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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association

April 16: Ice recedes as the winds blow.

April 17: Almost gone.  Ice sheet is blown into the south-east corner of Deer Lake.  Some other residual patches can be found here and there.

April 18:  ICEOUT!!



[Last update: 4-18-15]

See the Calendar Page for events.



Aquatic Invasive Species threaten Deer Lake!

This year will provide opportunities to enhance our efforts to prevent Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) from ruining our lake.  The Minnesota State Legislature has provided the county governments 10 million for this effort.  Itasca County will receive over a half million dollars annually as its share.  We will see enhanced programs from access inspection and decontamination opportunities to training in detection and monitoring Deer Lake for many forms of AIS.  Among the various aspects of the AIS Program in Itasca County is the Community Action Projects (CAP).  This is a grant program designed to provide associations, organizations and water-oriented businesses with funds for local projects.  These could be supplemental to what is being done across the county, or for innovative ideas.  Most CAP program grants will require matching funds or volunteer hours.
Deer Lake Association members should strongly consider participating in this effort to protect our lake.

Here is some additional information:

Public Service Announcement

Summary of the Itasca AIS Program

CAP Application Form



The DNR did a Sensitive Lakeshore Study of several Itasca County lakes in the past years.  Those studies are now published on the DNR website:

Deer Lake was not one of the three selected for extensive research, but was provided with a Rapid Assessement, as summarized in this map, with predictible results.

Deer Lake Sensitive Lakeshore Areas



Sherwood's Tinker Cabin featured in the Minneapolis newspaper.   Photo by Mary Meland, as appearing in the Star Tribune

Read the article HERE



 Please renew your DLA Membership! (if you haven't already)

DLA Membership App

Message about the Newsletter distribution via Email


Deer Lake Weather Report 

Deer Lake Weather Map

Deer Lake Weather Data, 2013

Ice-Out begins on Deer Lake (March 15)

(that is not open water, only pools on the ice; maybe another spring skating season is on the horizon)



 Interested in the Deer Lake Geocache Challenge? 

The Geocache Challenge is now ready!

Find the starting point at the Deer Lake Access

Geocaching is a fun scavenger hunt for all ages, which uses a GPS device and some  boating skills to find “caches” hidden around the lake. We would plan to develop a series of three to five caches around Deer Lake that would be a fun activity for everyone to learn more about healthy lakeshores. Feel free to contact me, Anna Johnson, if you have any question/concerns, ideas, comments, or are willing to have a cache on or near your lakeshore at




DLA Boutique 

The DLA Boutique has many great items for your home, cabin or as a gift to friends

Call Elise Widen @ 246-2708,

or (612)-868-5083 (off-season)




The Big Fish Contest concludes the 2014 season!


Fall Newletter Excerpts:

After Action Report, from former DLA President Doug Routt



Active Duty Report from new DLA President Tom Nelson

With reports on DLA Vacancies, Frolic, Newsletter, Aquatic Invasive Species, and LWBC




(Click for Memorial page)




Do you know your DLA Area Communicator?



Deer Lake Diagnostic Study is Complete

Click Here


Large spring water seep in 3 feet of water: don't step here (or you will sink past your knee!))


If you know of similar SPRINGS on Deer Lake please contact

Spring Study Coordinator, Tom Nelson




The Pretty View from the Deer Lake Look-out on Co. Rd. 62 goes all the way across the length of Deer Lake, from north-east to south-west.

***Deer Lake History



Deer Lake Photo Gallery

The year's best photos of Deer Lake and its environs can be found on the Gallery page.  Contributions for this year start now!  Please submit your best (digital) photos to the webmaster.  Space may require a limit of three pictures.  Photos should be lake-oriented, but this can include buildings, wildlife, people, weather formations, and other Deer Lake activities or scenes of all sorts.  Send photos as email attachment photos in .jpg format with largest size/resolution possible to:



WI DNR: Fish and Trees

Northern Minnesota Fishing Report from Guide Jeff Sundin



Shoreland Best Management Practice Information

This webpage from the University of Minnesota Extension Service includes fact-sheets designed to assist shoreland property owners in protecting and preserving water quality.  These include information on septic systems, shoreline stabilization, erosion control, lawns and gardens, invasive species, and much more.  Scroll to bottom for index of topics.



Itasca County Interactive Map

This GIS map of the county includes parcel information.



**  DLA EMail Project continues to encourage your participation; 

*  More Links to Area Attractions and Agencies HERE 

*  Look for AnnouncementsPeople, and Hints pages in the FORUM section--

*  We welcome your submissions

Hints and Important Information about
Cabin Life in Itasca County



Minnesota DNR

Our DNR Lake ID Number is 310719

DNR Lake Information

MN DNR: Invasive Species in Itasca County


Helping Fish and Wildlife on your Lakeshore Property.

LakeLubbers article on Deer Lake





  Deer Lake historical postcards HERE! 



About Deer Lake

Deer Lake is located in Itasca County about 12 miles north of Grand Rapids and about 8 miles NE of Deer River. The lake covers about 4,097 acres and is roughly 5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.  There are 20.7 miles of shoreline (25.6 if islands are counted). The lake has no inlets and only one outlet into the Deer River. Its water comes from rainfall and many surface and underground springs.  Deer Lake is considered "ooligotrophic" indicating very clear water with low nutrient levels.

There were 359 private "improved parcels" on Deer Lake (homes or cabins) counted during the 2005 survey, indicating mostly high shoreline development.  An additional 141 non-improved parcels were mostly in common ownership with the improved, but recent development since 2005 has seen many more homes and cabins built around the lake.  The State of Minnesota owns just 12 parcels, the majority of which are islands. 

Often called the "Lake of the Changing Colors", Deer Lake's crystal-clear water contains minerals that changes it's water to a brilliant blue-green color on a bright summer day. This color, along with it's many islands and miles of scenic shoreline, make Deer Lake one of northern Minnesota's treasures.

Deer Lake's depth ranges up to 121 feet. There are many reefs and rockpiles, some rising suddenly in mid-lake. The lake has 920 acres of "littoral area" (where the depth is less that 15 feet deep). This rocky littoral area is great for fishing, but presents real concerns for the safe boater. Many anglers come to catch trophy muskies, but small-mouth & large-mouth bass, walleyed pike, northern pike and a wide assortment of panfish are also present. Very clear water presents a challenge for daytime fishing.



Boating on Deer Lake       Photo by Sanna Pederson