Prior Lake is the largest lake in the Southern Metropolitan area and ranks number 80 in size of all 10,000 Minnesota lakes. Prior Lake is divided into:

Upper Prior Lake

Surface Area: 416 acres

Total Shoreline: 6.15 Miles
Average Depth: 12 feet
Maximum Depth: 43 feet
High Water Level: 903.9 feet above sea level

Lower Prior Lake

Surface Area: 940 acres

Total Shoreline: 14.74
Average Depth: 14 feet
Maximum Depth: 56 feet
High Water Level: 903.90 feet above sea level

Total Surface Area of Upper & Lower Prior Lake: 1,356  Acres

Upper Prior Lake is actually South of Lower Prior Lake as Upper Prior has a higher elevation.  Prior Lake is part of the Prior Lake Spring Lake Water Shed District which is a moving waterway.  The southern watershed consists of over 700 wetlands which eventually flow North to Spring Lake which drains into Upper Prior Lake and then continues to flow North into Lower Prior Lake.  Lower Prior Lake has a man-made outlet (3 ft pipe) which eventually drains into the Minnesota River and then to the Mississippi River.  At maximum capacity, Prior Lake can drain 65 cubic feet (487 gallons!) of water per second which in itself can lower the lake level by 1.14 inches/day.

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Earliest Ice On Date:

November 14th, 1976

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Latest Ice On Date:

December 28th, 2015

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Earliest Ice Off Date:

March 14th, 1987

Latest Ice off Date:



April 28th, 2013

Ice On/Off records only go back to 1964

Fish Species:


-Large Mouth Bass

-Small Mouth Bass






Invasive Species:


-Zebra Mussels

-Eurasian Milfoil

-Curly Pond Leaf




Prior Lake has two public beaches and two public accesses: