Cowichan Lake

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Lakes, Pacific Northwest

Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake, Photo By Robert Logan

Cowichan lake Is one of the biggest and most popular lakes on Vancouver Island. This lake is 40 km long and has more than 100 km of shoreline. There are numerous campgrounds, resorts and 2 parks on the lake, plenty of beaches and lots of bluffs for diving, all in all, a wonderful lake.

The towns of Youbou and Lake Cowichan are both located on Cowichan Lake. My first visit to this lake was when i was 19, it was 1974 and l had gone with a good friend who had grown up on the lake in Youbou. The mill was still in operation then and the town was busy. The people were quite friendly and how could you not be, the lake has a way of bringing that out in folks.

The lake is full of rainbow, cutthroat, kokanee, dolly varden and brown trout for your angling pleasure. Some of these fish can reach upwards of 3.5 kg and give you a great fight. A few of the brownies can get much bigger. This lake is regulated to ensure there is a viable fishery.

Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake, Photo By Bud Logan

You can see so much wildlife around this lake, there are black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer and numerous other animals here and a great many birds, along with incredible vistas. Any photographer would be in their glory on this lake.

You can reach the lake from Port Renfrew, Port Alberni or from Duncan, its a paved road from either Port Renfrew or from Duncan, the road is gravel from Port Alberni and is an active logging road. Please drive carefully and always run with your lights on. But no matter which route you take, you will be pleased with the scenery on the way and very impressed with all the lake has to offer once you get here.