As one of the oldest fishing camps and resorts in British Columbia, the Knouff Lake Resort has developed a rich
and fascinating history abounding in story telling, pictures and perhaps even a few tall tales.
Mix in an area rich in spiritual history and you have the recipe for the perfect vacation
Over 100 years of history, stories and tall tales...
Tale of Two Lakes...
Some folks are confused by the fact that Knouff Lake is also known as Sullivan Lake, and
that Sullivan Lake is sometimes known as Knouff Lake... There are many maps, articles and
stories that refer to one or the other, in fact the Google Maps shown on the Directions page refer to the name of the lake as being "Sullivan Lake". Go to the map,
click on the red marker and see what I mean. This is just one more reason why people find the Knouff Lake
Resort such a fascinating place to visit.
Don't quote me on everything, but as far as we can determine, Knouff Lake was named after James Vincent
Knouff. In the 1860's James Knouff had left the Cariboo and settled near Louis Creek, a small community about
30 miles north of Kamloops. He lived there until 1892 at which time he sold out and retired to warmer
climates in California. However James later returned to Canada and once again moved into the same area.
He subsequently died in 1904.
During the time spent at Louis Creek, Knouff had purchased a considerable amount of land on the west side of
the lake that extended north to Badger Lake. It must of been about this time the lake became known as "Knouff
Lake", and he then established the Knouff Lake Resort and built the first log cabin in 1904. The remainder of
the log cabins were built in the 1930's before most of us were even born.
At some point in time (we don't have all the details), a Mr. Sullivan had purchased land adjacent to the
south-east corner of the lake and established the "Sullivan Mill". During this time Mr. Sullivan had managed to
convince the Ministry of Forests to change the name of the lake to "Sullivan Lake". As a result, on
many legal or provincial maps you will still find the name "Sullivan Lake".
As it turns out the accepted and prefered name in the community among locals, as well as most visitors and
guests, seems to be Knouff Lake. However I'm sure there are still a few old-timers
around as well as government figures who refer to it as Sullivan Lake. Signs on the highways often refer to
both names... thus all the confusion.
Note: As more information is revealed to the writer we will update this page in
order to provide you the reader with more accurate information.
Meanwhile for purposes of clarity, we will continue to refer to the name of the lake as "Knouff
Some Other Interesting Facts About Knouff
- Originally barren of trout, as were many interior lakes, Paul Lake and Knouff Lake were two of the
original lakes to be stocked with resident trout... later to go on to be very good producers of
- May 20, 1917 - The day that Len Phillips and son arrived at the lake after a five day trip with a
barrel that contained 9 ripe spawners from Paul Lake. Paul Lake is about 16 miles south of Knouff as the
crow flies... a lot longer by road.
- 1920 - Don't have the month, but sometime during 1920 a party of 28 anglers from Kamloops travelled to
Knouff Lake to try their luck... largest trout caught on that trip - 17 lbs (7.7 kg)
- Word spread about the extraordinary fishing, and a simple but elegant lodge was built along with plain
log cabins with dirt floors. What is really interesting, as a result of all this popularity, the Knouff
Resort became the prototype for hundreds of fishing camps built later throughout B.C.
- By 1926 the average trout caught in the lake was 8 lbs (3.6 kg)
- 1930 - A 17-1/4 pound fish was caught using a dry fly. This made Knouff Lake a legend in its own
- 1930's - This year a 23.5 lb trout was caught lured by an earthworm
Unfortunately, this popularity was starting to ensure its downfall for quite some
time.... we have reports that the next year or two massive amounts of rainbow trout were being
fished. We don't know which year it happened for sure, but here are the two stories that have been
- 1932 - Lake is stocked with 175,000 fry - against the advice of local experienced anglers. Obviously
this depleted the food supply considerably, and the average weight of the trout went from 5 lbs to 1
- 1933 - This year between 75,000 and 100,000 fingerlings were stocked in the lake. This effectively
spelled the end of big trout in the lake for some time.
But Things Get
Over the last few years, with many anglers practising popular catch-and-release techniques, better spawning
management, and other angling techiques, the average size of Kamloops (Rainbow) trout being caught in the lake
is increasing significantly. Once again Knouff Lake is becoming a recognized choice for experienced and new
anglers to try their luck... and what better way to experience this than to book a comfortable log cabin
at the resort, or bring your camper, all your gear, and the kids for the time of your life!
As of this spring, 2011, a quick look at the spawning grounds undeniably indicates
that the size of the trout are increasing rapidly. This means excellent fishing for time to
Click here to check availablility and to make reservations...