Lake Owasso & Lake Josephine, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Central -

Twin residential lakes in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, Lake Josephine and Lake Owasso offer a welcome recreational respite from the bustling cities around them. Tucked into the northern limits of the City of Roseville, both lakes offer a selection of higher-end housing and condos for those desiring a front-and-center seat lakeside. Both lakes have county parks that offer swimming and a boat launch for occasional visitors. And both county parks have public frontage on two lakes: Lake Josephine borders Little Lake Josephine, and Lake Owasso adjoins small Lake Wabasso. Lake Josephine and Lake Owasso offer the opportunity to double the fun from every possible angle. With Minneapolis-St Paul less than ten minutes to the south or west, those lucky enough to choose Roseville can have everything within easy reach.

Lake Josephine is the smaller of the two lakes, with 116 acres of surface and a maximum depth of 44 feet. The two miles of shoreline are surrounded by suburban neighborhoods, while the lakeshore itself sports elegant homes. The city bus line has a stop at the Lake Josephine County Park where many local residents go to swim, picnic or fish from the fishing pier. A boat launch allows for fishing on the lake and engaging in watersports. Although water skiing is not prohibited, most water skiers utilize Lake Owasso due to its larger size. The park extends across the road to the wetland area surrounding Little Lake Josephine. Walking trails are provided along both lakes. Fishing is good for northern pike, walleye, crappie, bluegills and largemouth bass. In winter Lake Josephine is a favorite for pike spearing through the ice. Walleye fingerlings have been stocked to improve angling opportunities for this popular game fish.

Less than half a mile to the east, Lake Owasso presents the same kinds of housing opportunities to the discerning buyer. Those choosing lakeshore homes can find existing properties in exclusive neighborhoods. Others choosing off-water housing also enjoy all that Lake Owaso has to offer. With 375 surface acres and five miles of shoreline, Lake Owasso offers plenty of room to engage in watersports, including water-skiing. The long, narrow lake is a favorite of small-boat sailors, and pontoons cruise the shoreline to visit neighbors and enjoy the breeze. The Lake Owasso County Park offers a swimming beach with lifeguard, picnic areas, rest rooms, picnic shelters and a playground. The boat launch area offers water access to anglers, or they can fish from shore in a small area near the beach. Lake Wabasso is a favorite spot for canoeing and kayaking as it is surrounded by wetland areas. Much of Lake Owasso is quite shallow, although some deep holes reach 37 feet. Lake Owasso produces some extra-large northern pike and walleye, while largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, crappie and muskellunge are closer the the ‘usual’ size. Lake Owasso is managed as a muskellunge lake, and most anglers are here to seek them out. A seaplane base shares space with recreational boaters.

The City of Roseville is a well-planned community that provides all services necessary to those who want to escape the larger metroplex. A nine-hole golf course is just the ticket for a quick game to unwind after a long day in the city. Roseville’s Central Park acts as stage for several community attractions such as an outdoor ice rink, ice arena, ball fields, basketball courts, tennis and volleyball courts, soccer fields and playgrounds. Roseville is understandably proud of its 30 parks, 679 acres of parkland and open space, and 67 miles of trails and walkways. Also located within Central Park is the Harriet Alexander Nature Center. Providing protection for hundreds of plants and animals, its 52 acres of prairie, marsh and forest are made accessible via boardwalks and trails. The Muriel Sahlin Arboretum, also in Central Park, not only provides acres of glorious blooms in season but may be arranged for weddings and special events.

Residents and visitors to Lake Josephine and Lake Owasso can take advantage of the unique opportunities for shopping and entertainment in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Explore the rainforest at Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota, or learn about pioneer and Native American Minnesota at the Gibbs Museum of the Ramsey County Historical Society in Saint Paul. Visit the historic Minneapolis Riverfront District and take a cruise on the Mississippi River through downtown Minneapolis on a paddlewheeler. Explore the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum, or take the St. Paul gangster tour into the sandstone caves beneath the city. With special venues, art galleries, sculpture parks and beautiful cathedrals, there is plenty of nightlife and a wealth of culture and the arts to explore. Learning opportunities will even invade your well-laid plans to ‘shop til you drop’ at Mall of America; who could resist a foray into the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at the famed mall?

Within an hour of Lake Josephine and Lake Owasso are whitewater canoeing and rafting, camp sites galore, and a variety of fishing experiences that Minnesota is famous for. Winter sports are readily available once the snow flies; snowshoeing trails, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and winter festivals are all within easy reach. Unfortunately, there are few lodgings available directly on either lake, but there are plenty of hotels and motels nearby in all price ranges. Roseville and the twin lakes can still be your destination for a weekend or a home for a lifetime. So come and experience Lake Josephine and Lake Owasso.

*Statistics shown are for Lake Owasso.

Things to do at Lake Owasso & Lake Josephine

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Owasso & Lake Josephine

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

Lake Owasso & Lake Josephine Photo Gallery

Lake Owasso & Lake Josephine Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 375 acres

Shoreline Length: 5 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 887 feet

Maximum Depth: 37 feet

Trophic State: Eutropic

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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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