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Lake of the Woods - Pine & Curry Island IBA

Lake of the Woods is the largest lake in Minnesota, consisting of 65,000 miles of shoreline most of which is in Canada. The lake is 90 miles long and 55 miles wide and has 14,582 islands and is located in the Agassiz Lowlands subsection of the Minnesota ecological Classification system. This IBA includes the U.S. portion of the lake, all islands and wetlands adjoining the lake. Zipple Bay State Park, Garden Island State Recreation Area, Pine and Curry Island Scientific and Natural Area, Larry Bernhoft, Rocky Point, South Shore and Border Wildlife Management Areas.

This large body of water attracts migrating waterfowl in both spring and fall. Historically tens of thousands of Lesser and Greater scaup have migrated through the area. In 2004 in the vicinity of the Northwest Angle, 4,000 Ring-necked ducks and 4,000 Lesser Scaup were recorded. Teal, American, Widgeon, Pintails, and mergansers can be observed during migration with some local nesting.

Osprey, Bald eagle, Northern harrier, Sharp-shinned hawk, Red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine falcon can be observed along the shores as they skirt the large lake and travel along mainland corridors.


Lake of the Woods is located in extreme north central Minnesota. Major cities along the southern most shore are Baudette and Warroad. The best travel route from the Bemidji and Blackduck area would be Hwy. 72 from Blackduck north to Baudette. If traveling from a more western point of Minnesota use Hwy. 32 or Hwy. 89 until reaching Hwy. 11, then take Hwy. 11 to Warroad.