Arrow Lakes: 200 kilometres of waterway

Upper Arrow Lake as seen from Nakusp. (Kristina Mogensen/Black Press Media file photo)
A 15-pound bull trout caught on Arrow Lake. (Black Press Media file photo)
Another massive bull trout caught on Arrow Lake. (Black Press Media file photo)
Upper Arrow Lakes, view from the ferry, in December. (Jocelyn Doll/Black Press Media file photo)
The Galena Ferry. (Revy Fest/Black Press Media file photo)
Ferry traffic on Arrow Lake (Aidan McLaren-Caux/Black Press Media file photo)

A defining feature of the Kootenays are the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes, which were made into one big lakemore than 200 kilometres in length by the construction of a dam in the 1960s.

The lakes, in fact, are a widening of the Columbia River, and in this area, the waterway is bordered between the Selkirk Mountains to the east and the Monashee Mountains to the west.

The lake stretches from just north of Castelgar in the southern Kootenays to Revelstoke in the North.

The Arrow Lakes in British Columbia, Canada, divided into Upper Arrow Lake and Lower Arrow Lake, are widenings of the Columbia River. The lakes are situated between the Selkirk Mountains to the east and the Monashee Mountains to the west. Beachland is fairly rare, and is interspersed with rocky headlands and steep cliffs. Mountain sides are heavily forested, and rise sharply to elevations around 2,600 metres.

Two ferries operate on the lake, with the Upper Arrow Lakes Ferry running from Galena Bay to Shelter Bay, and the Needles Cable Ferry on Lower Arrow Lake from Needles on the western shore to Fauquier.


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