Born of a receding glacier 2,500 feet deep at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch 10,000 years ago, the cold and clean water of Whitefish Lake is a regional draw for boating, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor pursuits.
The lake covers 5.22 square miles and is approximately 6 miles long and 1 mile wide at the widest point. The shoreline length is 15.85 miles with a maximum depth of 232 feet and average depth of 109 feet.
Recreationalists should exercise caution in the spring when surface water temperatures remain cold at below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Surface water temperatures peak in the low 70s by mid-August.
Current Whitefish Lake weather information can be found at the Whitefish Lake Institute’s website: www.whitefishlake.org
Access to Lake or River
Primarily lake trout, lake whitefish, and westslope cutthroat trout with limited numbers of northern pike and bull trout. A downrigger is helpful to reach depths for lake trout.
Canoes and sea kayaks are common on the lake. The best time for paddling is usually in the morning when the water is calm. Motorized watercraft use generally picks up in the afternoon. Boat rentals are available.
Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark
Highway 93 to Whitefish. Turn onto Baker Avenue and go North over the railroad tracks. Turn left onto Edgewood Drive at the stoplight at the bottom of the railroad overpass. Follow Edgewood for 1/2 mile to the entrance to City Beach. Parking area provided.
Boat Access Locations
There are two public boat launch locations on Whitefish Lake; City Beach Boat Launch and at Whitefish Lake State Park. To access the Whitefish Lake State Park, take Highway 93 west out of town towards Eureka. Take a right on State Park Road after the golf course. Follow this road over the railroad tracks. The park entrance will be on your left.
Whitefish Lake Aquatic Invasive Species Management Program
Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination
As of spring 2017, it is mandatory to have all motorized and non-motorized watercraft inspected prior to launching in Whitefish Lake. High risk watercraft must also be decontaminated (Section 13-5-3 of the Whitefish City Code). Whitefish City Beach Watercraft Inspection Station Hours:
May 5:00 AM–9:00 PM
June & July 5:00 AM–10:00 PM
August 5:00 AM–9:00 PM
September 6:00 AM–9:00 PM
Whitefish Lake State Park Watercraft Inspection Station Hours
May – September 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
The City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park boat ramps will be chained or gated after staffed watercraft inspection hours. Boats coming off the lake after hours will be able to exit the lake by removing and replacing the chain. Motorized watercraft may not launch before or after staffed inspection hours.
Whitefish Decontamination Station Hours
Located at Whitefish Marine & Powersports (6191 U.S. Hwy 93 just north of JP Road)
May 1- June 15 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
June 16 – August 15 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
August 16 – September 30 5:00 AM–9:00 PM
Decontamination must be performed prior to launching in Whitefish Lake—whether or not you have been inspected at another inspection station—on all the following watercraft:
- with ballast tanks or bags
- that have been in a mussel infested waterway in the last 30 days
- with standing water
- that inspectors deem are too dirty to inspect
There is a $40 fee for decontamination.
Fishing Access Highlights
Both City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park offer swimming areas. Whitefish Lake State Park offers 8 tent campsites and 16 tent/RV campsites.