Friday, April 07, 2006

Bill asks: Does Wisconsin or Minnesota have more lakes?

Well, this is one of those tough ones... what exactly do you define as a lake? What's a pond and what's a lake? Unfortunately, that comes into play a lot with this question...

Here's what I found:

According to the Wisconsin DNR, the state has 15,081 documented lakes and it has about 3,620 that are larger than 20 acres.

I'm finding a lot of sources saying that the total number of lakes in Minnesota is 14,927. The Minnesota DNR says that the state has 11,842 lakes that are larger than 10 acres.

If I could find a reliable source that told us how many lakes in Minnesota over 20 acres or how many lakes in Wisconsin over 10 acres, we would have good numbers to compare... but I think I'm going to stop here. :-)

My official answer is that both states have a WHOLE BUNCH OF LAKES.



Blogger Brenda said...

Good question. Of course, I'm partial to Wisconsin. :D

6:08 PM  
Blogger flint cordoroy said...

It would have been nice for you to convert this to a lake/square mile ratio for each state.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wisconsin professes to have 15,081 lakes.


However, 9,037 of these lakes are unnamed and average only roughly four acres in size, leaving only 6044 that are large enough to be named.

In contrast, Minnesota has 11,842 named lakes larger than ten acres.


When including unnamed lakes over ten acres the number for Minnesota is 15,291. Estimates suggest that if Minnesota were to lower its cut-off threshold to five acres the number could approach or exceed 20,000 lakes.

In addition, when considering the surface area of each of the states five largest lakes (great lakes excluded), Wisconsin's largest cover 204,105 acres whereas Minnesota's top five total 896,387. Furthermore, the surface area of Minnesota's largest eight lakes is greater than all 15,081 lakes in Wisconsin.

Total surface area covered by lakes in each state

Wisconsin: 1,000,000 (
Minnesota: 2,560,299 acres (

7:18 PM  

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