DescriptionWinchell is a large, deep lake in the North Brule drainage, 16¾ miles southeast of Gunflint Trail's End and 55¼ miles ENE of Ely, one of many long and narrow lakes, with a distinct east/west orientation, which mark this eastern end of the BWCA, and one of the largest.
Over 2¾ miles long and as much as ½ mile across, Gaskin covers 346 acres, most of it deep water beyond the littoral zone, with a maximum depth of 82'. It contains several larger islands and its 13 miles of shoreline are marked by points and peninsulas. Gaskin drains the Otto Lakes to the west by way of East Otto Creek, one of three small streams entering the west end of Gaskin. Along its southern shore is the mouth of Gaskin Creek, which drops some 30' through a series of ponds in its 1½ mile descent from Winchell. Gaskin's own outlet is along the northeastern shore at the Jump Lake portage, dropping northeast into Allen, bound for the North Brule.
The portage into Jump is a relatively short 33 rods downhill, followed by a quick, ¼ mile paddle across that tiny lake to the 22 rod portage into Allen. Farther along, out of Gaskin's east end, a 102 rod, up-and-over portage strikes out to the northeast, climbing 46' to the crest of the ridge before dropping 53' into the long southwest arm of Horseshoe. At the mouth of Gaskin Creek, along the southern shore, a steeper, 60 rod up-and-over carry heads south, gaining 44' to the ridgetop before decending 71' to the north shore of Winchell. Finally, at the far west end of Gaskin, an 88 portage leads north to Henson, climbing 53' above the lakeshore, before descending 37' to the east end of Henson. In addition to these four established portages, older maps indicate the earlier existence of an approximately 40 rod carry, climbing some 20' to the east end of Larsen, just to the west of
WildlifeWinchell supports populations of Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni).
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