Lakes of British Columbia: Lake Koocanusa
Lakes of British Columbia is a new series for Nomads on the Road; the basic plan is to introduce readers to new, interesting and beautiful lakes in British Columbia and particularly the East Kootenay region. The next featured lake is Lake Koocanusa…
Lake Koocanusa, or the ‘Kooc’ as It’s known locally, is a reservoir which spans The Canada-USA border. Covering British Columbia in Canada and Montana in the USA, the Kooc was formed by the damming of the Kootenay River by the Libby Dam in 1975.
The name Lake Koocanusa was chosen after a contest, the name is made from the first three letters of the Kootenay or Kootenai River, Canada and USA. A popular recreation spot, the Kooc is perfect for wakeboarding, it’s glass like water enjoyed by many from Canada and the USA.
Lake Koocanusa is formed north of the Libby Dam, reaching some 48 miles (77km) to the Canadian border and then a further 42 miles (68km) into British Columbia. Holding some 13 per cent of the water in the Columbia River system, the Kooc now covers the town of Waldo in British Columbia.
Lake Koocanusa is fed by the waters of the Kootenay River, Elk River and streams from the Flathead and Kootenay drainage systems. This provides superb fishing from late spring to early fall with Kokanee and Rainbow Trout in abundance.
The sun sets on another day at Lake Koocanusa. From Fernie, Lake Koocanusa can be reached by heading west on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook before heading towards Surveyors Lake. Instead of going to Surveyors Lake, boaters can continue to the boat launch and easy access to Lake Koocanusa.
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