Mille Lacs County Profile

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Minnesota became an independent territory in 1849 after which nine original counties were established, Benton, Dakotah, Itasca, Mahkahta, Pembina, Ramsey, Wabashaw, Wahnahta, and Washington. Seven other counties, Aitken, Anoka, Crow Wing, Isanti, Mille Lacs, Morrison, and Sherburne were partly formed from the original Benton County land.

Mille Lacs County is a medium-sized county located in east central Minnesota. The county also includes the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.  The largest industries are services, durable goods manufacturing, and state and local government.  The service industry was also the fastest growing.

Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota's second-largest lake, spans 132,000 surface acres or slightly more than 200 square miles. Maximum depths barely exceed 40 feet, which much of the main lake falls into the 20 to 38 foot depth ranges. While the north half of Mille Lacs contains most of the lake's mud flats, the southern portion of the lake offers more gravel and rock bars. All sides of the lake offer some shallow reef-top fishing. Deep-water angling takes place on the southern deep gravel and rocks as well as on dozens of mud flats in the north half of the lake. Shoreline break fishing on varied bottom types occurs all around the lake. The weed line is at 9 to 10 feet.

Mille Lacs Lake offers the angler acres of multi-species action in a genuine "big lake" setting. Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskie, Jumbo Perch, Small Mouth Bass and Tullibee share the limelight at Minnesota's most popular fishing lake - on open water and on ice. Mille Lacs' fame as one of the world's most prolific "natural" walleye lakes rests on the ability to produce billions of walleye eggs and fry. Walleyes and other fish species comfortably use the entire well oxygenated lake. The main reason for the health of the Mille Lacs fishery is an abundant supply of forage.

Mille Lacs freezes "all the way," with ice reaching thicknesses of 2 to 4 feet. In most years anglers can find safe walkout ice by early December. Large fish houses (rentals and private) and safe driving nearly always are in full swing by the week before Christmas.

Other statistics from the 2010 U.S. Census:

Population: 26,097
Percent of population growth 2000-2010: 16.9%
Persons per square mile: 45.6
Housing units: 12,750
Median value of owner-occupied housing units (2006-2010): $167,600
Homeownership rate (2006-2010): 77.4%
Persons per household (2006-2010): 2.39
Median household income (2006-2010): $45,273

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Last Updated January 29, 2012

Copyright 2000 Ron Zurek