What is a lake?

Do you have a fondness for lakes, maybe even a love for them?  Are you curious about what’s below the waves?  Along the shore?  Are you concerned about lakes and their futures?  Congratulations!  You have come to the right place.

My name is Darby Nelson, and like most people, I love our lakes.  I have spent considerable time getting to understand them better and want to share with you what I have learned.  Please join me on our lake journey together through my book, website and blog.

Look to Darby’s Lake Blog for:

  • Insights into lake natural history
  • How to protect our lakes
  • Lake news and events in Minnesota and Wisconsin and other lake belts across the country
  • Vicarious dips beneath the waves
  • Links to other sources of lake information
  • A question of the week for you to answer

But first things first.  North America contains millions of bodies of water.  So, what’s the difference between lakes and other water bodies?  Most lake experts define a lake as a body of water that exceeds 10 acres in size and six feet in depth.  By that measure Minnesota is judged to have over 12,000 lakes, not the 10,000 number on our license plates.  Wisconsin claims over 15,000 lakes.  Canada has too many to count.

New Englanders have their own lake criteria.  Imagine my surprise when I first visited Thoreau’s famous Walden Pond in Massachusetts and discovered it to be a 60 acre body of water approximately 100 feet deep.  Some “pond”!

Though we can see a lake’s shore and its broad surface, the vast bulk of a lake and its inhabitants remains hidden from our eyes.  Future blogs will take you beneath the waves to see what we can find.

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