saskatchewan's trout can be found here including: brook, brown, cutthroat, lake, rainbow, splake and tiger trout. Over 25 waters are managed for trout in this area, five of which are streams containing naturalized and self-sustaining populations of feral brook trout. The purpose of this brochure is to provide anglers with an introduction to the streams of the Cub Hills. The brochure offers suggestions for angling techniques and points of access for the following creeks: Nipekamew Creek, White Gull Creek, McDougal Creek, Lost Echo Creek and the Mossy River. All five streams are managed exclusively for brook trout. We hope this brochure will aid you in making your fishing trip more enjoyable and successful. For further information, please contact: Fish & Wildlife Branch Prince Albert - (306) Prince Albert field office - (306) Any of the local Ministry of Environment field offices listed in your Saskatchewan Anglers' Guide. Have a Question: Call (North America)

3 McDougal Creek The headwaters of McDougal Creek originate in the Cub Hills to the south and east of Little Bear Lake. The creek flows southeasterly for approximately 130 kilometres before joining the Mossy River. Continuing easterly, the stream eventually flows into the Cumberland Delta of the Saskatchewan River. McDougal Creek was first stocked with brook trout in Further stockings in the 1950s and 60s established a healthy, self-sustaining population. The last stocking of McDougal Creek took place in The creek's swiftly flowing waters, numerous deep pools, undercut banks and moderate temperature regime offer excellent trout habitat. Anglers commonly report pan-size brook trout of 20 to 30 centimetres, but larger fish of up to 40 centimetres are occasionally taken. The larger trout most typically inhabit the stream's deeper pools and beaver ponds. Small spoons, spinners and live bait are the most popular angling techniques on this stream. Flyfishers may often be limited to dapping their flies along the surface as the forest canopy along the stream is fairly tight. Short casts are possible in pool areas. Stonefly nymph patterns are particularly effective. Access 1: Travel 14.5 kilometres north of Highway #106 from the junction of Highways #920 and #106. Turn at the McDougal Creek sign and travel east for two kilometres. This road terminates at a picnic area and the creek is only a short walk down from there. The first two kilometres upstream and several kilometres downstream from this picnic site hold the majority of fish. There are walking trails along the stream that provide good foot access. Stream blockages due to beaver activity may back flood areas along the creek so pack appropriate footwear if planning to use these walking trails. Access 2: Dry weather access ONLY via Highway #920. Travel by trucks or ATV is recommended as this access is not maintained. From the #920 / #106 junction, travel 12.7 kilometres north to the stream crossing. There is a good population of fish both above and below the culvert crossing. 920

4 Nipekamew Creek Nipekamew Creek originates from a muskeg approximately 20 kilometres west of Piprell Lake. The creek travels northerly into Stuart and Nipekamew lakes, eventually flowing into the south end of Lac La Ronge via the Nipekamew River. Jack pine dominates the creek's upper reaches but much of the stream bank is also wooded with spruce, birch and poplar. The creek provides good trout habitat with long riffle sections and numerous natural pools and beaver ponds. Nipekamew Creek has been stocked with brook trout fingerlings since A biannual stocking program continues to supplement the creek's naturalized population. Pan-sized brookies of between 20 to 25 centimetres are most frequently reported, but occasionally 30-centimetre fish are taken. Anglers: work the beaver ponds with brightly coloured spoons and spinners or drift the slow runs with a float and live bait. Stickcaddis imitations and dragonfly nymphs are effective for flyfishers as are beetle patterns in late summer or early fall. Commonly, the creek is tightly bordered by thick willow, so flyfishing may be limited to dapping through many reaches. Access 1: Travel from Candle Lake on Highway #120 approximately 16 kilometres until you reach the junction with the #913 Grid. Turn north and travel 33 kilometres to the #913 / #912 junction. Turn left and proceed northerly on the #912 Grid approximately 4.5 kilometres to the junction of the East Trout Lake road (#927) and the #912 Grid. Turn south on the unnumbered grid and proceed two kilometres until you reach a bridge crossing of the creek. Beavers commonly dam these reaches. The flooded beaver ponds can hold good numbers of fish but foot access along the stream bank is difficult. Access 2: From the junction of the East Trout Lake road (#927) and the #912 Grid, travel south on the un-numbered grid approximately 700 metres to the Sand/Gem Lakes turnoff. Proceed 4.6 kilometres east on the Gem Lake Road. Approximately 200 metres west of the Sand Lake parking area is the stream access trailhead. The first 200 metres of this trail is accessible to truck or ATV traffic. From this point, follow the walking trail along the cutover for approximately another 400 metres to the creek. Through these reaches the stream gradient is higher, lending itself to riffle-run sequences. Access 3: From Sand Lake, continue easterly approximately two kilometres until you reach a bridge crossing. Stream bank access is challenging through these sections of the creek as they are often back flooded due to beaver dams. Such ponds often hold the largest fish.

5 Mossy River The Mossy River is located to the northeast of Narrow Hills Provincial Park. It originates in the Cub Hills east of Little Bear Lake and flows easterly for approximately 100 kilometres to empty into the Cumberland Delta. The upper Mossy is a swiftly flowing stream with many sections of riffle-run sequences. In 1979, brook trout were successfully introduced to the stream and became naturalized. The large, deep pools and ample riffle sections of the creek provide ideal habitat for the resident brook trout. Anglers most frequently report pan-sized brookies of 25 to 35 centimetres, but larger fish are occasionally taken. Flies, spinners and natural or artificial baits, cast or drifted through deep runs and pools, are all effective at deceiving these spirited little fish. Caddisfly larvae and emergers are both popular fly imitations on this stream as are attractor patterns such as wooly worms. Access: Travel 29 kilometres north on Highway #106 from the #920 / #106 junction. Turn east onto the Cub Lake Road (located 0.5 kilometres north of Little Bear Lake turn-off). The Cub Lake Road access is not maintained and is considered dry weather access ONLY. Truck or ATV travel is recommended only to kilometre 5 of the Cub Lake Road. Travel beyond this point is by ATV only due to a decommissioned stream crossing at kilometre 5. Travel approximately 16 kilometers east by ATV on the Cub Lake Road for 21 kilometres until reaching the intersection with Highway #920. Proceed north from this junction on Highway #920 for another 10 kilometres to the Mossy Creek bridge crossing. The trout can be found both upstream and downstream of this crossing but foot access along the stream bank is challenging through these reaches. Road conditions are typically suitable for passenger car travel. * Note Highway #920 is closed between the McDougal Creek crossing and the Mossy River. Therefore, access to the Mossy River via Highway #920 from Lower Fishing Lake is no longer possible. 920

6 White Gull Creek White Gull Creek is formed by the waters of two tributary streams near the southwestern boundary of Narrow Hills Provincial Park. The creek flows southeasterly for 150 kilometres to join the Torch River before eventually flowing into the Cumberland Delta of the Saskatchewan River. Open jack pine stands dominate the creek's upper reaches together with poplar, spruce and willow along the stream banks. Brook trout were first introduced to the stream in This and subsequent plantings were successful in establishing a self-sustaining population of brook trout in the stream. White Gull Creek continues to be stocked biannually to supplement the stream's naturalized population. The stream regularly surrenders 25 to 30 centimetre trout, but fish up to 35 centimetres are occasionally taken. Spinners and small spoons are effective in angling the pools and deep runs of this creek, as is drift fishing with live bait. Stonefly patterns in the riffle-run areas and caddis fly and dragonfly imitations in the deeper runs or pools can be very effective for flyfishers. White Gull Creek is located 37 kilometres northeast of the Candle Lake turn off on Highway #120. The highway crosses the creek and there is good fishing both upstream and downstream of this bridge crossing. The creek can be accessed downstream of this bridge crossing. The creek can be accessed downstream of this crossing via the Harding Road or upstream via two ATV trails. Both the Harding Road and the ATV trails parallel the creek. Access 1: ATV trail begins just north of the #120 bridge crossing. The trail travels northwesterly along a cutover for one kilometre before ending near a trapper's cabin. A short distance to the south of the cabin site is the old Highway #120 bridge crossing. Angle both above and below the crossing. Another tributary to the stream can be accessed by proceeding westerly along the old Highway #120 from the above crossing for a distance of approximately one kilometre. Turn and follow the first trail southward approximately 150 metres to arrive at the stream. Note: These trails are often passable with light trucks in dry weather conditions. Do not attempt to cross the old Highway #120 bridge with a vehicle; it is unsafe to all but foot and ATV traffic. Access 2: Just north of the current Highway #120 bridge is the Harding Road. Travel 1 kilometre southeast on this road. There is a drive-in access trail to the south of this point. Keep left on this trail for approximately 1.5 kilometres to a parking area. Follow the walking trail for a distance of approximately 150 metres to the stream. Access 3: Travel 3.6 kilometres southeast on the Harding Road from Highway #120 to arrive at the trailhead. Follow this trail 1.3 kilometres. The trail is narrow and ends at a parking area 300 metres from the stream.

7 Lost Echo Creek Lost Echo Creek originates from the outflow waters of Lost Echo Lake. The creek flows southeasterly approximately 12 kilometres before discharging into Upper Fishing Lake. From Upper Fishing Lake, these same waters continue downstream through Lower Fishing Lake, Stewart Creek and the Torch River before eventually flowing into the Cumberland Delta. Much of the upper watershed was burned over in the Fishing Lakes Fire of 1977 and a thick growth of jack pine now dominates much of the area. The creek has been managed for brook trout since 1934 and presently sustains a good population of naturalized trout. Lost Echo Creek is well suited for brook trout. It is a small, sinuous stream with abundant overhead and in stream cover as well as a suitable flow and temperature regime. Pan-sized brookies of 20 to 25 centimetres are fairly common but occasionally brook trout of lengths up to 30 centimetres are taken. Common angling techniques include casting small, brightly coloured spinners and spoons or drifting current seams or the deeper pools and beaver ponds with a float and live bait. Flyfishers: stoneflies are generally the most abundant aquatic macro-invertebrate present in Lost Echo Creek. Dapping fly patterns that mimic the nymphal or adult stage of this insect under overhanging vegetation or past undercut banks should yield fish. Try dragonfly patterns in the slower moving pools. Access 1: From the Highway #920 / #106 junction, travel two kilometres north on Highway #106 to the Piprell Lake cut-across road. The Piprell Lake cut-across road is not maintained and is dry weather access ONLY. Travel by trucks or ATVs is recommended. Turn west and proceed approximately seven kilometres until reaching a culverted crossing of a feeder creek. Just beyond this culver crossing is the trailhead. Proceed northeasterly on this trail for a distance of 3.2 kilometres. The trail ends at the creek. Several spur trails lead off of the main trail stay on the main trail. The first 2.5 kilometres of this trail is narrow and rough in several places but is generally passable to half-ton traffic during dry conditions. Beyond this point, ATV or foot traffic is recommended. Access 2: This trail is located 2.5 kilometres northwest of Access 1. The trailhead is located immediately across the road from an open muskeg. This trail is narrow and rocky in several areas, traveling for 3.2 kilometres before terminating approximately 100 metres from the stream at an old ATV bridge crossing. Use a truck or ATV for trail travel during wet conditions. Note: The cut-across road has been decomissioned at approximately Fairy Glen Lake.

8 Overview Map 920 Creek Stream Anglers Signage has been provided to designate trails and parking areas. Please help preserve the natural beauty of our streams; practice ethical angling and dispose of any litter in designated receptacles.