Emerald Lake

Making Connections

  • Portage Northwest, 10 rods, to Hustler


  • Fisher F-16, Loon, Lac La Croix, Nina Moose Lakes
  • McKenzie 12, Moose River


  • DNR Lake No. 690335
  • Lake Map No. C5027
  • Lake Table No. 2A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality
Emerald Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Emerald is a small lake in the Hustler River watershed of the Lac La Croix basin, 16 miles ESE of Crane Lake and 26 miles northwest of Ely. Tucked in among the hills, and but a half mile across, Emerald's 67 acres follow the lay of the land, with several small inlets along the shore and a bottom which drops quite steeply before leveling off at 25' to 30' in depth with a maximum of 34'. Two islets are prominent. The lake has no apparent outlet beyond the broad marshy seepage which extends northwest to Hustler. The 48 rod portage to Hustler follows the high ground to the east of the wetland.

The forests to the northeast of Emerald are the oldest, dating back to the colonial era fires of 1755-59. The woods to the south and west have largely grown up since the fires of 1864 while those to the northwest burned as recently as 1894. This region of the BWCA escaped damage in the 4th of July windstorms of 1999, which caused such extensive tree loss to the south and east.


Emerald supports two established campsites, located on points extending from the northern and southeastern shores. Both have deep water (for Emerald, anyway) just off shore.

Planning Considerations

Emerald is on a short spur off the east/west Pauness/Boulder River route. It offers no through travel options without serious bushwhacking, though the intrepid might consider the marshy valley to the northeast an alternate route into Oyster. (At any rate, the intrepid moose certainly would).


Emerald supports populations of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).

Notes and Comments

Emerald is a great overnight camping option for travelers on the Pauness/Boulder River route through nearby Hustler.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004