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Forest Lake Management District Overview

Named Lakes

Forest

Shields

Keewahtin

Elwell

Cranberry

Twin

Clear

Municipalities

Forest Lake (89%)

Scandia (11%)

Characteristics

13,669 acres

14.6 miles of watercourses

4,560 acres of wetland

Forest Lake Management District Overview

Named Lakes

Forest
Shields
Keewahtin
Elwell
Cranberry
Twin
Clear

Municipalities

Forest Lake (89%)

Scandia (11%)

Characteristics

13,669 acres

14.6 miles of watercourses

4,560 acres of wetland

Forest Lake

Lake Size: 2,271 acres
Drainage Area: 8,160 acres
Max Depth: 37 feet
Lake Grade: B

Forest Lake is the largest lake in Washington County. Due to its shape, Forest Lake can be identified as having three basins: west (lake 1), middle (lake 2), east (lake 3). It is highly used for recreation and has three public boat launches. Forest Lake was identified as having the healthiest fish community of all lakes in the District with relatively low abundance of rough fish and a healthy presence of top predator and panfish groups.

Water Quality

In 2002 Forest Lake was placed on the State’s Impaired Waters List for aquatic consumption. Over the past several years the CLFLWD has implemented several water quality projects to address the excess nutrients, such as phosphorus, entering the lake. These projects have resulted in a phosphorus load reduction of 932lb/yr, or 83% of the District’s goal for Forest Lake. Forest Lake’s west basin currently meeting the District’s 10-yr (2031) phosphorus goal and has had significantly improving trends in phosphorus, cholorphyll-a, and secchi depth since 2011. Forest Lake’s middle and east basins do not currently meet the District’s 10-yr goals.

Learn more about Forest Lake’s water quality improvements in the 2023 Progress Summary or perusing the reports available in the document library below. To view only the reports for Forest Lake, select “Forest Lake” from the tags drop down menu.

Aerial photo of Forest Lake’s west basin
Progress toward Forest Lake’s phosphorus reduction goals as of 2023

Shields Lake

Lake Size: 29 acres
Drainage Area: 8,160 acres
Max Depth: 37 feet
Lake Grade: B

Shields Lake is a small, shallow, natural environment lake used mainly for fishing. Over 80% of Shields Lake is shallow enough for rooted plants to grow resulting in heavy vegetation throughout. Shields Lake drains directly to Forest Lake.

Water Quality

In 2006 Shields Lake was placed on the State’s Impaired Waters List for aquatic consumption. Over the past several years the CLFLWD has implemented several water quality projects to address the excess nutrients, such as phosphorus, entering the lake. These projects have resulted in a phosphorus load reduction of 1,023lb/yr, or 98% of the District’s goal for Shields Lake. Shields lake has had a statistically significant decreasing trend in Secchi depth since 1993 but met the state water quality standards for the first time in 2020. 

Learn more about Shields Lake’s water quality improvements in the 2023 Progress Summary or perusing the reports available in the document library below. To view only the reports for Shields Lake, select “Shields Lake” from the tags drop down menu.

Aerial photo of Shields Lake
Progress toward Shields Lake’s phosphorus reduction goals as of 2023

Lake Keewahtin

Lake Size: 91 acres
Drainage Area: 303 acres
Max Depth: 34 feet
Lake Grade: A

Lake Keewahtin (formerly known as Sylvan or Halfbreed Lake) is a deep lake with excellent water quality. The lake is landlocked and does not drain to any other waterbodies. Lake Keewahtin is used for fishing, swimming, boating, and other recreational activities although it has no public boat access.

Water Quality

Lake Keewahtin has exceptional water quality. The lake meets the District’s 10-yr (2031) goals and has had a statistically significant improving trend in Secchi depth since 1974. Lake Keewahtin has known populations of purple loosestrife, but generally has a high density of good quality native plant growth.

Learn more about Lake Keewahtin’s water quality improvements in the 2023 Progress Summary or perusing the reports available in the document library below. To view only the reports for Lake Keewahtin, select “Lake Keewahtin” from the tags drop down menu.

Aerial photo of Lake Keewahtin (formerly Sylvan)
Progress toward Lake Keewahtin’s phosphorus reduction goals as of 2023

Projects In This Area

Related Documents

To view only the reports for a specific lake, select the lake’s name from the tags drop down menu.

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