Fountain Lake, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Southern -

Fountain Lake is a sparkling 521-acre southern Minnesota lake, featuring three prominently-placed water fountains. Its shores surround the city of Albert Lea and connect to its southern sister, Albert Lea Lake. Fountain Lake is a recreational haven, with activities ranging from casting out a fishing line on a crisp autumn evening to splashing about in the shallow end of the lake on its sandy beach.

While Albert Lea is one of the many small towns of America, the city sets itself apart by having been settled between two bodies of water, the edges of town curving around the shorelines of both Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake. Located in Freeborn County, the city hosts events all through the year, from the Land Between the Lakes Triathlon to the ever-growing popular equestrian sport known as cowboy mounted shooting, where riders shoot blank cartridges at balloons while atop horseback at breakneck speeds. Just a few other attractions include an outdoor blues festival and a doll and toy museum open to curious visitors. A popular festival during the chill of October is devoted to reenacting America’s early times during the fur trade, where live cannons, crafts and costumed locals make an appearance.

Fountain Lake has plentiful fish for eager anglers. Walleye, black crappie and channel catfish are abundant in numbers, swimming in the lake’s maximum depth of 14 feet. Anglers have 14 miles of shoreline to explore to find that perfect fishing spot. Or, they can fish from shore from one of the many lakeside homes.

There are no motor size restrictions on Fountain Lake, so canoeists, kayakers, water skiers, wake boarders, and tubers share the lake’s 521 acres. Fountain Lake is a part of a chain of lakes, with Pickerel Lake and White Lake flowing into its waters. The water then travels southeast into Albert Lea Lake via a channel, which is not navigable by boat. Albert Lea Lake is the headwaters of the Shell Rock River. There are multiple public access points at Fountain Lake, including boat ramps and a recreational swimming area for locals and visitors. The lake’s dam, which is controlled by the city, is used to maintain water levels.

A few miles east of Fountain Lake is Myre-Big Island State Park, where winter activities flourish. Visitors and locals snowshoe, cross country ski and snowmobile through the miles of trails. Warmer months see backpackers and campers hiking into wetland areas, rolling hills and deeply wooded forests. The only sounds that will greet you each morning during your hike will be the twittering of birds and the soft crunch of pine needles beneath your hiking boots. Miles of mountain biking trails give the adrenaline junkies their fix, while paved trails are available for those looking to take a slower journey through the park.

Wildlife is also abundant at Myre-Big Island State Park, though some creatures find their curious way toward Fountain Lake. White-tailed deer, raccoons, red and gray foxes inhabit the area, along with a few bat species. Keep quiet along the hiking trails near the lake to spot these, along with other smaller species, such as snapping turtles, wood frogs and eastern tiger salamanders. Birders will find a number of species to their liking, such as the American kestrel, great horned owl and the bald eagle. Listen closely for the red-tailed hawk’s signature screech, too.

Whether Fountain Lake becomes your weekend retreat or you decide to purchase your dream real estate property, the area is rich in events to keep you busy from the start of the year all the way through December. Pull out a book and sit yourself under a tree to admire anglers reeling in the day’s catch, or try your hand at building the next best sand castle along the swimming beach at the lake. Either way, Fountain Lake will not disappoint — so come visit soon!

Things to do at Fountain Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Fountain Lake

  • Black Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Walleye

Fountain Lake Photo Gallery

    Fountain 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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