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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association

The DLA is now on Facebook: Like us Here: 

The DLA is now on Twitter!!!:  Follow us @BeautifulDeerLk

Winter returns.  First we had a major melt with temps in the 50s with rain.  So we hoped for some spring skating.  But just as the ice was firming up as a sheet, a big blizzard blew in with snow.  But it also had 50mph winds that packed the snow into drifts with a patchwork of open ice,  And now, finally, we are skating!


When's Ice-Out, 2017?

Let's take a poll!

 This Winter's 2016 ICE-IN was:

Night of December 11-12-2016--one of the latest ever!

We also had no Ice-boating far.

So please click the ICE-IN & -Out links for more interesting years in the Phenology Ice Archive.






List of Neighborhood Communicators

All this Just a Click Away!


Calendar of DLA Events

The Board is hard at work planning for next year!

Almost ready!!



Our Deer Lake is famous!

We are in the Top 10 Clearest Lakes in the US!


Time to Renew your DLA Membership,

or JOIN the DLA!

Click here for Invoice

And Please consider becoming a LIFETIME MEMBER of the DLA!



Message about Newsletter distribution via email. 

Here is our newly revised Second Edition:

Beautiful Deer Lake: A Property Owner's Handbook

The BDL Handbook contains multiple embedded hyperlinks that provide direct access to additional information on the DLA or external web-sites.  The best way to view these hyperlinks is to DOWNLOAD a full copy of the Handbook, save it to your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, then open the saved Handbook from your computer or device.  When using your smartphone or tablet, you may find it easiest to use the Xodo PDF Viewer app to open the Handbook on your mobile device.  You can download the Xodo PDF Viewer app for free from your smartphone or tablet's app store.  If you have problems or questions, please contact us at  



Check this out: the DNR EagleCam



Aquatic Invasive Species

NEW: Watch this!


Horrible Beauty of AIS: It Can Happen Here!


Several boatloads of Zebra Mussels were pulled off of Sand Lake this month.

Sand Lake is a very popular fishing lake just a few miles from Deer Lake.

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:

Letter offering free consultation on AIS

Minnesota Extension AIS Newsletternew

Itasca County AIS Facebook Page

Public Service Announcement

Summary of the Itasca AIS Program

CAP Application Form



It is with sadness that we must report that Peg Brown,

Matriarch of the Brown Family on Deer Lake,

has passed away.

Peg Brown Obituary


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of loyal Deer Lake cabin owners, Paul Jorgensen (Hiawatha area) and Weir Sears (Bonnie Point).

Weir Sears' Obituary



Jorgy's Obituary




Some Important Studies on Deer Lake

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



Deer-Pokegema Diagnostic Study

(very large file takes time to download)

The Diagnostic Study makes many recommendations on how to improve and protect water quality in Deer Lake.  The Itasca SWCD office has obtained a grant to do some of this suggested work in the next years.

Two related webpages with more information and photos of the Diagnostic study:

Diagnostic Page

Spring Study Page


Deer Lake Water Quality Assessment Report

(this is a draft with occasional errors to be corrected)

Itasca County has contracted with RMB Labs (Detroit Lakes and Grand Rapids) to collated Lake Water Quality reports/Summaries for many Itasca County Lakes, including Deer Lake.





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.



If you know of any SPRINGS on Deer Lake please contact

Spring Study Coordinator, Tom Nelson



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.



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



Summer News Items:

The Deer Lake Frolic is a big success!

Click it!


Bear Island Cleanup Crew Clears Trail

Photos by Tom Nelson

Many thanks to the crew of trail-clearers on Bear Island: Rich, Bob, John, Catherine, Jim, Hugh and Paul.

And to those who preceded this crew: Newt, Denny, the Routt Family, and more.





 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)



Intermittent showers still bringing RainBows

(click, and Please send photos to webmaster!)



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 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:



Itasca County Interactive Map

This GIS map of the county includes parcel information.



*  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 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



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