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Puntzi Lake - Once a part of the Pine Tree Defense Line

Puntzi Lake is located on Highway 20, about 60 kilometres or 35 miles west of Alexis Creek and then about 5 or 6 miles or 11km off the highway after you turn right at Chilanko Forks. Photo courtesy of Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort. Sun setting over Puntzi Lake. At over 3000 feet in elevation, Puntzi Lake is a high plateau lake set among rolling hills with Puntzi Mountain being the highest point of land nearby. The lake is an extremely deep lake for the Chilcotin averaging between 100 and 120 feet in depth and going to 145 feet at its deepest point.
Puntzi lake has both Kokanee and rainbow trout and resort owners host a popular fishing derby once a year held around the last week of June or first weekend of July. Check with local operators for exact dates. In the Adult Category, there are two separate prizes for largest (weight and length) rainbow trout and kokanee caught. The Children's category is for course fish only and the prize is awarded for the total number of fish caught. Spinning and trolling are the most popular way to fish the lake but fly fishing also works well early and late in the season.
Puntzi Lake is an important Photo courtesy of Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort. Pelicans regularly feed on Puntzi Lake in the summerlake for the American White Pelican as a source of food early in the spring and throughout the summer. Trumpeter Swans arrive to feed in the fall until the lake freezes over. Near the airstrip at Puntzi Lake, there is the Chilanko Wildlife Management area. This protected marshland is the home of 50 different species of birds in the summer, caribou in the spring, and excellent moose habitat year round making for some great photo opportunities.
The Puntzi region has an interesting history. It became the home of one of thirty four radar stations set up in the Pine Tree Defense Line, built by the US Air Force in the 1950"s. Aside from several radar domes and all of the Photo courtesy of Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort. Puntzi fishing boat.buildings necessary to run a military base, there was a 6000 foot air strip, the second longest in BC at the time, built to accommodate the large planes supplying the base. The base was eventually turned over to the Canadian government and shut down. You can still take the airfield road to the top of Puntzi Mountain for a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Puntzi Mountain is still home to a weather station that has on many occasions reported some of the coldest weather ever recorded in Canada, more than once reporting temperatures below -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Puntzi Lake is a year round recreational lake that has become one of the best tourist destinations for people traveling Highway 20 and a favorite midway stopping place for visitors going to Anahim, Nimpo Lake or Bella Coola. Known not just for its great winter and summer fishing but also for its biking and hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, and the great company!

For accommodations in Puntzi Lake, please go to

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