Lake George (Anoka County, Minnesota)

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Lake George
LakeGeorge layout.jpg
Location Oak Grove, Anoka County, Minnesota
Coordinates 45°21′25″N 093°20′10″W / 45.35694°N 93.33611°W / 45.35694; -93.33611Coordinates: 45°21′25″N 093°20′10″W / 45.35694°N 93.33611°W / 45.35694; -93.33611
Basin countries United States
Surface area 495 acres (2.00 km2)
Max. depth 32 ft (9.8 m)
Lake George
Lake George Statistics
Littoral Area 391 Acres
Diameter 1 mile[1]
Water Clarity 13.75 ft (4.19 m)

Lake George is a small lake in Anoka County, Minnesota, located within the city of Oak Grove, 12 miles north of the city of Anoka. Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources tracks the lake by the name George and the identifier 02-0091-00.[2][3] The USGS tracks the lake by the ID 644081 and the coordinates of 45°21′25″N 93°20′10″W / 45.35694°N 93.33611°W / 45.35694; -93.33611[4]

Roughly circular in shape with two marshes encircling Greenwald Island on the Southern shore, Lake George Regional Park covers much of the North shore. The park has picnic areas, a boat launch, and a large roped-off swimming beach. The lake is used during the summer and winter for water skiing, fishing, ice fishing, canoeing, and snowmobiling. With the exception of a few vacant lots, a wetland area in the southeast corner at the lake outlet, a new development on the west end, and the County property, there are homes located along the entire lake.[5]

The regions around the lake are known as: Paradise Alley, Beaver Shores, Lake George Regional Park, Cattail Oak, Shady Oak, South Bay, Greenwald Island, Indian Ridge Road.


Lake George was formed about 12,000 years ago following retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and drainage of glacial Lake Anoka.[6] The first recorded mention of the lake comes from an Indian battle which occurred in 1845. The battle followed a peace conference between the Lakota and the Ojibway at Fort Snelling. Following the conference, the Ojibway began returning home up the Mississippi River and then up the Rum River, and the Lakota set on their way up the Minnesota River. It is reported that the Ojibway took a Lakota woman with them and when the Lakota discovered this they pursued the Ojibway to their camp on the south shore of Lake George. The battle that ensued lasted for three days and resulted in over 200 dead.

1847 Plat map of Lake George.

In 1847, Federal surveyors established the section and township boundaries as well as locations of Indian burial mounds. The lake is named after George Arbuckle, who was the chief surveyor of the party. The original survey plats of lake George and Greenwald Island were published in 1848.[7]

After the settlement of the area, Lake George began to become popular for urban dwellers looking to find summer recreation. By the turn of the century, many cabins and, just prior to World War I, a few resorts were built. Vacationers first came by rail via the depot in Cedar and later by car. The main resorts on the lake were Hopper’s (northwest shore), Yost's (North shore), Tillbergs (now the Shoreside), Day’s (later the By George Inn) and Fleet’s Inn (northshore). Fleet’s Inn was located not too far from the present day county beach. It was said that gangsters from nearby St. Paul would check in when the heat was on in town. The Chicago mob would occasionally visit them to make business deals.

Image and location of Greenwald Island Memorial Rock

Greenwald Island is named after Aaron Greenwald, who was born December 2, 1832 and eventually settled in Anoka where he found work as a miller in one of the local flour mills.[8][9] Aaron and wife, Ann, had two sons: William born August 8, 1859 and Louis on Oct 10, 1860. It is possible that Aaron was the first man to enlist for the Union cause.

In the late 1930s the Lake George Conservation Club was formed. At the time most of the lakeshore residents were seasonal. In the 1970s the face of the lake’s neighborhoods began to change with permanent homes replacing the summer cabins. The clubs activities began to dwindle until 1981 when an issue regarding horsepower regulation on the lake united the lake’s residents and the club was reconstituted. In the summer of 1998 there was a dead body found in the lake.

In January 2004, the two marshes were dredged to open a channel.


State of milfoil on Lake George as of Aug 2006.[5]

Lake George exhibits very good water clarity with a summer average of 10.5 feet (3.2 m) in 2004. About 391 acres (1.58 km2) or 80% of the lake is classified as littoral (<15’ deep). However, since Lake George exhibits very clear water, plants grow to a deeper depth in the lake. The maximum and mean depths are 32 feet (9.8 m) and 5 feet (1.5 m) respectively. Lake George in an oval shaped lake with two dredged channels on the south side. Most of the lake has a sandy bottom, but there are areas of soft muddy sediments. The shoreline length is 4.5 miles.[10] Lake George Regional Park, an Anoka County park, is located on the north side of the lake. The public access is within the park. Twenty-eight (28) different species of aquatic plant life were found in the lake.[5]

Sport Fish[edit]

Lake George is known to have:

  • Walleye of unknown abundance and average size. Walleye were first stocked in 2001 and these fish generally become acceptable to Metro-area anglers after their third summer (2004).[3]
  • Northern Pike of above average abundance, average size and some larger pike.[3]
  • Largemouth Bass of average abundance, all sizes present including some real trophies.[3]
  • Bluegill of above average abundance, average size.[3]
  • Crappie of above average abundance, average size.[3]


Eurasian watermilfoil, which is scientifically known as Myriophyllum spicatum, was first confirmed in Lake George in 1998 by a DNR biologist and as of the summer of 2006 is forming nuisance mats in large areas of the lake; the native plant community and recreational use of the lake is threatened by the spread of this invasive exotic species. In addition to Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed (8 locations), another non-native species is also in Lake George. However, August is not the best time to conduct a survey for curly-leaf pondweed. It should be surveyed earlier in the season.[5]

Because Lake George exhibits very clear conditions, it may be more prone to the spread of milfoil to deeper water. The average Secchi disk transparency from 2000 -2005 ranged from 9.0 – 11.5 feet (CLMP data). With the clear water, light can penetrate into deeper waters and promote plant growth beyond the 15’ depth. Milfoil was recorded on the data sheets only if it was found at the survey point.[5]

Lake Improvement District[edit]

After a majority of the property owners within the proposed Lake George Improvement District filed a petition with Anoka County requesting the establishment of the improvement district, the Oak Grove's City Council unanimously approved the creation of a "Lake Improvement District" (LID) on January 26, 2009. The LID will further extend the efforts of the Lake George Conservation Club to keep the lake clear of invasive weeds. An initial Board was appointed in March 2009.[11][12][13]

Nearby communities[edit]

Lake George is located within the city of Oak Grove. Other nearby communities include Anoka, Cedar, East Bethel, and St. Francis.


  1. ^ Diameter of lake as measured by snowmobile odometer, Paul Swan, February 27, 2006
  2. ^ Detailed records about lake George from DNR, date accessed Oct 18, 2006
  3. ^ a b c d e f Overview entry on Lake George by the DNR, date accessed Oct 18, 2006
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lake George, ID#644081, retrieved 10 December 2006
  5. ^ a b c d e Lake George Aquatic Plant Survey (Open the report), Prepared by Carolyn Dindorf and Chris Kjelland of Fortin Consulting, Inc. on Oct 2, 2006 for the Lake George Conservance Club, Actual Survey conducted August 2 – 3, 2006 (Open survey data)
  6. ^ Meyer, G.N., 1998. Glacial lakes of the Stacy Basin, East-Central Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. In Patterson, C.J., and Wright. H.E. Jr., eds, Contributions to Quaternary studies in Minnesota: Minnesota Geological Survey Report of Investigations 49, p. 35-48.
  7. ^ original survey plats of Lake George and Greenwald Island from the Land Management Information Center. The Minnesota History Society tracks these plats by the identifiers MHS0905 and MHS0906
  8. ^ First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Division, search on Alan Greenwald
  9. ^ Civil War Ancestors, Community Courier, Sept 1996
  10. ^ Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Fisheries Division. Lake Survey Reports. 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155
  11. ^ OK given for Lake George Improvement District, ABC Newspapers, 28 January 2009, Kelly Johnson, date accessed March 22, 2009
  12. ^ Lake George Improvement District board appointed,, 11 March 2009, Kelly Johnson, date accessed March 22, 2009
  13. ^ [ Strong support to create Lake George Improvement District],, 08 January 2009, Kelly Johnson, date accessed March 22, 2009

Uncited References[edit]

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