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The kayaker slips into the water a paddles slowly out into West Lake Sylvia. It is barely light, and there is no one awake but the fishermen and loons. She follows the dapper black and white birds as they dart in and out of the lily pads. Unsettled by her presence the birds let out their distinctive trills and take to the air. She turns her boat into the channel that connects the lakes and makes her way to the other half. East Lake Sylvia stretches ahead of her so clean and clear she's sure she will see the fish swimming under her boat. In a few hours there will be boats gliding back and forth across Greater Lake Sylvia, but for now only her oar disturbs the water on this beautiful Minnesota lake.
Greater Lake Sylvia is a natural lake known by many names. It is essentially one body of water divided into two distinct basins connected by a navigable channel. In the past, the western lobe of the lake was known as Twin Lake and the eastern lobe was simply Lake Sylvia. Today they are called West Lake Sylvia and East Lake Sylvia respectively. West Lake Sylvia has 905 surface acres of water and a maximum depth of 97 feet. It is classified as mesotrophic and supports a very healthy fishery. East Lake Sylvia covers 670 acres and has a maximum depth of 78 feet. Together they are some of the deepest lakes in Wright County. Classified as oligotrophic, East Lake Sylvia has very clean, clear water.
Lake access is from a concrete boat launch on West Lake Sylvia managed by the Minnesota DNR (Department of Natural Resources). Both lakes have excellent fish populations; the northern pike and largemouth bass are particularly plentiful. There are also healthy populations of bluegill and crappie. The Minnesota DNR periodically stocks the lakes with walleye fry, fingerlings and yearlings. Some minor fish consumption advisories are in effect (see link below.)
East Lake Sylvia and West Lake Sylvia are 45 minutes from Minneapolis / St. Paul and 25 minutes from St. Cloud. The lakes are near the City of Annandale on the western edge of Minnesota's Metro tourism region. Annandale calls itself the "Heart of the Lakes" and it has reason to. Twenty-six lakes are within a ten mile radius of the city, and water recreation opportunities abound. In addition to the fishing including ice fishing on some lakes, there is boating, waterskiing and swimming. East Lake Sylvia and West Lake Sylvia are both popular recreation lakes with residential development and lakefront vacation rentals. Any amenity a visitor might want is just a short drive from Greater Lake Sylvia including all the museums, restaurants, and cultural opportunities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The glacier that scoured Minnesota left behind some truly beautiful lakes, and East Lake Sylvia and West Lake Sylvia are exceptional examples. With their clean, clear water and abundant fishing, they are sure to delight and challenge anglers. Over 1,524 combined acres of water ensures there is more than enough room for all kinds of boating. Add the cultural opportunities of nearby Minneapolis and St. Paul, and there is sure to be something for everyone at Greater Lake Sylvia.
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