Lake Eugenia is an artificial lake considered to be the “Hidden gem of Grey County”. Located in Eugenia, Ontario, the lake is an hour and a half away from Toronto and several kilometres north of Flesherton.
The lake was man-made in the early 1900s as a reservoir for a hydro-electric dam on the Beaver River built in 1912. In 1913, the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario bought 1,900 acres (7,700,000 m2) of land from farmers. This land was then cleared and flooded. After being flooded, the edge of the water was full of twists and turns with bay and inlets. Beginning in the 1950s, the lake became very popular amongst locals as a get-away. Soon cabins were built along the edge of the lake and word began to spread. Beginning at the end of the 1900s, cabins began to develop into cottages. These cottages are usually large and grand. When the lake began to grow in popularity, fishers, swimmers, boaters and naturalists began coming in droves for holidays. The area around Lake Eugenia is part of the Niagara Escarpment and known for its picturesque views available year-round.
Recreational boating is very common in Lake Eugenia. Motorized and manually propelled watercrafts are accepted on the lake but speed boats must stay 30 metres away from shore. Common watercrafts include speed boats, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, wind surfing boards and row boats.
There have rarely been problems regarding boaters and lake users, but the OPP does patrol the waters on holiday weekends.
Lake Eugenia is a sought after place to have a cottage due to its proximity to Toronto, Owen Sound, and Collongwood. It is estimated that there are about 400 cottages around the lake, more than the number of full-time residents in the village of Eugenia. Because of the location, real-estate prices are high and have not gone down in recent years. Many cottages are now similar to modern house as they are examples of current holiday homes and are quite large. All cottages are beach front properties, and so water activity is high with swimmers, boaters and fishers.
Eugenia Lake attracts recreational fishers both local to the region and those visiting due to the range of fish in the lake. The main species of fish that can be caught in the lake include Rock, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Perch, Sunfish, and Bullhead catfish. Back before the lake became inundated with cottages, the main species was trout. If you got a bite, it was only a question of was it a Brown or Rainbow. In the 60’s someone must have dumped a bait bucket, because Rock Bass appeared by the thousands. On the opening day of Trout season, the MNR would put a couple of 45 gal. drums on the causeway bridge, and by the end of the first day they were both overflowing with Rock Bass. You were always assured of a good feed of Rainbow Trout at the end of the day.
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