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Lake Nipissing ( ) is a lake in the Canadian province of Ontariomarker. It has a surface area of , a mean elevation of above sea level, and is located between the Ottawa River and Georgian Baymarker. Excluding the Great Lakesmarker, Lake Nipissing is the fifth-largest lake in Ontario. It is relatively shallow for a large lake, with an average depth of only . The shallowness of the lake makes for many sandbars along the lake's irregular coastline. The lake has many islands.

The largest population centre on the lake's shoreline is the city of North Baymarker. North Bay sits along the lake's northeastern shoreline. Other notable towns are Callandermarker (south of North Bay along Highway 11). The larger towns toward the western end of the lake are Sturgeon Fallsmarker, Garden Village, Cache Baymarker and Lavignemarker.

Lake Nipissing drains into Georgian Bay, which is a part of Lake Huronmarker, via the French River. Lake Nipissing lies about northwest of Algonquin Provincial Parkmarker. The French fur trader Étienne Brûlé was the first European to visit the lake in 1610. Jean Nicolet, another French trader and explorer had a "cabin and trading-house" for eight or nine years living among the Indians on the shores of Lake Nipissing until 1633 when he was recalled to Quebec to become Commissary and Indian Interpreter for the "Company of the Hundred Associates." The first permanent European settlement on the lake dates from around 1874 on the southeast corner. In 1882 the North-West Mounted Policemarker established their presence on the north east shore.

The lake contains over 40 different species of fish. Numerous sport fishing lodge dot the main shoreline and can also be found on several of Nipissing's many islands. Most anglers target walleye, smallmouth bass, muskie, and northern pike. For various reasons, largely social, numerous stocking associations are engaged in attempts to artificially manipulate the lake's walleye population.

The lake's name means "big water" in the Algonquin language. The name Nipissing was also given to many places in the area, notably the Township of Nipissingmarker, Nipissing Districtmarker, and Nipissing Universitymarker.

In the days of fur trade, voyageurs travelled through the lake by canoe via the Mattawa and French rivers. When the fur trade started to decline in the 1880s, logging became the main economic activity. After World War I, the primary economic activity became tourism and recreation, although logging still contributes a significant economic stimulus to the area.

Unlike most lakes in Ontario, Lake Nipissing contains two volcanic pipes, which are the Manitou Islandsmarker and Callander Baymarker. The volcanic pipes formed by the violent, supersonic eruption of deep-origin volcanoes. Lake Nipissing lies in the Ottawa-Bonnechere Graben, a Mesozoic rift valley that formed 175 million years ago.

Image gallery

image:manitouislands.jpg|View of Lake Nipissing from North Baymarker. The Manitou Islandsmarker are in the distance.image:torbay.jpg|A beach along Lake Nipissingimage:Lake Nipissing Sunset.JPG|Sunset at Lake Nipissing


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