Smith: Otter Tail is No. 1 county in number of lakes

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 2, 2013 - 9:42 PM
hide

Otter Tail County holds 1,048 lakes — not only more than any other county in Minnesota but more than any county in the United States. One of those lakes is West Lost Lake, where Claire Dagel, 6, of Astoria, S.D., caught her first walleye, a 21-inch dandy, on her "Barbie" pole with a 4-pound test line. Holding her fish is grandpa Keith Hartmann of Fairmont, Minn.

Minnesotans love their lakes, and Crow Wing, Cass, Itasca and St. Louis counties are among those brimming with water — making them popular tourist destinations.

And then there’s lesser-known Otter Tail County in the northwest. Many boaters and anglers accustomed to motoring to Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Walker or Ely might be surprised to know Otter Tail County holds 1,048 lakes — not only more than any other county in Minnesota but more than any county in the United States.

Fully 11 percent of its 2,225 square miles is water.

“We’re kind of a hidden treasure up here,’’ said Nick Leonard, owner of East Silent Resort and past president of the local tourism association. “When you fly over and see all the water, it blows your mind.’’

So why isn’t the area better known?

“That’s a good question, one we’re trying to better understand,’’ Leonard said. “People who live here know we have some unbelievable resources, yet it’s not well-known.’’

Leonard said the numerous lakes provide a unique experience for anglers.

“We have a lot of guests who stay here but will drive to other lakes to fish different species,’’ he said. West Silent Lake is a walleye lake, but just across the road, East Silent Lake is known as an excellent bass lake.

Leonard said his area isn’t as commercially developed as some other tourist destinations in the state. “Here, guests become almost family; it’s kind of a step back in time,’’ he said. “At our resort, everything is on the honor system.’’

He said tourism officials are trying to figure out how to do a better job of marketing the Otter Tail area.

“I would say we’re distinctly different,’’ Leonard said. “We just haven’t articulated it well.’’

Discarded fishing line

Discarded monofilament fishing line has long been problematic for wildlife. Because it doesn’t rapidly decompose, it can and does ensnare loons, ducks, geese, gulls and other wildlife.

Roger Imdieke of New London, Minn., making his first canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness recently, discovered the problem firsthand.

“I heard some rustling in the brush along shore and thought perhaps my fishing rod had got caught, but it hadn’t. I saw some line and grabbed it,’’ he said.

At the other end was a young Canada goose.

“Fortunately it was the leader that was wrapped around the foot, and the skin didn’t appear to be broken,’’ said Imdieke, whose 7-year-old grandson, Luke Knudsen, was along.

“We were able to release the bird unharmed to live another day,’’ Imdieke said. “It swam right off. It was a very teachable moment for Luke.’’

  • related content

  • State fishing report

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Battle Lake: Walleye action has been better than normal on West Battle Lake. Most anglers are fishing drop-offs at 15-20...

  • Trophy tales: Insistance to fish pays off

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    (As told by Casey’s dad, Greg)“It was not a normal morning fish at the historic Lunker Lodge on beautiful Roosevelt...

  • Trophy tales, part II

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Trophy talesTo be considered for our fishing page, e-mail your photo and story to fishphoto@startribune.com. Identify anglers and where they...

  • From the blogs: Be prepared when crossing into Canada

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Americans who complain about hassles that might occur while crossing into Canada to fish or vacation should know that Canadians...

  • Gear alert: Kill switch could prevent boating catastrophe

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Most important among a boat’s equipment isn’t a transom plug, bilge pump, steering wheel or even the motor. It’s the...

  • Luke Knudsen, 7, of New London held a young Canada goose found ensnared in fishing line.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close