Our Lake District
Lake districts are special purpose units of government, and include; public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts, sanitary districts, special districts, and commissions formed by local governments.
The purpose of a district is to maintain, protect, and improve the quality of a lake and its watershed for the mutual good of the members and the lake environment.
Our lake district was established in 1980 and exists both in the towns of Alden and Garfield.
Lake districts are governmental bodies with elected or appointed leaders and annual budgets funded from tax levies or special assessments. Districts also have some capabilities to regulate lake use, such as local boating ordinances and sewage management. Within a lake district, all property owners share in the cost of management activities undertaken by the district.
Residents who live in the district and are eligible voters and all property owners have a vote in the affairs of the district. This is accomplished at an annual meeting which must be held between May 22 and September 8 each year.
Church Pine Lake
Maximum Depth: 45 Feet
Church Pine Lake is named after the West Immanuel Lutheran Church that sits atop the hill at the south end of the lake. While on the water you can see the spire of the church sticking out from the treetops on the horizon. The old church dates back to the 19th century and is still in use today. Across the street is the new church center where the lake association meetings are held. The lake is about one mile long and a quarter mile wide. The channel to Round Lake is located in a bay at the northeast end of the lake. Glaciers formed Church Pine Lake as a V shaped trench. The 45 foot deep trench allows lake sediments to lay deep and undisturbed, making for exceptionally clear water.
Round (Wind) Lake
Maximum Depth: 22 Feet
Round Lake is the middle link in the chain of three lakes. Although fairly small at 38 acres, the lake features open water for water skiers and tubers as well as quiet, shady places with hungry fish lurking below. The lake is generally oval in shape with a few quiet bays. The waters from Church Pine Lake flow northward into Round Lake and then under the bridge on into Big Lake. A controlled outlet from Big Lake allows the waters from all three lakes to flow into Horse Creek, and then on toward the Gulf of Mexico. Round Lake features an island, huge white pine trees, rare water plants and nesting birds. You can often find painted turtles sunning themselves on lily pads. There is no public landing or boat launch on Round Lake.
Maximum Depth: 24 Feet
Big Lake, so called because it is the largest of the chain of three lakes, is situated the furthest north. It is 259 acres in size and reaches depths of 24 feet. It is approximately 1 mile when measured diagonally and half as wide. Even on a hot July day, you are guaranteed a chilling dive because of the many underground, fresh water springs that constantly provide bracingly cold, refreshing sources of clean water (see History and Eutrophication articles on the District History Overview page).
The lake is a favorite of many sports enthusiasts because of its larger size and great variety of fish, including bass, crappies, sunnies, northern pike, plus the occasional brown trout and walleye. Water fowl and birds compete with residents and tourists for the fish - it is not uncommon to see majestic Bald Eagles circle overhead, with fish and reptiles clutched in their talons. Great Blue Herons and their smaller cousins, Green Herons, work the shoreline. The Green Herons are especially fond of fishing in the Big Lake Store's minnow holding pen, much to the irritation of the people who stock it!
There is a public boat launch at the southeast end, between Big and Round Lakes opposite the Big Lake Store. Pontoons, fishing licenses, gas, and supplies are also available to the area's many tourists and day visitors there. Residents include a mix of cabin/fair weather dwellers and year round residents. Many families, spanning two or three generations, have called Big Lake and the surrounding area home.