Discover Lake of the Woods Minnesota: The Walleye Captial of the World

Lake of the Woods
© Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0

Written by Sean Moore

Published: August 21, 2022

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Lake of the Woods is the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the United States. Like many other Minnesota lakes, Lake of the Woods is a glacially formed body of water. The lake is located in the far northern region of Minnesota and sprawls into Canada serving as the international border between the United States. 

The enormous 1.075M acre lake houses over fourteen thousand small and large islands! The lake might be the most well known by locals and tourists as The Walleye Captial of the World. Other popular activities at Lake of the Woods include biking, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, snowmobiling, off-road vehicle riding, and cross-country skiing.

The lake also provides home and shelter to a wide range of wildlife. Many types of animals and birds use the lake as a sanctuary for mating and raising their offspring. Birds also use the lake for nesting and migrational purposes.

Lake of the Woods Size

Lake of the Woods

©Copernicus Sentinel-2, ESA / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO – Original / License

Quick Size Stats

● Surface Area: 1.075M Acres

● Width: 56 Miles

● Length: 67.73 Miles

● Average Depth: 26 Feet

● Max Depth: 210 Feet

● Shoreline: 65,000 Miles

Lake of the Woods is the thirty-sixth largest lake in the world by area. It has a twisted and winding sixty-five thousand mile shoreline forming the lake’s numerous bays and productive fishing spots. The lake has a width of fifty-six miles and a length of nearly sixty-eight miles.

Glacial activity from the last five thousand years is responsible for the lake’s two hundred and ten-foot maximum depth. The lake’s average depth is twenty-six feet.

Lake of the Woods Weather

Lake of the Woods

©Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

Quick Weather Stats

● Average Temperature: 38.8 °F

● Summer High: 79 °F

● Winter Low: -6 °F

● Average Annual Precipitation: 22.67 Inches

● Average Annual Snowfall: 39.56 Inches

● Average Annual Humidity: 82.19%

Lake of the Woods is located in the far northern region of Minnesota where seasonal temperatures are generally colder, averaging thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.

The average annual precipitation is just over twenty-two inches and snowfall of almost forty inches. The lake sees one hundred and seventy-seven sunny days per year. The annual BestPlaces Comfort Index ranks Lake of the Woods as one of the least comfortable places in the state of Minnesota.

Lake of the Woods Fishing 

Lake of the Woods


Lake of the Woods might be known best for its fishing. The lake is often called The Walleye Capital of the World due to the millions of fish that inhabit the water. In addition to the abundant walleye, Lake of the Woods also hosts a significant muskie population. 

Many other types of fish inhabit the lake including northern pike, perch, sauger, crappie, panfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, lake trout, lake sturgeon, and whitefish. The density of fish, range of diversity in species type, and reputation for huge walleye make Lake of the Woods a highly visited destination for Minnesota locals and tourists to the area.

Lake of the Woods Birdwatching

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

©Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

Beyond the well-known fishing reputation of Lake of the Woods, it’s also a prime location for viewing wildlife. Many parts of the lake are undeveloped offering refuge and home to several key bird species. Piping plover and large numbers of American white pelicans use the area as nesting habitat and there are several hundred nesting pairs of bald eagles present at Lake of the Woods.

Many types of waterfowl can be seen during migration season in the spring and fall months. Some of the different types include lesser and greater scaup, ring-necked ducks, teal, American widgeon, pintails, and mergansers.

Birds of prey are also common to the area including the abundant bald eagle population. Birds of prey that inhabit Lake of the Woods include osprey, northern harrier, sharp-shinned hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, merlin, peregrine falcon, and turkey vulture.

Additional bird species call Lake of the Woods their home. Just a few of the many birds visitors can expect to view include the great gray snowy owl, sandhill crane, pileated woodpecker, red wing blackbird, sparrows, warblers, robins, vireos, orioles, hummingbirds, junco, and snow bunting. 

Lake of the Woods Campground and Resorts 

The massive waters of Lake of the Woods reach into Canada and draw part of the international border. Visitors to the lake with a passport will be able to access the campgrounds and amenities in Canada. The Minnesota side of Lake of the Woods also offers its own campgrounds and amenities.

Campgrounds at Lake of the Woods in the United States on the Minnesota side of the water include Lake of Woods Campground, Warroad City Campground, Dale’s on Lake of the Woods, Bur Oak Campground, Angler’s Campground, Birch Campground, Ridge Campground, and many others.

Lake visitors looking for a glamping, or more upscale experience, can take advantage of the many resorts available. Just a few of the resorts at Lake of the Woods include Sportsman’s Lodge, Cyrus Resort, Ballard’s Resort, Wigwam Resort, Adrian’s Resort, Ken-Mar-Ke Resort, Sean’s Birchview Resort, Border View Lodge, Ship’s Wheel Resort, and Slim’s Resort.

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About the Author

Sean is a professionally published author, mostly in the tech space. He's worked as a writer, editor, and reviewer for O'Reilly Media, Adobe, Manning, Addison-Wesley, and many more. Sean is also a lifelong musician and writes about audio production. Recently he's been focused on web3 and music NFTs.

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