It is a body of water that is not completely charted, and caution must be taken when navigating this body of water. Smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye are its primary species of fish. At one time, it was a commercial fishery for walleye, but this was closed due to over fishing.
There are a number of private cabins in this area, and several commercial fishing lodges and resorts which offer housekeeping cabins and American plan packages for American and Canadian Tourists. Shoal Lake is also home to Manitoba Pioneer Camp.
Two First Nations reservations lay claim to much of Shoal Lake. They are bands #39 and #40.
The Lake has a history of gold mining and as gold prices rise so does the pressure to explore mining on the lake again. This pressure is being fought by local cottagers and the City of Winnipeg who have used the lake as its main source of safe drinking water for almost 100 years. Shoal Lake falls under special and specific developmental guidelines in order to protect its water quality and unique wildlife.
The City of Winnipeg operates the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway between Shoal Lake and the City of Winnipeg. The railway provides access by maintenance staff to the aqueduct that is used to supply Winnipeg.