Governor Doug Burgum just declared July, "Lakes Appreciation Month" in North Dakota.

We are not the land of 10,000 lakes like our border neighbor Minnesota is.  My Father used to say Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and 5 fish.  In North Dakota our lakes are more about quality, but I was surprised to find out how many actual lakes we have.  More on that in a second.

According to a press-release from the North Dakota Watershed Program, North Dakota lakes are desirable destinations for boating, fishing, camping, and swimming. Lake festivities in the summer and fishing derbies attract in-state and out-of- state recreational enthusiasts alike.

Most state residents get their drinking water from groundwater or river sources.

However, about 67,000 North Dakotans depend on a lake as their source of drinking water.  That really surprised me when I read that.  Basically, the amount of people in a town the size of Bismarck gets their drinking water from a lake.

The press release goes on to say that North Dakota has about 4,500 lakes.

Again, something that really surprised me.  About half of what Minnesota boasts about all the time.  However, only about 450 of those are accessible to the public.  Most are on private land, that you will may have to obtain permission for access.  For a complete list of access ramps to North Dakota lakes click HERE.

As you venture out to your favorite lake for a fishing trip, a weekend of camping or just a leisurely boat ride, you are asked to keep your favorite lake Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) free. Remember to rinse your watercraft thoroughly before and after entering any body of water.  Also, you can keep the shorelines clean by “Packing Out what you Pack In.”  You seen the signs.  Most lakes do not have garbage containers.  A good idea is to bring garbage bags along with you when you go to your favorite lake.

To help celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month, you are encouraged to organize or take part in activities such as leading a lake cleanup project, hosting a biking or hiking event at a local lake or helping to facilitate a local lake festival.

Enjoy your summer on North Dakota waters, and do your part to help keep them clean.

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