Colby Lake, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro -

Situated just southeast of Minnesota’s illustrious Twin Cities, the cozy Colby Lake is comprised of 67 acres in Washington County. It features an average depth of seven feet, a shoreline length of three miles, and maximum depth of 11 feet. Varied recreational opportunities and an incredibly picturesque setting attract outdoorsy visitors from far and wide.

Experienced anglers agree that fishing at Colby Lake is quite superb. As northern pike and yellow perch were stocked by the Fishing in the Neighborhood Program in 2008, it is not surprising that they are the two most predominant species in these waters; however, black crappie, bluegill, panfish and bullhead are also present. Colby lake is considered hypereurotrophic, meaning that it is incredibly rich in nutrients – a quality that can result in summer algae blooms and reduced oxygen levels in the lake. Fishing enthusiasts can also try their luck at Powers Lake, a few miles to the northeast.

Colby Lake Park – maintained by the City of Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department – features a number of convenient facilities open to the public, including basketball and tennis courts, a walking path, restrooms, picnic areas and playgrounds. Myriad vacation rentals and real estate properties are available for those looking to relocate or take a holiday along Colby Lake’s sparkling blue waters.

For sports lovers, a gargantuan golf course is just a stone’s throw away from Colby Lake. Play a few rounds of golf, catch a fish for dinner, and take an evening stroll along an interpretive trail – all in time for dinner.

Afton State Park can be found southeast of Colby Lake, just near the Wisconsin border. This area seems to have been created specifically for recreational activities like swimming, backpacking and cross country skiing. Pop into the visitor center to rent snowshoes for a nominal fee, or check out a GPS unit – free of charge. Hawks, waterfowl, deer, fox and badger are easy photography fodder in Afton State Park’s wilderness. At least 148,909 people visit the 1695-acre preserve annually.

Just over the Wisconsin border, Kinnickinnic State Park is a fantastic day trip from Colby Lake. The tranquil ambiance of the Kinnickinnic River Valley combined with the gushing St. Croix National Scenic River creates a multitude of opportunities for rest and relaxation. Wildlife watching is spectacular here, where animals like deer, painted turtles and minks thrive in 1,242 acres of protected lands. Bird watching yields chances to observe over 140 avian species native to these territories.

East of Colby Lake, the enormously beautiful St. Croix National Scenic River runs along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, and is composed of seven hiking trails maintained by the National Park Service. Hunting is permitted along these trails, although bicycling and ATV riding are not. One of the easier paths is the Indianhead Flowage Trail, an easy 3/4-mile long stretch that is known for its wildflowers and summer raspberries. Hikers will find the Ridge View Trail to be moderate in intensity, and a great place to spot scarlet tanagers, turkeys, eagles, and grouse.

Also situated close to Colby Lake is the RJD Memorial Hardwood State Forest, named after former Commissioner of Conservation Richard J. Dorer. The park is known for its canoeing and kayaking channels, particularly the Cannon River, Whitewater River, Root River, Zumbro River, State Canoe and Vermillion River State Canoe Routes. Attractions include a day use area, five recreational areas, and eight campgrounds.

Colby Lake is located within city limits of Woodbury, Minnesota, a well-known suburb of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul). Vacation rentals and real estate are available for temporary or permanent stays in this prosperous municipality. With over 100 miles of trails, 3,000 acres of protected lands and close proximity to one of the busiest urban hubs in the country, there is truly something for everyone at Colby Lake.

Things to do at Colby Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • National Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Colby Lake

  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Yellow Perch

Colby Lake Photo Gallery

    Colby 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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