June 08, 2009 | Tips from Travellers >
Prince George, Beaches & Swimming
With all this sunshine and excellent weather we've had here in Prince George, it wasn't long before 3 local youths with a map and a thirst for cool, fresh water headed out to Opatcho Lake, a small wilderness lake located 48km southwest from the city. Even if gravel logging roads and rural direction-finding is not your thing, Opatcho is just one of the hundreds of lakes almost immediately available to anyone living in or visiting the Prince George area. Once at Opatcho, its easy to see why this lake is often overlooked: beautiful Ste. Marie and Buckhorn Lakes are larger and closer, but therefore usually busier.
The water, once we arrived, was surprisingly warm, despite the lake being up to 77' deep! When knee-deep close to the shore, don't be surprised to feel (gentle) nibbles from the lakes very own welcoming party: standing in the water and peering through the shimmering surface you can size-up the Rainbow Trout that are stocked here every other spring (a bright red stripe is commonly seen on the sides of Opatcho Lake fish). According to local sources, the lake is actually a quality fishery in which "above-average" sized Rainbows can be found. A quota of two fish can be caught, to ensure the lasting success of the Rainbow populations.
Also at the lake, a floating dock waits to be jumped off of, and a day-use area big enough for a family or two is great for swimming, picknicking, canoeing, fishing and camping short-term (a campsite is located onshore, maintained by the forestry service). The best part of the day: finding a quiet lake to be personally enjoyed and relaxing by a crackling campfire to dry off!