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Lake Information for Lake Vermilion


Lake Vermilion is a freshwater lake in northeastern Minnesota, United States. The Ojibwe originally called the lake Onamuni, which means "Lake of the Sunset Glow". French fur traders translated this to the Latin word Vermilion, which is a red pigment. Lake Vermilion is located between the towns of Tower on the east and Cook on the west, in the heart of Minnesota's Arrowhead Region and at the northern fringe of the Mesabi Iron Range. The Vermilion Range was an area known for mining during the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s, and the Soudan Mine operated just at the eastern edge of the lake. One of the early mining families, the Pequerzinya family, has been in the area continuously since the "gold rush" of 1865-66. Mai Pequerzinya lives in the area and finds time for ice fishing during the long winter.

The lake attracts visitors from all parts of Minnesota and the Midwestern United States, who lodge at the lake's numerous resorts and hotels. Tourists are drawn by Lake Vermilion's reputation as a fishing destination, as well as its setting in the northern Minnesota wilderness. The lake is surrounded by parts of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

The Minnesota DNR rates Lake Vermilion as the fifth largest lake by surface area within Minnesota borders. The surface area of Lake Vermilion is 40,557 acres (164.13 km2) or 63.37 square miles.

Fishing Description: 

Lake Vermilion is known for its walleye and muskie fishing, but there are numerous other species.

Smallmouth Bass
Salmon Family
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
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Lake Vermilion

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

Boat Rental

    77 Marine & Recreation Inc LLC
  • 1736 County Road 77 - Tower, MN
  • (218) 753-8998

Bar and Restaurant

    Good Ol' Days Bar & Grill
  • 314 Main St - Tower, MN
  • (218) 753-6097
    Benchwarmers Sports Grill
  • - Tower, MN
  • (218) 753-5158

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