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  #1  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:19 PM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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How many lakes are there in Minnesota, anyway?

I just came back from a five-day vacation in Minnesota, where the sun is shining, the Germans are snuffing, the entire fucking state is gorgeously verdant, and the bass are biting (but only for my cousin's new Scottish husband, who had never fished a day in his life, the bastard, but I like him anyway).

For those of us with no lives, the most fascinating question about the state is this: Just how many fucking lakes are there, anyway, you indecisive bastards, and by the way, can I have some more snuff? Hey guys, am I supposed to tip the snuff girl?

HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW
  • There are far more than 10,000 lakes.
  • Every man, woman and child in the state is aware of the discrepancy between the state motto and the real number of lakes.
  • Nevertheless, most of them concede that "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is catchier than "Land of 12,000 to 15,000 Lakes, where Nobody can Agree on the Damn Number, but the Important Thing is that You Can Catch Your Dinner in Most of Them if You're Sober Enough, Which You Won't Be."
  • Every Minnesotan will give you a different number, but it's always between 12,000 and 15,000.
  • The difference between a lake and a pond is mostly arbitrary.
  • The walleyes of Mille Lacs are laughing as they tell stories of my drunken ineptitude.
  • The Germans of Minneapolis are crying as they tally the damage I've done to the city's supply of Spaten Oktoberfest au-Marzen.
  • I missed an umlaut there. C'est la vie.

THESE QUESTIONS REMAIN
  • Seriously, guys, how many lakes are there?
  • Do man-made lakes, like the Centennial Lakes in Edina, count?
  • How many ponds?
  • What are the exact criteria for differentiating a lake and a pond, anyway?
  • What are the ponds, chopped liver? Are they not fine places to play hockey in the winter? Why no love for ponds?
  • Are you, in fact, supposed to tip the snuff girl? How much?
  • Why did nobody tell me you can get fish tacos at Central Lakes Park?
  • Does the withholding of this information from vacationing San Diegans count as cruel and unusual punishment?

Godspeed, Dopers.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:19 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
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11,842
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:21 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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Ten thousand.

Actually 11,482--according to wikipedia which are more than 10 acres in size. Which sounds low to me, but I think the 15,000+ number I'd heard only had to be more than 2 acres in size.

True story: I grew up in Minnesota, and sometime around 8th grade we took a course on "Minnesota studies" where we learned all kinds of fascinating things like the history of St. Paul--formerly Pig's Eye.

As a part of this course, we took an incredibly easy multiple choice test. One of the questions was "How many Lakes does Minnesota have?"

A. 1,000
B. 5,000
C. 10,000
D. More than 15,000

Someone in my gym class was laughing about how incredibly easy that question was--and was sadly deflated when she was informed that no, in fact "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes" may make a great tagline, but it is not an accurate statement of how many lakes are in Minnesota.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:29 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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Missed edit window:
The more I ponder this, the more I suspect it may be a glitch in my memory that makes me think that fifteen thousand and not eleven thousand is the correct number--mostly because it would be odd for the "remainder bit" of the number of lakes to be the same whether there are eleven thousand or fifteen thousand lakes.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2008, 01:36 PM
Rico Rico is offline
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<mod>

Merged duplicate threads at OP's request.

</mod>
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2008, 02:55 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Next time, visit Wisconsin. It has 15,081 lakes.
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:03 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster
Next time, visit Wisconsin. It has 15,081 lakes.
Depends on your definition of "Lake".

Linking off that document, I discover that Wisconsin is counting "one and two acre spring ponds". Minnesota officially defines a lake as being more than 10 acres, which would disqualify a lot of what passes for lakes in Wisconsin and other states.

For example, this "pond", just down the road from me, is not a lake because it's only 9 acres.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:24 PM
usar_jag usar_jag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera
For example, this "pond", just down the road from me, is not a lake because it's only 9 acres.
Hi, Neighbor. I'm up in God's Country, which you probably know better as Eagan.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:37 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usar_jag
Hi, Neighbor. I'm up in God's Country, which you probably know better as Eagan.
Home of my sister, BIL and their kids; former home of my parents.

A town with more ponds than you can spit at. Imagine if they counted all of those!
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2008, 03:50 PM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is offline
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When I was a kid, they defined lakes as anything over 5 acres. Now it's 10? No wonder we've had a marked decrease in the number of lakes. I thought that a large number had frozen with ducks still on them, and flown south.

The proper procedure for snuff, is to focus on a point past the snuffbox, inhale through the nose while still looking down, then hold the snuff in the nasal passage, then look up and give the snuff waitress a nice smile, since for the past minute, you have been looking at that nice German cleavage that the mieder has been boosting.

Yeah, you should tip them. A buck or two.
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2008, 05:07 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Eh, I'm from Cleveland. From my point of view, if you can stand on one shore and see the other side, it's not a real lake.

But if we're using acreage as the criterion (whatever the cutoff is), wouldn't the number vary depending on rain conditions? There must be a few bodies of water which are close enough to the line that they're "lakes" when it's wet out, but only "ponds" in time of drought.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2008, 05:54 PM
SharkB8 SharkB8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usar_jag
Hi, Neighbor. I'm up in God's Country, which you probably know better as Eagan.
Wouldn't God's Country be Eden Prairie (my loverly hometown...and hometown to, I believe, 18 lakes)?

Last edited by SharkB8; 07-01-2008 at 05:56 PM..
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster
Next time, visit Wisconsin. It has 15,081 lakes.
Pikers; there is estimated to be more than 3 million lakes in Alaska.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2008, 04:00 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos
But if we're using acreage as the criterion (whatever the cutoff is), wouldn't the number vary depending on rain conditions? There must be a few bodies of water which are close enough to the line that they're "lakes" when it's wet out, but only "ponds" in time of drought.
No, there is something called the Ordinary High Water Mark defined for each body of water, which is the boundary used in determining the acreage. This is specifically defined as being from 'ordinary' years, not a drought year or a wet year. So in effect it is the size of the lake in a normal or average year.

For navigable waters, it is officially set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For other, intra-state waters, I believe the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets it.
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:04 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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If you think counting lakes is fraught with problems, try counting islands. Nobody seems to agree on how many islands we have in Door County, Wisconsin. Is a shallow reef an island? Does it matter how high the water is when you count (some islands might not be islands next or last year)? Does it matter how big it is (is a large rock an island)? Does it have to have a name? What if it was once an island, then someone built a causeway to connect it to the mainland?
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2008, 07:51 AM
fisha fisha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharkB8
Wouldn't God's Country be Eden Prairie (my loverly hometown...and hometown to, I believe, 18 lakes)?
No, God's country would be a little west of you. Where we have the second largest metro lake, after Mtka.
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2008, 11:35 AM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera
Minnesota officially defines a lake as being more than 10 acres, which would disqualify a lot of what passes for lakes in Wisconsin and other states.
Thanks, that answers one big question. My cousin from New Brighton said that there was no specific size requirement and that some "ponds" were big enough to be considered lakes, but weren't, only because they were originally called Whatever Something Pond. That didn't sound right to me.

9 acres is a pretty damn decent-sized pond, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NurseCarmen
The proper procedure for snuff, is to focus on a point past the snuffbox, inhale through the nose while still looking down, then hold the snuff in the nasal passage, then look up and give the snuff waitress a nice smile, since for the past minute, you have been looking at that nice German cleavage that the mieder has been boosting.

Yeah, you should tip them. A buck or two.
Looks like I missed out on the cleavage. OTOH, I didn't tip, so that about evens out, right?
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2008, 12:13 PM
SharkB8 SharkB8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
Pikers; there is estimated to be more than 3 million lakes in Alaska.
Then they should call themselves the "Land of 3 Million Lakes" then...kinda like a nice "FU Minnesota."

*not to mention Alaska's like 3 million times bigger than Minnesota.
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2008, 12:15 PM
SharkB8 SharkB8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisha
No, God's country would be a little west of you. Where we have the second largest metro lake, after Mtka.
It wasn't called the "Garden of Chanhassen."
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