Map of Bassett Lake
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Lake was constructed in 1942 in McGill to serve as a settling pond from copper mill
tailings and Kennecott Copper Corporation presently owns the lake. Its primary source of water comes from
Tailings Creek, however, water management in recent years has changed resulting
in lower than normal water levels in both the creek and reservoir. Bassett Lake and its associated tributaries
were chemically treated in 2015 to remove northern pike and carp.
Lake covers 77 surface acres and has an average depth of 5 feet. Fishing for bass is best in early spring,
following ice-off, to early summer. Largemouth
bass occur in the lake, but shore fishing can be difficult, so a boat or float tube/pontoon
boat is recommended. There are two
unimproved boat launches, one on each side of the lake. During the summer, biting insects and a thick
mat of aquatic vegetation render the lake nearly unbearable and
unfishable. The typical tackle works for
largemouth bass and weedless or surface lures are suggested. Tailings Creek produced trophy-sized trout in
the past, but recent low flows have halted all stocking activities. Camping is not allowed and no restrooms are
available. Roads will be very muddy and
difficult to drive when wet.
Bassett Lake is located 17 miles north of Ely and 5 miles northwest of McGill off Highway 93 via a dirt road.