The Quill Lakes and it's communities are located in east-central Saskatchewan, Western Canada; 200 miles north of the USA border and 100 miles west of the Sask-Manitoba border. The area is easily accessible by road or by air.
Highway 16, (The Yellowhead Highway) passes south of the Quill Lakes. The Yellowhead Highway is the major east-west highway linking the Quill Lakes to Winnipeg, Manitoba and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Edmonton, Alberta. North-south provincial Highway 6, (The CanAm Highway) and Highway 35 link to Regina, Saskatchewan as well as Montana and North Dakota.
If you plan to travel by airline, both Saskatoon and Regina have scheduled jet service. You can rent a car or truck there for the two hour drive to the Quills or you can charter a light plane and make the trip shorter. Light plane pilots have a choice of airports in Quill Lake, Wadena or Wynyard; Wynyard's airport is paved and lighted, Wadena is gravel and Quill Lake is grass.
Rental trucks or cars are available in several of the Quill Lakes towns, check the town you plan to visit for a rental dealer.
Food and overnite lodging are available in most of the towns in the Quill Lakes area, however, in the smaller towns the facilities will be more basic and you may not have the choice. Check each town for the type of facilities which suit your needs.
Wynyard, population 2000, is the largest of the towns; Wadena and Foam Lake have populations of around 1500. All have a selection of good hotels, motels, campgrounds and bed & breakfast houses. Quality of facilities is good to excellent and there are good restaurants and grocery stores in all three towns.
Watson, LeRoy and Quill Lake are smaller, with populations of less than 1000. All have hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and grocery stores. Quill Lake also has a Bed & Breakfast. Quality of all facilities is good but the selection will be smaller.
The Fishing Lake resorts are a pleasant place to stay. There are rental cabins, campgrounds, golf courses, plus swimming and fishing. Fishing Lake is one of the nicest lakes around; cold clean water and sandy beaches.
Elfros, Dafoe, Kuroki and Jansen are smaller towns of 200 or less people. All have a basic hotel and at least one restaurant.
There are no lodging or eating facilities in the smallest towns of Clair, Kandahar, Mozart or Leslie.
The Quill Lakes area is farming country and some of the larger towns have a significant industrial base in addition to their agricultural services. This is mixed farmland, fertile prairie with plenty of variety. Farms range in size from over 5000 acres to 10 acres and grow almost every kind of grain, fruit, animal and bird that you can imagine. Common field crops are spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, oats, canola, flax, peas, lentils, canary seed. There are smaller fields of herbs & spices, strawberries and Saskatoon berries. Livestock most commonly seen are beef cattle, but look closely and you will find horses, llama, bison, elk, ostrich, emu, goats, sheep, dairy cows, chicken, turkey.
Most of the industry here is ag based; farm equipment dealers and manufacturers, repair shops for tractors and trucks, grain and livestock trucking companies, custom field sprayers and combiners. Recently there has been significant potash mining development in the Jansen and Wynyard areas.
Some of the more unusual industries include: A poultry processing plant in Wynyard which processes all the Kentucky Fried Chicken sold in Saskatchewan. A potassium sulfate plant near Kandahar which makes fertilizer and most of the hardener needed for drywall board manufacture in Canada.
The Quill Lakes area offers some of the best waterfowl hunting in North America. Every fall, goose hunters travel from as far away as the southern USA to hunt here. It must be good, they come back year after year. In addition to geese, we have ducks, cranes, grouse and white tailed deer to keep all the hunters happy. Many of the towns have guides available to help you find the best spots.
The area around the lakes, marked in green on the map above, is the best place to find Canada geese, Snow geese, Sandhill Cranes and the occasional Whooping Crane. The shores of the lakes are where you will find all the shorebirds such as piping plovers, avocets, sandpipers. There is a nesting population of white pelicans on an island in Mud Lake, and a goose feeding station on the south shore of Little Quill Lake. The Wadena Wetlands viewing tower is on the northeast corner of Little Quill Lake. The area south of the lakes, marked in purple, is prime duck nesting area. Many varieties of duck make their home on the ponds and wetlands south of #16 highway. This is also a great place to find songbirds and grouse in the poplar bushes scattered through the farmland.
Trophy size Northern Pike and Pickerel are found in Fishing Lake both summer and winter. For a real treat, try ice fishing; this may be your only chance to break bread and walk on water!! Also, many of the smaller lakes and man made ponds are stocked with rainbow trout and Walleye. Usually you can fish from shore, all you need is a fishing license and your rod. Check the Sask Tourism website for lake locations.
Big Quill Lake and Little Quill Lake are not suitable for pike, pickerel or trout, the water is too salty. There is, however, a commercial fishery on Big Quill Lake. Brine shrimp and other organisms in the millions thrive in the salty water, they are harvested, dried and sold as fish food in Canada and overseas.
This is an interesting and varied area. Any product or service which you need is probably available here. Click on a town name and look for the business or service which you need.