Batchawana Bay was termed Badjiwanung by the Ojibwe, referring to water that bubbles up. This occurs between Batchawana Island and Sand Point, where the lake narrows and a strong current and undertow results. The Ojibwe believed this was caused by an underwater spirit about to surface.
Batchawana Bay was an important fishing site for the Ojibwe, and later for the North West Company. The Hudson's Bay Company kept an outpost and fishing station at the mouth of the Batchawana River, which flows into the bay. In the early 1920s, the largest fish ever recorded in the Great Lakes was caught by Frank Lapoint in the bay. A sturgeon, it was reportedly 90 years old, measured 2.25 m (7.5 ft) and weighed 140 kg (310 lb).
The bay is formed on the north side by the Whitefish Point on the Canadian side of Lake Superior and divided from the Haviland and Harmony Bays by Batchawana Island. Batchawana Island and Whitefish Point are both of which are important routes and stopovers for migratory birds. Batchawana island was also reputedly the site of Spirit houses (elevated graves) of the Ojibwe.
Nearby Batchawana Mountain () is the fourth highest point in Ontario at 653 metres (2,142 ft).
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