Kabetogama Lake, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northeast -

Also known as:  Lake Kabetogama

Located just a few miles from the Canadian border in St. Louis County, Minnesota’s Kabetogama Lake is every bit as unique as its name implies. This freshwater glacial body is situated within Voyaguers National Park, and is connected to three other lakes in the region: Namakan, Sand Point and Crane Lakes.

Fishing reigns supreme here at Kabetogama Lake, where sauger, bluegill, rock and smallmouth bass dwell among more than 200 craggy islands. Lively schools of crappie congregate along rock walls late in the season; walleyes tempt anglers in mid-June; and northern pike are a wonderful challenge to catch throughout mid-summer.

Recreation opportunities are vast and easily accessible year round at Kabetogama Lake. During the summer, leisurely tanning, tubing and sunset viewing are spectacular. Fall brings about crisp, refreshing temperatures and vibrant maple, tamarack and aspen leaves – wildlife watching is particularly good at this time, as woodland creatures prepare to hibernate during the upcoming cold months.

Throughout the winter, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing cannot be missed. Meanwhile, spring is the best time for hiking and observing animals, as the world magically renews itself after such long, bitter winter months.

Hiking trails along Kabetogama Lake are unparalleled. To the west, Locator Lake Trail connects with over 20 other lakes. To the east, Cruiser Lake Trail features 21 miles of winding pathways and varied terrain. The Blind Ash Bay Trail winds for 2.5 miles along the Ash River, and is best known for its abundant blueberries in July. The Kab-Ash Trail system provides an additional 24 miles to explore by walking, mountain biking or horseback riding. Canoeing trails are also popular, particularly inside the Kabetogama State Forest. Wildlife watching enthusiasts can hope to spot moose, bear, timber wolf and various birds along the way.

Amenities at Kabetogama Lake include picnic areas, cabins and public lake access points, along with a bog walk and public information center; convenient bait stores and cabin rentals are also numerous. Beautiful real estate properties and vacation rentals are available for those on holiday – or who may be interested in buying a lakeside home.

Kabetogama Lake is located within Voyaguers National Park, a preserve originally named by 18th-century French-Canadian explorers who used these channels to transport goods; however, it was not officially donned a national park until 1975 (after a heated debate that had been ongoing since 1891). The protected area now boasts 218,054 acres of wilderness, amounting to a wildlife watcher’s paradise filled with bear, deer, moose and wolf. Aspen, white pine and spruce trees dominate the landscape, along with four lakes and prolific hiking trails.

Kettle Falls is another must-see, a 35-foot drop that is hidden underneath Rainy Lake’s dam just a short distance from Kabetogama Lake. Its hotel has been in operation since 1913, and was purchased in 1918 by a man named Robert Williams for the sum total of $1,000 and four drums of whiskey (a comically low price by today’s standards).

Also close in proximity to Kabetogama Lake is the Ellsworth Rock Gardens attraction, without question the best picnic spot around. This series of flower gardens and rock sculptures was completed in 1965, after 21 long years of creative labor by artist Jack Ellsworth.

Animal lovers of all ages won’t want to miss the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr, home of the American Bear Association. At least a half-dozen black bears meander about in their natural environment, weighing 125-600 pounds. Visitors can observe these majestic beasts safely and unobtrusively from an elevated observation deck.

Picture yourself drifting off to sleep as the sound of humming crickets echoes off the surface of Kabetogama Lake. Picture yourself awakening in the morning, as renewed and restored as if you hadn’t a care in the world. Picture yourself staying at Kabetogama Lake.

Things to do at Kabetogama Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Tubing
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • National Park

Fish species found at Kabetogama Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sauger
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Kabetogama Lake Photo Gallery

Kabetogama Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 25,760 acres

Shoreline Length: 188 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,115 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 80 feet

Water Volume: 643,453 acre-feet

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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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