WBLCD: Preserving White Bear Lake for future generations

White Bear Lake is a 2,416-acre lake in the State of Minnesota and lies within both Ramsey County and Washington County. This beautiful lake has appealed to vacationers since the mid-1800s, beginning with those who had the time and money to travel by wagon to enjoy a reprieve from work in St. Paul. Later, a railway system offered more attractive transportation, and the tradition began. Cottages dotted the shoreline in the late 1800s and early 1900s providing a retreat from the city and forming a community bonded together by their love of the lake.

Over the years, White Bear Lake has been the setting for well-known novels, including the LaVyrle Spencer saga, November of the Heart, set in the charm of White Bear Lake’s 1900s yacht club era. Even Mark Twain highlighted White Bear Lake as a resort destination in his book Life on the Mississippi. The legend lives on each year as friends and families unite to enjoy the lake and the city.

Location: The Lake is east of Hwy 61 and south of hwy 96.  Cities of White Bear, Mahtomedi, Dellwood, Birchwood and White Bear Township surround the lake.

Species Present in lake:

Walleye – Average size and abundance
Northern Pike – Average size, above average abundance
Muskie – Average size and abundance, with some larger ones present
Largemouth Bass –Average size and abundance, with some larger ones present
Smallmouth Bass – Average size, low abundance
Bluegill –Average size, above average abundance with some larger ones present
Crappie – Above average abundance, average size
Bullhead Species –Below average abundance, average size
Yellow Perch – Low abundance and small in size

Boat Access:

Ramsey County Beach – Free.  There are 37 parking spaces.  Located Hwy 96 east of Hwy 61.  Portable restrooms on site, washroom, picnic area and beach adjacent to boat access.

Matoska Park – Annual permit required from the City of White Bear Lake.  15 parking spaces.  Located 6th street east of Hwy 61 to Lake Ave N then south to park in White Bear Lake.  Picnic area and washroom adjacent to parking area.

White Bear Docking – Private facility with launch fee.  North on S. Lake Ave. from White Bear Ave.  Portable restrooms on site.

Shore Fishing:

There are two public fishing piers on this lake, in addition to undeveloped public land along hwy 96 adjacent to the north shore of the lake.

Lions Pier – East of Hwy 61 on frontage rd to White Bear Ave.

City Pier – North of White Bear Ave off Lake Ave S. adjacent to the VFW.

Management Plan:

  1. Fisheries standard lake survey in 2018.
  2. Fisheries targeted lake survey for Muskie in 2017 and 2018.
  3. Stock 1,314 pounds of Walleye fingerlings annually.
  4. Allow stocking of Muskie fingerlings or yearlings by private sector.

Aquatic Invasive Species Alert:

White Bear Lake contains Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.  Please remove any visible plants from your boat, trailer, or other boating equipment before leaving the lake.  Drain all water from boats and equipment before leaving as well.

Comments about the lake:

White Bear Lake is a popular fishing lake.  Largemouth Bass are one of the favorite targets of the summer angler.  Northern Pike are easily caught but they tend to be small (18-22 inches).  Walleye fishing is better in the early in the season and in the fall.  Anglers need to be prepared to compete with many recreational boaters especially on the weekends and holidays.

Ice Fishing is also very popular on White Bear Lake.  Panfish, Northern Pike, and Walleye are all targets of the ice anglers.  Please be aware when going on the ice to do so with caution as there are springs present as well as open water areas.

For fishing regulations please see the Minnesota DNR website for further information.


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The elevation of White Bear Lake has historically ranged from its low point of 918.8 mft (feet above mean sea level) in 2013 to its high point of 926.96 mft in 1906. The current lake level is updated online by the Minnesota DNR every four hours.  

See the current lake level here >>

DNR lake level analysis

Historic lake levels chart
can be found here >>