- DNR Lake Number: 70005400
- Surface Area: 587 acres
- Average Depth: 18 feet
- Maximum Depth: 34 feet
- Bathymetry Map: View map here
- Ordinary High Water Level: 912.8 feet above sea level
- High Water No-Wake Restrictions: When lake level exceeds 912.8 feet*
- Watershed Area: 12,430 acres
- Connectivity to other waterbodies: Flows north into Upper Prior Lake. Receives the water which drains from the primarily agricultural upper watershed, including County Ditch 13 and the Buck Lake watershed.
- Public Boat Access: Vergus Ave (southwest corner of the lake)
- Impairment Status: Impairments for Excess Nutrients,** Biota,*** and Mercury****
*No-Wake restrictions are set by the City of Prior Lake and enforced by the Scott County Sheriff. Once high water levels have subsided and remained below the no-wake level (912.8 ft) for 72 hours, no-wake restrictions will be lifted. For more no-wake details, see the full city ordinance.
**See the TMDL study for more information.
***Biota impairments are not handled at the local government level. The State of MN addresses impaired biota by examining the interactions of numerous physical, chemical, and biological processes that define community composition. Biological impairments can be driven by natural or unnatural changes to one or many components of these systems. Biological impairments differ from some traditional water quality impairments in that the impaired biotic communities are indicators of disturbance rather than causes of disturbance. Biological impairments are commonly caused by stressors that are not considered conventional pollutants. These include stressors such as degraded habitat or altered hydrology. Minnesota utilizes the process of stressor identification developed by the EPA to identify the dominant stressors.
**Mercury impairments are not handled at the local government level. The State of MN has a TMDL they are following here.
Lake Level Data
Current lake level readings have migrated to an outside website. Click the link below. Historic level data will continue to be added to this site in September. While using the data report tab on Prior Lake, the water level sensor WL2 is associated with lake level.
All lake level data below are approximate and preliminary – NOT to be used for legal purposes. Sudden drops or spikes are often due to calibration, which are manual adjustments to correct the lake level value. Please contact the PLSLWD office for official readings. Lake levels after 2012 were collected using an automated level logger that is calibrated to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff gauge. Lake levels prior to 2012 were recorded by reading the DNR staff gauge manually.
Occasionally, especially during cloudy weather, the level logger does not get service and the lake level does not get updated automatically on the graph below. This can last for a couple days and there is nothing we can do. If you need to know the lake level, you can check the staff gauge near the Raymond Park public dock. Just add 909.76 to the number that you see to get the mean sea elevation.
Estimated flow through the Spring Lake outlet stream, calculated from a rating curve based on past measurements of lake level and discharge. Note that the rating curve is only valid for lake elevations between 910 and 914 and when there is no temporary dam in place (e.g. 2014 flood control efforts). Stream discharge is calculated in cubic feet per second (cfs).
Click on the report cards to view a larger version with text that is easier to read.
The following graphs represent the annual averages between June 1 and September 30.
- Spring Lake Alum Treatment
- 12/17 Wetland Restoration
- Spring Lake Parcel Shoreline Restoration Project
- Raymond Park Restoration Project
- Spring Lake-Upper Prior Lake TMDL Report (link to MPCA site)
- Carp Electrofishing (2014)
Studies and Reports
- Spring Lake West Feasibility Study (2022)
- Water Quality Report Card (2020 – 2022)
- Water Quality Report Card (2019 – 2021)
- Water Quality Report Card (2017 – 2019)
- Water Quality Report Card (2014 – 2016)
- 1983 Diagnostic & Feasibility Study of Spring Lake
- 1993 Diagnostic & Feasibility Study of Spring and Prior Lakes
- Spring Lake Site Specific Standard (EPA approval letter)
- 2013 Historical Water Quality and Ecological Change in Spring Lake
- 2013 Pre-settlement Water Quality and Algal Change in Spring Lake
- Original Land Survey (1854)
- 2016 Spring Lake Phase II Sediment Monitoring and Alum Treatment Recommendation
- 2013 Sediment Coring Study of Spring Lake
- 2010 Spring Lake Sediment Study – Pre and Post Settlement Nutrient and Heavy Metal Accumulation
- 2008 Curlyleaf and Eurasian Watermilfoil Growth Potential based on Lake Sediment Characteristics for Spring, Fish, Upper Prior, and Lower Prior Lakes
- 2021 Report (Waterfront Restoration)
- 2021 Powerpoint (Waterfront Restoration)
- 2020 Report (WaterGuards)
- 2019 PowerPoint (Waterfront Restoration)
- 2021 Spring Lake – Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlylead Pondweed Assessment
- 2020 Spring Lake – Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2019 Spring Lake – Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2018 Spring Lake – Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2017 Spring Lake – Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2016 Spring Lake – Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2015 Spring Lake Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2014 Spring Lake – Curlyleaf Pondweed Full Report
- 2013 Spring Lake Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2012 Spring Lake Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2011 Spring Lake Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2010 Spring Lake Aquatic Vegetation Survey and Curlyleaf Pondweed Assessment
- 2008 Curlyleaf and Eurasian Watermilfoil Growth Potential based on Lake Sediment Characteristics for Spring Lake – Detailed
- 2008 Curlyleaf and Eurasian Watermilfoil Growth Potential based on Lake Sediment Characteristics for Spring, Fish, Upper Prior, and Lower Prior Lakes – Summary