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Brohm Lake: Home of the Squamish Nation
Brohm Lake Information and Facts
Brohm Lake is located within a couple of hours’ drive from Northern Vancouver and merely 15 kilometers north of Squamish. The lake is relatively easy to access, since it lies next to Highway 99, and thus it is heavily fished.
Scenic mountains surround the lake, covered with Douglas fir and lodgepole pine. The inlet creek area is generally swampy, filled with fallen tree branches. Numerous other lakes lie next to Brohm Lake. Cat Lake is located south of Brohm, and is filled with rainbow trout, while Evans, Levette and Hut lakes can be found west of Brohm Lake. A great example of wetland ecosystem can be spotted at the southern end of the lake. The area is home to a wide variety of plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals.
Fishing at Brohm Lake
The lake is a great place to fish for rainbow and cutthroat trout. A large number of gammarus shrimp and chironomids can also be encountered in the waters. The best time to catch the largest fish is in the spring, generally in April and May.
The Squamish Nation has inhabited the lake area for centuries. The Nation is comprised of Salish people, who are the descendants of the aboriginal people who lived in the Greater Vancouver Area, Gibson’s landing and along the Squamish River. Archaeological finds suggest that they constructed entire villages, hunting camps, rock quarries, and cemeteries. Some finds, mainly arrow heads and primitive tools date back to 10 000 years. The Squamish Nation was a group of hunters-gatherers. They primarily hunted for deer, elk, black bear, mountain goat and beaver, and collected plants, making use of their fruit, edible roots, tubers and bulbs. They were part of a complex economic system together with other First Nations of the region, since they were located at the hub of a major trade route leading from the coast towards the interior of the province.
Since the early 20th century, the lake area has been an important factor in the local logging industry. In 1910 Norton McKinnon arrived to the area with the goal to log by a railway, laying track from Mamquam River to the Northern Pemberton Railway line. After a fire destroyed most of his business in 1913 he decided to leave the region, but soon other companies arrived and continued logging and laying the railway track, accessing Edith, Cat and Brohm Lakes. Since this was an expensive job to do it became evident by the 1930s that the railway logging had its definite limitations. The Merrill and Ring Company introduced truck logging south of the lake, but they also left in 1940. This opened doors to a number of other companies aiming to establish their ground in the area. Until the ‘50s a large and strong community lived by the lake, which fought against a potentially disastrous fire occurring in 1953. The Brohm Lake Service Recreation Site was established in 1974, and the trail around it was built in 1983.
Recreation at Brohm Lake
The lake is a popular destination mostly among outdoorsy locals, who put up numerous rope swings and set up cliff jumping points around the lake. Brohm also attracts families and adventure-seeking tourists who enjoy a lovely day of hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, kayaking or fishing. Small designated picnic spots can be found along its shores, but only day access is permitted, since overnight camping is prohibited.
Hikers and mountain bikers will have a lovely time wandering through the connecting interpretative trails in the forests and bluffs surrounding the lake. Brohm Lake Interpretative Forest has nice viewpoints and many trails, such as Chekamous Loop Trail, High Trail, Bridge Trail, Brohm Lake Trail and Alder Trail. 35 kilometers of dirt bike trail system await mountain bikers, but since they are not marked, one must ask locals for directions. Brohm Ridge is a favored snowmobiling area.