Lake Metigoshe, North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Manitoba - USA - Midwest - North Dakota - North Central -

One of the best spots for water recreation in North Dakota’s North Central region is Lake Metigoshe. Often called the ‘Jewel of the Turtle Mountains’, the 1500-acre lake extends into Manitoba, Canada with the top portion home to many Canadian lakelubbers. Lake Metigoshe is a natural lake, created by the last Wisconsin glacier at least 10,000 years ago. Surrounded by many smaller lakes, the name comes from the Chippewa word, “Metigoshe Washegum”, meaning ‘clear lake surrounded by many oaks’. The lake hosts about 900 cottages and homes along its 28 miles of shoreline.

Lucky lake dwellers take advantage of the wide expanse of water to enjoy sailing, waterskiing, tubing, wakeboarding and pontooning. The irregular shoreline creates many coves, bays and small inlets perfect for canoeing and kayaking. Thee is no full-service marina on the lake, but a small marine service business sells supplies and handles boat repairs. Many homes sit high above the water on bluffs around the lake, safely above the flooding that occasionally occurs. Lake Metigoshe is located in an area with high annual rainfall and is sometimes inundated with waters from the surrounding lakes and streams. A small water control dam at the Oak Creek inlet attempts to control for flooding but is not always successful. The Lake Metigoshe Improvement Association works to keep lake residents informed, monitor water levels and quality issues, and sponsors lake community events throughout the year. A local waterski club performs on the lake several times each year.

Lake Metigoshe is naturally divided into two lake basins and connected at what are locally called The Narrows. Lake Metigoshe State Park includes much of the eastern shoreline of the north basin, stretching as far north as the international border. Turtle Mountain Provincial Park abuts the state park on the other side of the international border. The popular park includes a swimming beach, tent and RV camping, showers, RV dump site, playground, picnic area and shelters. A few cabins and a yurt are available for rental near the north end of the park. A separate group camping area offers a kitchen, dining hall, dormitory and other amenities. Some of the facilities were originally constructed to house workers funded by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and used as labor on federal work projects in the early 1930s. Lake Metigoshe Outdoor Learning Center provides group instruction in conservation, ecology and recreational activities during the summer months for a small fee. Two other picnic areas are also available at Lake Metigoshe.

A number of trails within the park are available to walkers, with some allowing mountain bikes. Old Oak Trail, a National Recreation Trail, is part of the trail system. The park office rents snowshoes and skis for cross-country skiing and arranges for canoe rentals. Some of the cabins are available for rental year round. Wildlife is plentiful in the area, with white-tail deer, muskrat, beaver, squirrel, mink and even an occasional moose seen. A large number of waterfowl utilize Lake Metigoshe and surrounding lakes and ponds. Most of the smaller lakes in the park allow kayaking but do not permit motorized boats. A boat launch is available within the state park with at least two other boat ramps and a fishing pier provided on other parts of the long shoreline.

Fishing is good on Lake Metigoshe, with northern pike, walleye, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch the main catch. Ice fishing is popular; the lake’s islands and irregular shoreline offer a variety of fish habitat. Many of the fish grow to good size. This is snowmobile country and several snowmobile trails meander around the lake, including one to the International Peace Gardens about 3.5 trail-miles away. The park’s trails connect to over 250 miles of snowmobile trails in the Turtle Mountain area. Turtle Mountain Scenic Byway skirts the south end of the lake as it tours over 50 miles of this scenic area and its many points of interest. Near Bottineau, a local downhill ski area offers skiing, snowboarding and sledding.

Visitors who prefer more luxurious lodgings are in luck at Lake Metigoshe. A modern hotel and at least one resort offer lodgings directly on the water. Private vacation home rentals can be found, and there are guest houses and motels in the surrounding area. The nearest town is Bottineau, about 12 miles south of the lake. Bottineau offers most services and general shopping, while convenience stores and gas stations along the lakeshore can fill most ‘quick-trip’ shopping lists for items such as ice and snack foods.

No visit to the Lake Metigoshe area would be complete without spending some time at the International Peace Garden just a few miles away. This international venue showcases several unique garden and floral features, a conservatory with many exotic blooms, a restaurant and more. Of particular interest among the many displays at the Gardens are the Game Warden Museum, with displays of animal pelts and mounted native fur-bearing animals. A 9-11 Memorial honors the victims of that terrible event with some of the girders taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. A Bell Tower plays chimes that can be heard faintly throughout the Gardens, and a Sunken Garden offers interesting water features. Visitors should remember that the International Peace Garden is partially located in Canada, and all visitors should carry proper identification due to border regulations.

Real estate can be found along Lake Metigoshe including the occasional building lot. Lake Metigoshe is a true community where many of the neighbors have lived for generations. It’s a great place to make memories and the perfect spot to practice waterskiing or fishing. Winter is nearly as busy as summer, and snow sports are a big drawing card for winter visitors. No matter what your interests, nearly anything water-based can be enjoyed at Lake Metigoshe.

Things to do at Lake Metigoshe

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Metigoshe

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

Lake Metigoshe Photo Gallery

Lake Metigoshe Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Oak Creek Water Resource Board

Surface Area: 1,544 acres

Shoreline Length: 28 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,142 feet

Average Depth: 11 feet

Maximum Depth: 24 feet

Water Volume: 17,446 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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