DescriptionRuby (also known as Little Hustler) is a small, deep lake in the Hustler River watershed of the Lac La Croix drainage, 14½ miles ESE of Crane Lake and 27¾ miles northwest of Ely. Less than a half mile across and roughly triangular in shape, Ruby's 67 acres drop to a depth of 70' in the center of the lake. Ruby drains into Hustler to the east through a short stream, bypassed by a 10 rod portage. To the west Ruby connects with Lynx over a 280 rod carry which gains 120' of elevation in the first 140 rods, holding relatively level for the next 40 before dropping some 60' into Lynx over the last 100 rods of the portage.
The forest off the northern shore of Ruby Lake is among the oldest in the area, dating back to stand replacing fires of the mid-18th century (1755-1759), with isolated stands dating back to the fires of 1681. The forest to the south of Ruby, and extending south and west to Lynx and Dogfish, might have attained a similar age were it not for the Virginia and Rainy Lake Lumber Company, which cut it for sawtimber during the First World War (1915-1917). This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.
CampsitesRuby Lake supports one established campsite, in the northeast corner near the Hustler portage.
Planning ConsiderationsRuby Lake is a link in the east/west Pauness/Boulder Bay route, which heads north and east out of Upper and Lower Pauness on the Little Indian Sioux River through Shell, Little Shell, Lynx, Ruby, Hustler, Oyster, and Lake Agnes, to Boulder Bay on Lac La Croix. Ruby functions largely as a pass through lake. It offers no real routing options (unless you consider Ruby to Lynx by way of Warpaint to be a viable option, the very thought of which should make that steep 280 rod portage look like the proverbial piece of cake).
Ruby is included in Beymer, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, vol. 1, The Western Region, routes 3, 13, 15, 16, and 17.
WildlifeRuby supports populations of Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), and White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni).
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