The West Canada Lakes
The West Canada Lakes: West Lake, Mud Lake, and South Lake are the source of the West Canada Creek. Nearby Brook Trout Lake and Northrup Lake are the source of the Indian River which empties into the Moose River country. In the late 19th Century and first decade of the 20th century, the area was inhabited by several woodsmen who were lumberjacks, trappers, fishermen, hunters and guides. Most notable was a character named Louis Seymore, commonly known as French Louie. In 1922 the Adirondack Mountain Club was founded with the purpose of doing conservation work and maintaining trails. They laid out and maintained the Northville-Placid Trail which runs through the West Canada Lakes area and is now maintained by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. By the 1930s float planes were bringing increasing numbers of anglers and the trout population was decreasing rapidly. Around that time the state began an aggressive stocking program which continued into the 1960s, but the fishery was still declining. By the mid 1970s water acidity had depleted trout populations in many of the lakes and in the river itself. In 1972 West Canada Lake Wilderness Area was designated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as "Wilderness", and as such nothing motorized is allowed into the area. You can go in under your own power, or on horseback, but no pontoon aircraft, ATV's, motorcycles, etc. are allowed. It was determined that during summer and fall acidity was fine, but during the spring snow melt a large quantity of acidic water was entering the lakes and streams, just at the time that young trout were hatching. In the late 1980s increasing catches of brook trout and lake trout, renewed interest. Subsequent studies have shown reduced acidity and increased trout populations.
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