Little Gabbro Lake
- Portage North, 125 rods, down the South Kawishiwi River
- Paddle East, into Gabbro
- Portage South, 290 rods, to Entry Point 33
- Portage West, 288 rods, to Bruin
F-3, Birch, White Iron, Gabbro; F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
18, Lake One
- DNR Lake No. 380703
- Lake Map No. B0119
- Lake Table No. 6B
- MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
- MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Full image approximately 2
Little Gabbro is a rather small, relatively
shallow lake on the South Kawishiwi River, 14½ miles WNW of Forest
Center, and 10 miles ESE of Ely. Some 2/3 of the lake's 154 acres
are less than 15' in depth, while the lake's maximum depth is only 26'.
The water level is maintained by two small dams on the two channels of the
Kawishiwi which exit Little Gabbro in the northwest and northeast corners.
At the latter dam, a 125 rod portage heads north in search of a more navigable
stretch of river. The northwestern channel is also navigable, with
short liftover portages around the dam and at the north end of the channel.
To the east, an open channel connects Little Gabbro to Gabbro,
while at the southwest end a 290 rod carry leads out of the BWCAW to Entry
Point 33. A 288 rod portage west off the northwestern corner leads
to Bruin. Little Gabbro also encompasses
the mouth of Nickel Creek which runs down from Nickel Lake, a small lake
some two miles to the south and outside of the BWCAW.
Field research by Heinselman
suggests that the forests north of Little Gabbro were probably made up
of stands of Red and White
Pine dating back to 1796 and earlier, before being logged off (1898-1912)
by the St. Croix Lumber Company of Winton. The forest to the east, south,
and west was not logged, and dates instead from the great fire year of
1864. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant
damage in the Little Gabbro area.
Little Gabbro supports four established
campsites, two on the north shore, on either side of the Kawishiwi River
outlet, one on the western shore, and a fourth on an island in the narrows
connecting with Gabbro to the east.
Little Gabbro serves as a point of entry
for the Lower Kawishiwi River as well as a junction offering different approaches
to different stretches of the river. To the south and east, it also
provides access beyond Gabbro to Bald
Eagle and the Isabella River country.
Little Gabbro supports populations of
Northern Pike (Esox lucius),
Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris),
Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus
artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion
vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus
commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca
Notes and Comments
Like big Gabbro
to the east, Little Gabbro takes its name from gabbro, a dark, massive rock
with crystals large enough to be seen with the naked eye. This igneous
rock formed from magma flowing up and cooling slowly below the surface.
It is the intrusive equivalent
of the extrusive basalt,
which would form if the same magma cooled on the surface. Gabbro is
common in the BWCA.
Last updated on
11 April, 2004