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Lake Information for Otter Tail Lake


Located in the heart of Otter Tail County is Otter Tail Lake, the largest lake in the county at 13,728 surface acres. Otter Tail Lake is part of the Otter Tail River chain of lakes. Rush, Big Pine, and Little Pine Lakes are located upstream and Deer, East Lost, and West Lost lakes are located downstream. Primary inlets are the Otter Tail River along the north shoreline and the Dead River along the northwest shoreline. The Otter Tail River outlet is located along the southwest shoreline. Otter Tail Lake has a maximum depth of 120 feet; however, 57% of the lake is less than 15 feet in depth. The majority of the lake is surrounded by residential and commercial development. Public water accesses are located on the north, northeast, and southwest shorelines. The shoreline substrates of Otter Tail Lake consist primarily of sand interspersed with gravel. The lake contains large, shallow flats along most of its perimeter before the first break into deeper water. Areas of submersed aquatic vegetation are present in the lake. A few remnant stands of hardstem bulrush remain and are primarily adjacent to the undeveloped parcels. These areas are important components to the lake. They provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat during all stages of life and are critical for maintaining good water quality. Bulrush beds are natural shoreline stabilizers, reducing erosion caused from wave action and they can even absorb pollutants from the water. Because of their ecological value, bulrush may not be removed without a DNR permit.

Fishing Description: 

Otter Tail Lake is known primarily as a walleye lake and is one of the few lakes in the area that supports a yellow perch fishery. A 1994-1995 summer/winter creel survey noted that 82% of summer anglers and 60% of ice anglers were targeting walleye. Winter anglers sought yellow perch more than summer anglers.

Northern pike spawning habitat is limited in Otter Tail Lake, thus northern pike are stocked occasionally to maintain this population at management goals. Data from fish assessments over the past 20 years shows that walleye and yellow perch are consistently abundant in Otter Tail Lake. Panfish and bass species, although present, are not abundant.

Bass Family
Catfish Family
Salmon Family
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Otter Tail Lake

Businesses Located Nearby

Bait & Tackle

    Main Street Gas & Goods
  • 101 W Main St - Dalton, MN
  • (218) 589-8919
    Underwood Quik Stop
  • 29346 Mn-210 - Underwood, MN
  • (218) 826-6311

Boat Rental

    U Motors
  • 421 W Fir Ave - Fergus Falls, MN
  • (218) 736-7569

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