The Carcross and Tagish people gathered at Tagish and the mouth of the McClintock River to trade and fish, and camped by the Natasaheen River when the Woodland Caribou migrated across the river.
The Klondike Gold Rush brought tremendous change to the area as trees were cut for boat building and later railway ties and barges. The sternwheelers needed wood for fuel and camps were set up around the lakes to supply fuel for the boats. Increasing population and development affected the local caribou herd which moved out of the area.
The Natasaheen River and Nares Lake remained a good place to fish and hunt for birds, and the local people were attracted by new opportunities for employment. Johnnie Johns became famous as a world-renowned outfitter and employed many First Nation guides in his business.
The sternwheelers hired local deckhands, and wood camps employed seasonal workers who could still spend most of their year on the land. The sternwheelers stopped at camps around the lake to obtain fresh fish for their elegant menus. One woman made between $300 and $400 in the summer of 1931 supplying fish to the Tutshi.