Reindeer Lake: Tracking Santa

Reindeer Lake is the second largest lake in Saskatchewan and the 9th largest lake in Canada. 92% of its waters belong to northeastern Saskatchewan, whilst the remaining are part of northwestern Manitoba.

Reindeer Lake Stats

Lake NameReindeer Lake
Surface area5435.480
Maximum depth219.0
Average depth17.0
Lake typeGlacial
Catchment area62727.50
InflowsCochrane River
OutflowsReindeer River
Shore length9267.45
Mixing typeMonomictic
SettlementsKinoosao, Brochet, Southend
Residence time3004.2
FrozenNovember to June
Trophic stateoligotrophic
Dam height12
Dam year1942
Average discharge355.998
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The lake has a heavily indented coast with plenty of islands. It is bordered by the community of Kinoosao to the east, Brochet and Manitoba to the north and Southend and Deep Bay to the south. Deep Bay covers an astrobleme that is said to have formed more than 100 million years ago. It is the site of a large meteorite impact, with a length of 13 kilometers and a width of 220 meters. Local legends connect the site to the home of a monster which pulls in animals through the ice during the winter.

Hydrology and Settlements

The lake is fed by numerous streams and is surrounded by riparian settlements. It drains to the south through Reindeer River and a controlled weir, into the Churchill River thence east towards Hudson Bay. The outflowing water is regulated by the Whitesand Dam. The lake is surrounded mainly by birch and pine trees on its shores, and lies near the northern limit of the coniferous forest.

The Southern Indian Reserve lies at the southern tip of the lake at the end of Highway 102. Local employment is mainly related to provision of services to local communities. Kinoosao is connected to the mining town of Lynn Lake by road.

Fishing and Hunting

Reindeer Lake is now a major commercial and sport fishing lake. Sport fishermen are mostly drawn by the lake’s clean and deep waters. Trophy-sized pikes are common catches. Other important species living in the lake are: walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, lake trout, Arctic grayling, lake whitefish, cisco, burbot, white sucker and longnose sucker. Several Islands, such as Tate Island, are home to fishing lodges.

During the spring and fall bear hunting is popular. Locals also hunt for moose in the fall.


The explorer David Thompson travelled through the lake and established a few short-lived trading posts in the area. Numerous other trading posts were set up in the 1790s and 1800s, but none lasted more than a ytear. The area was not heavily used in the fur trade era.

NORAD Tracks Santa

Reindeer Lake was a Santa Cam location, starting from the NORAD Tracks Santa season in 2002 to the end of the season in 2011. NORAD decided they’d switch to a regional format starting next year, instead of profiling individual areas.

Reindeer Lake Map