Star Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota

Lake Information

Star Lake, Otter Tail County, Minnesota

Star Lake is a 4,721-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in north-central Otter Tail County approximately four miles west of Dent, MN. Star Lake is connected to Dead and Round Lakes via non-navigable streams. The immediate watershed is composed primarily of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. Extensive marsh areas are located in the south bay and the west arm of the lake. The maximum depth is 94 feet; however, 59% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The secchi disk reading was 12 feet in 2018. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 5.8 to 14.0 feet. The definite starfish outline of Star Lake is produced by its many extending arms and bays.

Development is scattered around the entire shoreline of Star Lake. DNR owned public water accesses are located along the north and east shorelines. Stands of hardstem bulrush, wild rice, and common cattail are scattered along the shoreline of the entire lake; however, the largest stands are located in the south bay and the west arm. Emergent aquatic plants provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and are critical for maintaining good water quality. They protect shorelines and lake bottoms, and can actually absorb and break down polluting chemicals. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as important nursery areas for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. To maintain the excellent water quality and angling that this lake has to offer, it is imperative to preserve the quality of the aquatic habitat.

2020 09 mn dnr hydographFish Species: black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, burbot, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, rock bass, smallmouth bass, tullibee (cisco), walleye, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, bowfin (dogfish), common carp, shorthead redhorse, white sucker

Special Fishing Regulations:
A reduced daily bag limit regulation for sunfish (10 per day) was implemented in 2005 to maintain the quality of the bluegill population.

Bottom Contents:
40%-Muck&Marl"  25%-Sand  25%-Rubble  10%-Gravel

Lake Water Level Report:
2020 Recorded Reading:  1329.08 ft (09/18/2020)
2019 Recorded Reading:  1328.91 ft (05/09/2019)
2018 Recorded Reading:  1328.32 ft (05/29/2018)

Star Lake High-Low Water History:
Ordinary High Water Level:  1329.5 ft Above Sea Level
Record Maximum Water Level:  1330.99 ft (07/28/1993)
Record Minimum Water Level:  1327.2 ft (10/04/1956)
Historical High-Low Range:  3.79 ft

Source:  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Star Lake Readings:

The actual DNR gauge is mounted on a pillar on the right side of the HWY 41 bridge that goes into the west arm. The Star Lake OHWL is 1329.50 ft (above sea level). Throughout the summer, we will try to read the gauge every two weeks and provide the reading here.

Recent Lake Level Reading:  The water level reading on Monday, June 21, 2021 was 1327.64 ft.  Down another three inches from two weeks ago.  We are at the point where the markings on the gauge are no longer readable so I am guessing.

2021 Readings

06/21/2021:  1327.64 ft
06/07/2021:  1327.90 ft
05/24/2021:  1328.10 ft
05/10/2021:  1338.30 ft
04/30/2021:  1328.25 ft
04/07/2021:  1328.54 ft

2020 Readings

11/30/2020:  1328.62 ft
11/16/2020:  1328.64 ft
11/02/2020:  1328.74 ft
10/21/2020:  1328.84 ft
10/10/2020:  1328.84 ft
09/09/2020:  1329.14 ft
08/24/2020:  1329.24 ft
08/10/2020:  1328.81 ft
07/27/2020:  1328.94 ft
07/13/2020:  1328.76 ft
06/29/2020:  1328.76 ft
06/15/2020:  1328.76 ft
06/01/2020:  1328.80 ft
05/25/2020:  1328.84 ft
05/11/2020:  1329.09 ft
04/27/2020:  1329.11 ft

2019 Readings

11/05/2019:  1329.20 ft
10/21/2019:  1329.20 ft
10/07/2019:  1329.14 ft
09/23/2019:  1329.14 ft
09/09/2019:  1328.84 ft
08/26/2019:  1328.84 ft
08/12/2019:  1328.82 ft
07/29/2019:  1328.92 ft
07/15/2019:  1329.14 ft
07/01/2019:  1328.94 ft
05/09/2019:  1328.91 ft