Coldwell Banker Burnet, Edina Regional Office

7550 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN


Rose Hart is licensed in MN

Minnesota Trivia

Q: How many rivers flow into Minnesota from other states or provinces?
A: None.

Q: What is the longest northern flowing river in the US?
A: Red River, its headwaters are in Breckenridge, MN.

Q: What percentage of Minnesota is covered by water?
A: 5.7%, or 13,136,357 acres. 2,560,299 acres is covered by lakes and rivers. In 1850, 18.6 million acres were covered by wetlands, in 2003 it was 9.3 million acres. The entire state of Minnesota is 86,943 sq mi, or 55,643,520 acres.

Q: What is the name of the buried stream running under downtown St. Paul?
A: Trout Brook.

Q: What is the name of the buried stream running under downtown Minneapolis?
A: Bassett Creek.

Q: Name the four counties in Minnesota that do not have a natural lake.
A: Mower, Olmstead, Pipestone and Rock.

Q: What is the largest lake in Minnesota?
A: Red Lake

Q: What is the lake with the most shoreline in Minnesota?
A: Lake Vermilion, St. Louis County with 290 miles of shoreline.

Q: What is the deepest natural lake in Minnesota?
A: Lake Saganaga, Cook County at 240 feet deep.

Q: What is the only other city in the world with more water within its city limits than Minneapolis?
A: Venice, Italy.

Q: What city is located where the Mississippi, St. Croix and Vermillion rivers converge?
A: Hastings, MN

Minnesota has 6,564 natural rivers and streams that cumulatively flow for 69,000 miles.

Approximately 10.6 million acres of wetlands are contained within Minnesota's borders, the most of any state except Alaska.

Mortgage interest rates are at their lowest in 50 years!

CREDITS: Trivia Minnesota, c.MGM, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT, and

Rose Hart's OutSide
Lake Rights and Lake Access

Many lakeshore and vacation homes are now coming on the market at very affordable prices, and prospective buyers are presented with phrases like "lake rights" and "lake access". So what's the difference and why should a buyer care? As it turns out it matters a great deal, because extensive new legislation was passed in October of 2009 as part of the Clean Water Legacy Act. Here are a few highlights on some of these changes to wetland protection, lakeshore access, rights and responsibilities.

Lake Rights
What we are really talking about here is termed "Riparian Rights". In the state of Minnesota, Riparian Rights means that anyone may make use of the lake over its entire surface. However, shoreline and shore access is much more complex and varied. When private property is on a shoreline, then the lake bed is deeded with the property, and the owner is entitled to "...the right to wharf out to a navigable depth; to take water for domestic and agricultural purposes; to use land added by accretion or exposed by reliction; to take ice; to fish, boat, hunt, swim; to such other uses as water bodies are normally put". With these rights come the restrictions, "They cannot dike off and drain, or fence off, their part of the waterbody". Nor may they prohibit anyone from using the entire lake surface.

The rules are different when the shoreline is on a stream or commercially navigable waterway, because the State of Minnesota owns the bed below the natural Ordinary Low Water Level. Ordinary High Water Level is a phrase that a buyer needs to be aware of because the DNR uses this term to assess "Public Waters".

If a court has found that a lake is non-navigable and meandered, the "several" shoreland owners own the lake bed. However, if a stream is non-navigable but has meandered, the shoreland owners only own the bed to the centerline of the stream. Then, if the stream is non-navigable but has not meandered, bed ownership is as indicated on individual property deeds. The DNR web site has detailed descriptions and the Public Waters Inventory on its web site:

Lake Access
When a public road runs along a shoreline, then the public enjoys access to that body of water, regardless of whether the waterway is meandered, navigable or who owns the bed, and no one may be denied access. However, if the shoreline is deeded with a property, then the public may not access the body of water by trespassing on private property. It's important to note that in the case of a designated wetland a local government is now permitted to restrict access to protect critical habitat.

Buyer Beware!
Potential lakeshore property buyers need to be aware of the far- reaching changes in law, statute rules and regulations passed in October, 2009. This legislation is the most sweeping reform of MN water use since 1976, and it covers many areas in terms of septic tanks, well permits, riparian buffers, restoring wetlands, removing sunken logs, easements and habitat protection. This legislation now allows a Commissioner, rather than a Commission, to re- classify Public Waters and wetlands of the 1976 Public Waters Inventory. These are contained in Minnesota Session Laws 2009 Chapter 37 Section 4 Subd.

Disclaimer: Provided as general information only and is not intended to be expert legal advice. You should consult with a legal professional if you have any doubts or questions! If you need to buy or sell a home, consult a real estate professional:
Rose Hart, Realtor at 612-250-0119.

Sources used for this newsletter:
Also See MN Board of Water and Soil Resources: Board of Water and Soil Resources

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Copyright, Rose Hart, 2010