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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

Horrible Beauty of AIS (featuring shots of Deer Lake)


Best Snow of the Season

--light, fluffy and lots--

returns to Deer Lake!



Time to Renew your DLA Membership,

or JOIN the DLA!

Click here for Invoice

And Please consider becoming a LIFETIME MEMBER of the DLA!



Itasca Area Business Water Summit

The Itasca County AIS program is hosting the 2018 Itasca Area Business Water Summit, Wednesday March 14 from 11am-1pm, at the Timberlake Lodge.  DLA is a sponsor for this event.    

The Summit is meant to gather representatives from area resorts, campgrounds, lake service providers, marine dealers, sporting goods and bait shops, fishing guides, and other similar area businesses who provide products or services to water-related visitors and property owners.  The idea is to raise awareness about AIS, and then invite businesses to partner with us to prevent further AIS infestation in area waters.  Event Flyer

You can help by alerting your lake service providers and encouraging the other listed businesses you patronize to RSVP by Mar 1 and attend on Mar 14. 

Thank you. 



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!!


List of Neighborhood Communicators

All this Just a Click Away!



Do you need your driveway plowed, or help with docks and lifts, or other professional services?

Click here for our new LINKS page!


2018 Calendar of DLA Events

The DLA Board is hard at work scheduling next years' Events!!



Aquatic Invasive Species

(Click this link for the AIS page)


NEW: Watch this if you dare!


Horrible Beauty of AIS: It Can Happen Here!


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

Itasca County AIS Facebook Page

CAP Application Form

More AIS on its own page Here



Bear Island

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

Be sure to bring your own firewood!




"Sunset Afterglow"

(Photo by Donalyn Dealy)


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.  

$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.  (Though our 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


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  





The DNR has several live cameras!

Check this out: the DNR EagleCam



Some Important Studies on Deer Lake



April 13, 7:45pm

This year's Ice-Out sequence can be found HERE

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.




If you know of any SPRINGS near or in the waters of Deer Lake please contact

Spring Study Coordinator, Tom Nelson

Also: the DNR is now developing an inventory of all Springs in Minnesota:



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



 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 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.


Our Deer Lake is famous!

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


*  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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