Lake Plantagenet, Minnesota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northwest -

Also known as:  Plantagenet Lake

Lake Plantagenet holds a special place in the hearts of fishermen in Northwest Minnesota. Where else can you find fighting muskie with a four-foot size limit? Fish like this are enough to make avid anglers plan for months to visit Lake Plantagenet. No one appears to remember how this 2500-acre lake ended up being named for a line of English kings. Given the huge numbers of lakes in this area of the Mississippi headwaters, someone apparently decided to label the lake something more memorable than one more Loon or Rice or Cedar Lake. Only three miles southwest of Bemidji, Lake Plantagenet has become one of the most popular residential lakes in the immediate area. Nearly 65% of the shoreline is developed. Most of what remains is either wetlands or private youth camps. The heavily-wooded shoreline is dotted with upscale homes sitting far back from the water under a canopy of trees.

Most Lake Plantagenet homes have a private dock, and boating is one of the lake’s prime attractions. Residents enjoy waterskiing, tubing, wakeboarding, sailing, pontooning, and powerboating. Children enjoy swimming and diving from platform docks. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats cruise the shoreline. Although several fishing resorts once lined the lake, today only one remains to house visiting lakelubbers. Lake Plantagenet has become residential, home to a number of year-round residents. Yet, there’s still something wild and primitive about the lake. Perhaps it is the loons calling on foggy mornings, or the large numbers of birds and waterfowl who seek out the near-shore shallows, or the wide expanse of water with ever-changing hues.

Even though there are no public parks or swimming beaches on Lake Plantagenet, there are two boat access points for fishing boats. The lake hugs the border between Hubbard and Beltrami Counties, and each provides a public boat access. Under a program partially paid for by the local lake association, the boat ramps are often manned by boat inspectors who will educate visitors on invasive species. Luckily, Lake Plantagenet has so far escaped major invasion by the foreign aquatic weeds and mussels that have invaded many nearby lakes. The lake has excellent bottom structure, with several ridges, weed beds and deeper holes that give fish both forage and breeding space.

The muskellunge are undoubtedly the stars of Lake Plantagenet, although the lake also holds the state record for the largest yellow perch: three pounds, four ounces. As muskies under 48 inches can’t be kept, some real whoppers await to take the properly-placed lure. Walleye, northern pike, bluegill, largemouth bass and crappie are also caught. Walleye and muskie are planted in alternating years, and the lake is used for muskie brood stock for other regional lakes. In winter, ice fishermen descend with their fishing shanties to catch the perch the lake is noted for. So many ice fishermen make Lake Plantagenet their winter destination that ‘roads’ are plowed on the ice in heavy snow cover to assist anglers in getting to their chosen spot.

The remaining lakeside resort rents fishing boats and cabins and provides dock space for RV visitors. Although there is no other camping area on Lake Plantagenet, nearby parks such as Lake Bemidji State Park and Itasca State Park offer campsites of every description, including camping cabins. A youth camp with separate locations for boys’ camp and girls’ camp has owned 700 acres along the south and east sides of Lake Plantagenet since the 1940s and still hosts hundreds of teens each year from around the country.

The Neilson Spearhead Center, owned by the Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society, is a 460-acre nature preserve surrounding Spearhead Lake, just west of Lake Plantagenet. Black bear, white-tailed deer, otter, fisher, flying squirrels, and even an occasional wolf inhabit the preserve. Bird life flourishes year around, with numerous species of woodland warblers, thrushes, nesting loons and osprey, as well as great blue herons, wood ducks, and other species of waterfowl seen in various seasons. Dozens of other lakes, mostly smaller, dot both Hubbard and Beltrami Counties. Sections of the Chippewa National Forest and several state forests offer public lands for hiking and nature viewing within ten miles of Lake Plantagenet.

The Schoolcraft River, small and nearly impassable here, flows into and out of Lake Plantagenet. Farther north the Schoolcraft is a favorite for canoeing and kayaking. The Mississippi River flows through the town of Bemidji at the south end of Lake Bemidji. It was this waterway that led early loggers and settlers to the region. Because of its central location near both the river and later railways, Bemidji grew into one of northern Minnesota’s most popular small cities. The city now hosts Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. The Headwaters School of Music and The Arts and the Headwaters Science Center offer activities for children and adults.

Many seasonal activities are offered either in or near Bemidji, such as covered wagon rides, sleigh rides, powwows, winery and woolen mill factory tours, Bemidji Speedway’s quarter-mile dirt track stock car racing, and a number of activities dedicated to north woods logger folk hero, Paul Bunyan and his fabled ox, Blue. Quaint shops, music venues, farmers’ markets, bed-and-breakfasts, fishing resorts and eateries are plentiful in the area, and lodgings are easily reserved. There are a numbers of hiking, biking, cross-country and snowmobile trails in the area that connect to the entire extensive Minnesota trail system.

Real estate on Lake Plantagenet lakefront is often available and takes little more than a call to any local realtor to locate. Private owners often rent their cottages by the week or the month. More conventional lodgings can be found in the Bemidji area, and small lakefront motels can be found on many surrounding lakes. Many lodging choices are available year-round, and winter festivals and snowmobiling will keep winter visitors entertained when the perch aren’t biting. The Lake Plantagenet area has plenty of offer all ages. Come spend a weekend or a week discovering the Bemidji area and its famous waters.

Things to do at Lake Plantagenet

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • State Forest
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Lake Plantagenet

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

Lake Plantagenet Photo Gallery

Lake Plantagenet Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 2,529 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,342 feet

Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic-eutrophic

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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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