Have You Heard Of Minnesota’s Unique ‘Lake Of The Changing Colors’?
Each of the bodies of water in the Land of 10,000 (plus) Lakes has something interesting or unique about it. This lake in Northern Minnesota might just take the title as one of the most unique of them all.
Minnesota kind of famous for the blue water that covers much of its territory. The name "Minnesota" is derived from Dakota words that roughly translate to "sky-tinted water". While there are plenty of blue lakes dotting the land, this particular lake is one of a kind - going beyond the traditional blue you see across many of Northern Minnesota's lakes.
The lake I'm referring to is Deer Lake, which is located less than 5 miles northeast of Deer River, and about 11 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.
Deer Lake - The Basics
Deer Lake measures just under 5 miles wide from the lake's two furthest points. It is home to a number of islands and bays and much of its shoreline is developed, home to cabins, homes, and resorts like Breezy Portage Resort, Pineridge Resort, and Zak's Resort.
Among all of the lakes fully within the borders of the state, Deer Lake is the 55th largest lake by surface size at 4,097 acres. It comes in just smaller than fellow Itasca County lake Sand Lake and Alexandria area lake Ida Lake.
As far as depth goes, it is also one of Minnesota's deeper lakes, with a maximum depth of 121 feet (though there is a lot of significantly shallower water) That places it as the 68th deepest lake fully within the state. It features 20.7 miles of mainland shoreline, or 25.6 miles of shoreline if you include islands within the lake.
While it is among the deeper and bigger lakes in the state, it certainly isn't notably large or deep. Where things get interesting is the lake's water sources and the clarity of the water.
What makes Deer Lake so unique?
According to the Deer Lake Association website, the lake has no inlets and only one outlet to the Deer River. The water in the lake comes from rainwater and a number of surface and underground springs. This plays a major role in Deer Lake being one of the clearer lakes in the state.
The lake is considered "oligotrophic", which means the water is very clear, cold, and deep; and has relatively low nutrient levels. These lakes also tend to have higher oxygen levels throughout the entire water column. This characteristic is actually fairly common in a number of Northern Minnesota lakes.
Adding to the uniqueness of this clear, deep, cold lake is the unique mineral makeup within the water. The rocks and soil in and around the water contribute, with the water clarity, to a very unique look to the lake's water.
When the light is right, Deer Lake's water has a turquoise hue that is reminiscent of seawater in the Caribbean. As the sun's light hits the lake at a different angle throughout the day, this makes the lake's apparent color change through a spectrum of blueish colors. This shift in the lake's hue is what earned Deer Lake the nickname "Lake of the Changing Colors".
You can even see the different hue of Deer Lake, standing out among the other lakes in the area from this satellite image.
Some people visiting this lake have glowed about the stunning beauty on social media, highlighting the lake's unique color.
In a video shared about one of the resorts on the lake, you can see some cool drone shots that display the vibrant colors of the water.
How's the fishing on this cold, deep, turquoise lake?
While I haven't had the chance to fish this particular lake, the experts at Northland Tackle say it offers a "relaxing" and "quality" fishing experience.
The fish of choice in this lake are walleyes, smallmouth bass, and muskie, with very few bluegills and virtually no crappies. The cold, deep, clear water won't give up a ton of fish on any given trip according to their experts, but the fish you will catch will be "quality" fish.
There is a lot of structure in this lake, giving you a lot of attractive territory to target fish in the lake. A number of islands, points, submerged humps, and drop-offs present a lot of opportunities.
The clear water does present daytime fishing challenges to consider, and while there have been lots of references in this piece about how deep this lake is, don't let that fool you. There are plenty of shallow areas around islands and near the shoreline that present rock and other hazards to be on the lookout for.
If you have a desire to visit this lake for a vacation, I mentioned earlier in this piece some resorts that are on the lake's shores. There are also some cool vacation rentals including this magnificent luxury getaway that will sleep up to 10 people right on the shore of the lake.