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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association

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. Nearby are Moose Lake to the north (left on the postcard above), and Little Deer to the west (foreground of post card).

Deer Lake has 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.