Beltrami County is located in the lakes country of northwest Minnesota. Open water covers 17% of the surface area of Beltrami County and an additional 48% of the county is covered by wetlands. These resources are valued for their excellent recreation opportunities and water quality. Eight different watersheds cover Beltrami County (Figure 1), which accounts for the wide variety in lake types. Beltrami County has hundreds of lakes. The county chose 36 lakes for this Lake Prioritization and Planning Document, and there were 3 lakes that were evaluated in 2011 that were included in this report as well for a total of 39 lakes. (Figure 1). For the purpose of future water planning, Beltrami County wanted an evaluation of current lake water quality. Lakes evaluated in this report are indicated in dark blue in Figure 1 and listed in Table 2. Beltrami County lakes have been monitored by volunteers off and on from 1970s-2016, and have an excellent data set for evaluation (Table 1). The purpose of this report was to compile all available data for these lakes from all the different sources, evaluate the data quality, identify data gaps, assess the data, and look for water quality trends. This report contains a summary of the current state of 39 selected Beltrami County lakes and recommendations for future monitoring.
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Beltrami County (Bemidji, Minnesota)