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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association



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DLA Newsletter SPRING 2023


Wishing for spring on Deer Lake,

but it will be awhile with yet another dump of snow!
Winter Update: as of March 28 we have still more snow coming and cold temps for at least another week!  Over 2 feet of snow on the ground will mean serious flooding when Spring finally breaks.



Calling All DLA Photographers!

As we prepare for another summer on Deer Lake, the DLA Boutique is exploring new options to offer through the Boutique. We have had many requests for different types of merchandise. There has also been a request to have a series of merchandise that celebrates the PETS on Deer Lake.  
To help us meet this need, we are reaching out to see if you have new photos to share with us. Feel free to include any photos of your fur family! These photos need to be shared with the understanding that you are giving permission for us to use your photos for DLA merchandise. 
If you sent us photos last  year, we still have them, you do not need to resend them. 
Below is the link to a drop box to place your photos. Please, put them in the drop box with their original size so we have high resolution photos.
or if you prefer Google
Or if you are not able to access either folder, please, just email them to me
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on the Lake!
Jackie, Holly, Barb and Elise



Daniel (Dan) Greer

We regret to inform you of the passing of Dan Greer.

In July 2019, Dan was elected to serve on DLA's Board of Directors.  Dan was a longtime member and conscientious volunteer for the DLA Conservation Committee, performed maintenance services at Deer Lake Station, and was a mainstay volunteer at the Deer Lake Frolic picnic.  We will miss Dan, and are forever grateful for his longtime service as a volunteer and Board member.  

An Obituary can be found here.



Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

are a threat to our way of life on the lake!

The Itasca AIS Program is currently hiring for the 2023 summer season, including both for Inspectors and for AIS Control & Monitoring Techs.  It's helpful to Deer Lake directly and indirectly when we generate candidates for these positions.  AIS Inspector candidates can request to work mostly or even solely on Deer Lake.  Help protect Deer Lake, and commute to work in your own boat!  
If you or anyone you know may be interested in serving as an AIS Inspector or AIS CM Tech this season, please see or forward the attached FlyersThe more applicants DLA sources for these positions the better.   Great job for students 18+, for retirees, and anyone in between.       
Please help us source candidates for these positions!
Here are links for the Job Descriptions:

Level 1 Inspectors are also needed!

It's very helpful to Deer Lake if we can generate our own candidates for these positions!
If you or anyone you know may be interested in serving as an
AIS Inspector or Control Tech this season,
please provide them with this information as soon as possible.
These are great jobs for students 18+, for retirees, and anyone in between.
Last season inspectors were scheduled at the Deer Lake public access
nearly sunrise to sunset 7 days per week.
There were nearly 4000 boats inspected, with 137 hot water decontaminations.
All done right here at our own Deer Lake Station at the Public Boat Access. 
This special care for our lake saved the day many times!
Thank you.



Water Wisdom Series

Noon talks on topics of great interest to Lake Residents.

These are free, on-line, one-hour noon-time seminars

from experts covering a variety of topics, with Q&A.

Beginning February 2 and continuing until November.

1st Thursdays of every month.

Click here for more information and registration.




List of Neighborhood Communicators

All this Just a Click Away!

Message about Newsletter distribution via email.



It's always Time to Renew

your DLA Membership,

or JOIN the DLA!

Click here for Details

And Please consider becoming a




Pretty View on County Road 62 in 1935    (photo from DeCoster Family)

Points: Christmas from the left; Deer Path from the right; Battleship Island from left (barely visible).

A Fourth Point on the far right of the photo (just past sappling), is Little Itasca.

Pretty View Off-Leaf (2015)

Pretty View Map showing the Three Points

sighting the full length of

Deer Lake.

The Pretty View of Deer Lake today. 

We hope that the View can be improved in the future.



The DNR's Eagle Cam  click for the cam



Please take note:

click here for

Dangers of Rural Living

Information about


Bluegreen Aglae

Poison Ivy

Black Bears

And Much More




This chart gives water levels on Deer Lake for the last decade:

Last fall of 2021, we had near record low lake water levels on Deer Lake.  Then in the spring of 2022 rain and snow melt pushed the lake level to near record high.  And now at the fall of 2022, we are back to very low water level.  As you can see by the graph, the difference between highest and lowest is about one foot.  The usual fluctuation is about six inches.



Click here for the latest Edition of the

Deer Lake Handbook

for Property Owners!



Beautiful Deer Lake

For generations, Deer Lake water quality has served as a foundation for family life and lakeshore property values.  All property owners can unite around the goal of improving water quality. 

DLA is introducing the Beautiful Deer Lake Water Quality Initiative.  It long-term effort including AIS prevention strategies and initiatives to improve water quality by reducing phosphorus loads dumped into Deer Lake by streams, septic systems, storm-water run-off, and shoreline erosion.  DLA is asking Deer Lake property owners to open our hearts to the lake and take action.  Please join our effort to improve Deer Lake water quality.  Thank you.

For more info click here!!




DLA Frolic was a big sucess and ev eryone had a great time!

More Frolic details and Photos!


DLA Boutique

Some new items for sale!


Now available from the Deer Lake Boutique: 

Limited-edition vintage-inspired Deer Lake notecards, on linen paper with matching envelopes.  Other Items also available!

  Ten for $10.



Storms bring Welcome Water and Rainbows to Deer Lake

See more Deer Lake Rainbows Here

And please post more!




Bear Island

Please do not use Bear Island wood for camp fires on the Island.

Be sure to bring your own firewood!


Anybody remember the giant slide at Pinehurst Lodge in the old days?

More historical pics here!


New DLA Deer Lake Map!

Deer Lake Map available for purchase!  
Includes names of bays, islands, fishing bars, and current and historical places of interest. 

Available for purchase from the DLA Boutique.  

DLA Boutique 

$40 for 24"x36" size on text weight paper
$25 for 16"x24" size on text weight paper
$30 for 16"x24" size on special poly material that can get wet!

The 24"x36" and 16"x24" versions come printed on Text Weight paper, rolled up and ready to frame or hang to your wall directly.  Print sizes fit standard frames readily available for purchase in local stores or online.  The $30 16"x24" version is printed on special water-resistant poly material that you can keep in your boat to identify bays, islands, and fishing spots.  (This map is not meant to be used as a navigational aid to avoid underwater obstructions).  Our map is neither printed on UV resistant paper nor with UV resistant ink, so if you are concerned about sun-fade please discuss framing options with a local frame shop.      

If you're interested, place an order by sending an email to Elise Widen at




 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. 

Here is a Geocache website with all the locations:




Deer Lake History


Deer Lake historical postcards HERE! 



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 Tom Nelson, webmaster:

A Boating Curiosity on Deer Lake 


Itasca County Interactive Maps

Here is the Parcel Information GIS map of the county:

IC Parcel Records


*  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


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
turquoise 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. 

The "changing colors" is the result of ‘marling’ which occurs in lakes with a high calcium concentrate.   Changes in water chemistry (principally temperature and PH) can trigger the calcium carbonate to crystalize.  These microscopic crystals are known as ‘marl’ and become suspended in the water, slowly sinking.  The bright sunshine during the summer brings about the beautiful turquoise colours.  Observation of the changing colors depends on such aspects as angle of view, water turbulence, and time of day.  The precipitation of the calcium is thought to improve water quality due to the decrease of nutrients through the crystallization process.  However, the calcium in the water also helps zebra mussels to form their shells.

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.

Please Join the Deer Lake Association!




Boating on Deer Lake       Photo by Sanna Pederson


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