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About Devils Lake

In the heart of North Dakota is a picturesque inland sea, a minature ocean of salt water.  Devils Lake or “Minnewaukan,” Taken 12 miles north of Devils Lake near Webster, ND. In the mid 1990's this was a common scene in the spring as run off waters from snow melt makes its way to the Devils Lake Basinas its called by the Native Americans, is a beautiful body of water extending in a northwesterly and southeasterly direction for about seventy miles.  Its outline, however is very irregular.  The shoreline is broken by numerous indentations and projections forming arms and bays that range in size and shape giving a shoreline that extends several hundreds of miles around the lake.  Thus we have picturesque bays, narrow straits, wide gravelly beaches, foaming surf and a broad expanse of water whose waves at times have all the grandeur of the old ocean.  At other times the surface of the lake is like a mirror, without a ripple on its surface.  At some points the shores are steep and rocky, while at other points we find low lying meadows and pasture extending for miles from the borders of the lake.

Devils Lake has no visible outlet but its surpluTaken 12 miles north of Devils Lake near Webster, ND. In the mid 1990's this was a common scene in the spring as run off waters from snow melt makes its way to the Devils Lake Basins water probably finds its way through subterranean passages in the geological strata to the basins of the Sheyene, James, and Red River Valleys, possibly to again reach the surface through artesian wells.

The water of the lake at times can be clear as crystal, and is strongly impregnated with sulfite and carbonate of soda, lime, magnesium, iron and soda, very much resembling the water of the ocean.  For bathing its equal cannot be found in any other interior body of water in the country.

Devils Lake was formed by the scouring of one of the vast glaciers which, in prehistoric ages, covered the entire northwest.  The hills on the southern shore have every appearance of having been plowed up by a glacier. 

Since its inception Devils Lake flooding caused more than 400 lake homes to be moved or, like this one, destroyed.during the glacier period, Devils Lake has been either rising or falling over the last 10,000 years.  Geologic evidence shows that the water level in Devils Lake has fluctuated widely from completely dry (about 1400 feet mean sea level) to overflowing into the Sheyenne River (about 1459 feet).  The level of Devils Lake dropped significantly through the great drought of the 1930's and finally reached a historical low of about 1402 feet in 1940.   Since that time the lake has been rising in a somewhat erratic fashion, with years of decline and increase. 

Currently water levels on Devils Lake are at an all time high.   Runoff  due to all the heavy precipitation (rain and snow) from 1993 to present day, Devils Lake has nearly tripled in size going from a 45,000 acre lake to nearly 140,000 acres.  Through this period of time Devils Lake has seen a tremendous amount of change.  Water levels One of the many highways and roads that were swallowed up by flood waters. Now these roads are paved with walleyes and northern pike.have completely flooded and have engulfed our old shoreline and have given us new shorelines to explore.  Numerous flooded roads, trees, and pastures now hold fish like never before. 

For beauty of scenery Devils Lake surpasses many of the famed lakes of the east.  To this day most of the Devils Lake’s shorelines remain undeveloped.  The clear North Dakota skies, the surpassingly beautiful sunset effects, against the some of the mother natures most beautiful shorelines of meadows make Devils Lake one of natures beauty spots which over time have come to be appreciated by hundreds of thousands of pleasure seekers and fishermen.

The top two photos were taken 12 miles north of Devils Lake near Webster, ND. In the mid 1990's this was a common scene in the spring as run off waters from snow melt makes its way to the Devils Lake Basin.

In the third photo, Devils Lake flooding caused more than 400 lake homes to be moved or, like this one, destroyed.

The bottom photo shows one of the many highways and roads that were swallowed up by flood waters. Now these roads are paved with walleyes and northern pike.

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