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Orono is fairly shallow but does have a couple of spots over 15 feet deep. The Elk River runs through it, therefore many of the fish are transient. Pan fish and game fish that are normally found in the lake include crappies, smallmouth bass, northerns, and occasionally a walleye or two.

In 2005, LOIA and the City paid a private contractor to stock 3,000 sunnies. In 2004, the DNR stocked 309 bluegill sunnies.


There are three lobes to the lake. Because the average depth of the lake is only 4 feet, some areas may be more conducive than others for certain types of recreation. But generally you can canoe or motorboat, fish, waterski, jetski, and in the winter snowmobile and cross-country ski. We ask that you obey all local ordinances and Minnesota watercraft regulations and respect property, residents, wildlife and others using the lake. See map (PDF). Please note that some areas were dredged to a depth of approximately 4'.

The northern lobe is the shallowest with an average depth of only 4-5 feet, and near the islands it is far less than that. It is best for a boat with a shallow draw such as a bass boat or pontoon. There is a slow-no-wake area under the Hwy. 10 bridge.

The center section is where the public access, park and beach are located. At the park there are trails for walking and biking, softball fields, a horseshoe pit, volleyball areas, picnic shelters, a boat launch, swimming beach (please note that there is no lifeguard) and fishing piers.

The channel to the southern lobe is a slow-no-wake zone. Some areas in this section are as deep as 10 feet. At the end of this section is the dam, but be careful because the buoys marking it are not far from the dam.

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