Beltrami Lake, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northwest -

Also known as:  Turtle River Chain of Lakes

Lake Beltrami is a sparkling body of water situated snugly in Minnesota’s Northwest Tourism Region. This crystal clear lake is a part of the Turtle River Chain of Lakes, along with eight others: Deer, Campbell, Movil, Big Turtle, Little Turtle, Fox, Three Island and Turtle River Lakes. The entities are all close in proximity and connected to the Turtle River, a northern tributary of the Mississippi.

With a surface area of 543 acres and an average depth of 50 feet, Lake Beltrami is ideal for recreational activities like swimming and angling. Stocked every three years, Lake Beltrami offers some truly fantastic circumstances for fishing. Common catches include walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike and crappie. Fishing enthusiasts should note that a northern pike regulation is in effect for all Turtle River Chain lakes – mandating that pike between 24 and 36 inches long are catch-and-release only; although every angler is entitled to keep one sole catch measuring 36 inches or greater.

Other pastimes near Lake Beltrami include horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking Beltrami County’s extensive trail system, a network that is constantly being revised and augmented. The county’s newest project has been to incorporate ATV riding into its existing trails, along with dog sledding. The twisting, precipitous pathways of the Meadow Lake Trail System are highly conducive to extreme sports, and also to vigorous hikes on foot.

Lake Beltrami’s facilities include picnic areas and a concrete boat launch on the southern end of the lake, just off of Highway 71. Many real estate properties and vacation rentals are available along the lake’s craggy, irregular shoreline.

Numerous other bodies of water can be found near Lake Beltrami, including Turtle River Lake, Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake. Lake Bemidji is a glacial body of water consisting of an impressive 6,000 acres. The lake was named “Bemidjigamaag” (lake with cross waters) by its original Anishinabe inhabitants, and today provides a vital source of hydroelectric power. Boating, camping, fishing and candlelight skiing are some of this immensely popular lake’s claims to fame.

Also just a short distance from Lake Beltrami, Lake Bemidji State Park consists of beautiful bog walks, tranquil picnic areas, and refreshing swimming beaches. Conveniences like a fishing pier, marina with canoe access, and regulation volleyball court are available to the public. A seven-mile paved bike path connects to the Paul Bunyan State Trail, a summer hiking trail stretching 15 miles farther through serene pine, hardwood, and aspen forest. Camping amenities include drive-in, pull-through and electric sites, as well as showers, flush toilets, and a dump station.

Minutes away from Lake Beltrami you’ll find the 1.6 million-acre Chippewa National Forest. During the winter, try your luck at ice fishing, snowmobiling or cross country skiing. Here, bird and wildlife watching is unparalleled: bald eagles, hawks, ospreys, red squirrels, weasels, and countless other species dwell in the aspen, birch, fir and maple trees populating these thick woodlands. The Chippewa National Forest is home to some of Minnesota’s rare primary forests (2% of the state’s trees that have never been logged), with some centenarian trees thought to be 350 years old. A 144-acre plot of land known as “The Lost Forty” was mistakenly mapped as a part of Coddington Lake back in 1882 – as a result of this fortuitous error, these lands were forever spared from logging.

Eight miles southwest of Lake Beltrami lies the city of Bemidji, home of the Beltrami County History Center. Located in the Great Northern Depot, which was built in 1912, the museum is run by the Beltrami County Historical Society. History buffs will adore various exhibits featuring novelties like vintage wedding gowns, manuscripts, photos and historic maps. Other notable excursions near Bemidji include a golf course, winery, and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself on your next vacation at Lake Beltrami, reading a book or watching mischievous squirrels tumble among the treetops from your rental cabin’s cozy lakeside porch. Lake Beltrami combines the gorgeous sunsets and panoramic views that are typical of the countryside with all of the cosmopolitan advantages that towns like Bemidji have to offer. Don’t miss out – come experience Lake Beltrami has to offer.

Things to do at Beltrami Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Beltrami Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Beltrami Lake Photo Gallery

    Beltrami Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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