POTATO LAKE, HUBBARD COUNTY, MN
Potato Lake (DNR ID#29-0243) is located 7 miles north of the City of Park Rapids in Hubbard County. The lake has a surface area of 2,100 acres, of which 426 acres (20 percent) is in the littoral zone, meaning that it has a depth of 15 feet or less. Potato Lake’s average water clarity is 10.8 feet, and the maximum depth is 95 feet.
There are two public accesses located on the lake, one on the north shore and one on the west “arm”. Boating access is also available from some of the resorts, public accesses and from Island Lake downstream through the river and into Eagle Lake and from Eagle Lake downstream through the river and into Potato Lake. Rice Lake and Blue Lake also empty into Potato Lake on the north shore of the east arm and form part of the watershed for the lake. There is a fixed crest dam with a notched weir at the outlet of the lake. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has classified Minnesota’s lakes into 43 different types based on physical and chemical characteristics. Potato Lake is in lake class 22. Other Park Rapids area lakes in this same classification include: Big Sand, Lower Bottle, Kabekona, and Long.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) completed a Lake Assessment Program (LAP) evaluation of nearby Kabekona Lake in 1994. The following characterization of precipitation was adapted from the Kabekona Lake report as an adequate representation of regional conditions:
“…normal precipitation for a water year (October through September) is on the order of 28 inches for this part of the state. Evaporation typically exceeds precipitation in this region of the state and averages about 31 inches per year. Runoff averages about 5 inches with 1 in10 year low and high values of 1.2 inches and 7.9 inches respectively.”
The DNR Division of Waters has historic water level data for Potato Lake from 1964 to present. During the period of record the lake level has varied 1.71 feet based on 316 readings (through December 2004).