Highway 599, north of Ignace, Ontario, runs along the west side of Sturgeon Lake. This lake is approximately 54 miles long, and about 6 miles across at it's widest point.
Common belief is that it got its name from the Sturgeon Cree Indians of Nipigon who were encountered on the lake by French traders in the early 1700's. The Cree used Sturgeon Lake to reach Fort Albany where they sold their furs. The lake has a colorful history in the fur trade with both the Hudson Bay Company and the Northwest Company establishing posts on its shores.
During the early 1900's, the Saint Anthony Gold Mine operated on the east side of the northeast arm of Sturgeon Lake. The remnants of this gold mine still exist today and are visited each year by tourists in the area.
From the early 1970's to 1991, Mattabi Mine and Lyon Lake Mine operated on the south east shore of Sturgeon Lake. These mines have since been dismantled and complete reclaimation of the area has taken place.
A walleye rehabilitation program for the south end of the lake was initiated in the early 1990's. Traditional area spawning beds were cleared out of debris and loads of rock were brought to the sites in boats by area volunteers. For the last four years, volunteers have worked with the Ignace Ministry of Natural Resources and the Sturgeon Lake Advisory Committee to introduce walleye fry back into Bell Creek flowing into Sturgeon Lake. Each spring, 40 to 50 male and female walleye are milked of their eggs and milt and transported to a fish hatchery in Atikokan where they hatch into fry. As soon as the hatch occurs, the fry are transported back and placed into Bell Creek. To date, almost 13 million fry have been deposited into the creek, where it is hoped many will return to spawn.
The south end of Sturgeon Lake is the deepest, with 305 feet being it's deepest section. The north end of the lake is much shallower with many islands and rocky sections.