District Waterbodies

Forest Lake

Comfort Lake

Little Comfort Lake

Bone Lake

Moody Lake

Birch Lake

School Lake

Lake Keewahtin

Shields Lake


Forest Lake Quick Facts

Lake Size: 2,271 acres
Watershed Drainage Area: 8,160 acres; land use varies from urban to suburban to rural/agriculture
Maximum Depth: 37 feet
Outlet Elevation: 901.35 feet
Low Water Level: 899.45 feet (1969)
High Water Level: 902.23 feet (1993)
Impairments: Aquatic consumption due to mercury and PCBs in fish tissue
Invasive Species (2021): Curlyleaf pondweed, flowering rush, Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels

Water Quality: 2021 Data

West Basin
Lake Grade: A
Summer avg total phosphorus: 23.7 μg/L
Summer average Secchi disc: 7.4 ft
Summer chlorophyll-a: 6.2 μg/L
Middle Basin
Lake Grade: B
Summer avg total phosphorus: 36.2 μg/L
Summer average Secchi disc: 6.9 ft
Summer chlorophyll-a: 9.1 μg/L
East Basin
Lake Grade: B
Summer avg total phosphorus: 3.5 μg/L
Summer average Secchi disc: 8.1 ft
Summer chlorophyll-a: 14.3 μg/L

Resource Goals

10-year (2031) Goals

  • Reduce the 5-year mean phosphorus concentration (Average)  to less than or equal to 30 μg/L.
  • Improve the mean sechhi depth to greater than or equal to 7 ft.
  • Identify a 10-year mean bottom water chloride level of less than of equal to 230 mg/L.
  • Increase the percentage of parcels with greater than or equal to 75% natural shoreline




Forest Lake

Forest Lake is the largest lake in Washington County with a surface area of 2,220 acres and a maximum depth of 37 feet. Over 8,160 acres of land and water drain into Forest Lake including Clear Lake, Twin Lake, Elwell Lake and Cranberry Lake. Due to its shape, Forest Lake can be identified as having three basins: west (Lake 1), center (Lake 2) and east (Lake 3). It is highly used for recreation and has three sites for public access. Forest Lake accepts stormwater discharge through a large number of storm sewer outfalls around the lake. The lake is on the State's Impaired Waters List with impairments to consumption as a result of mercury and PCBs in fish tissue. The water quality of Forest Lake is fair with lake grades ranging from B- to C+ depending on the basin. In recent studies, Forest Lake was identified as having the healthiest fish community of all lakes in the District with relatively low abundance of rough fish and a healthy presence of top predator and panfish groups. The lake has a diverse plant community with desirable plant species common despite the presence of invasive species such as curly leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, and flowering rush.

The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) has been awarded two Clean Water Fund grants totaling $625,500 in fiscal year 2022 for projects to improve water quality in Forest Lake and Moody Lake. Learn More


Forest Lake studies and reports can be found here.