Douglas Lake Fast Facts

Posted by Kyle Lieberman on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 at 12:16pm.

Douglas Lake At a Glance

  • Depth: Max Depth is 80 feet, while most of the lake is less than 30 feet deep. There are several deep basins in Douglas Lake that are surrounded by shoals. Shoals, defined as areas where the lake is less than 15 feet deep, cover the majority of the lake.
  • Shoreline miles: 15 miles
  • Water acreage: appx 3700 acres
  • Primary inflows: Bessey Creek (also known as Lancaster Creek) on the west end of the north shore and Beavertail Creek in the northeast corner of the lake.
  • Primary Outflow: The east branch of the Maple River which flows out of Douglas Lake in the southwest corner. The Maple River then flows into Burt Lake. Douglas Lake is connected to the inland waterway.
  • Pells Island- A largely privately-owned island on the southwestern side of Douglas Lake.
  • There are two bays on the eastern shore of the lake. Because the lake resembles a fish, the northern bay on the eastern shore is North Fishtail Bay while the southern bay is name South Fishtail Bay



  • Dominant Predators: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Northern Pike (some fisherman have reported catching walleye as well but walleye are considered to have an extremely low population in the lake that originates from being stocked only in the 1950’s)
  • Panfish: Bluegill, Black Crappie, Green Sunfish, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Rock Bass, and Yellow Perch
  • Non-game Species- bullhead, bowfin, and white suckers

Additional Douglas Lake Fishing Information Can Be Found Here


  • Muskgrass, Water Stargrass, Naiad, Bulrush, and Pondweed are most common.
  • Almost 53% of the lake has little to no vegetation.
  • Plant density varies from very light to moderate as you transition from shallows to deeper portions of the lake.
  • Heaviest amounts of vegetation were found between the depths of 10-20 feet.
  • Vegetation is present in 47% of the lake

On the Lake

  • Douglas Lake Bar & Steakhouse: Rustic log cabin restaurant/pub that overlooks Douglas Lake in Pellston. Outdoor patio and screened in porch. Live music on the lawn every Sunday during the summer. 2 fireplaces during colder months. Boat in boat out.
  • University of Michigan Biological Station(UMBS): has had a large presence on the lake for over 100 years. This research station owns the entire eastern shore as well as parts of both the northern and southern shores. In total, the University of Michigan owns roughly 10,000 contiguous acres both on and around Douglas Lake. Most, if not all of the 10,000 acres is open to the public, but the area is designated as a Nature Research Area.
  • Douglas Lake Improvement Association: This association’s goal is to preserve and protect Douglas Lake in anyway it can, including from invasive species.
  • Bryan Wildlife Nature Preserve: Established in 1984, this 180-acre preserve is located on/near the western shore
  • Bessey Creek Nature Preserve: Located in Munroe Township on the Northeastern corner of the lake. Half of an acre preserve that has two 300 feet of frontage on Douglas Lake. Also contains a creek mouth.
  • Judson Pike Marsh Nature Preserve: Located just to the east of the Bessey Creek Nature Preserve. 56 acre preserve with 300 feet of frontage on Douglas Lake.

Off The Water

  • Moose Jaw Junction: 111 Main St, Levering. American style food/pub in Pellston near Larks Lake.
  • Dam Site Inn: American style food, south of Pellston in Brutus off US31. Known for their all-you-can-eat fried chicken dinners. An old establishment with a rich history leading back to lumberjacking and prohibition eras.
  • Hoppies: American style food/pub
  • Pellston General Store: Gas station with staple groceries and delicatessen.
  • Family Dollar: 6353 W State St, Pellston.
  • Nearest ATMs: 
  • Nearest Bank: Citizen’s National Bank, 500 Jones St, Pellston
  • Nearest School: Pellston Public Schools, 172 Park St. Pellston
  • Nearest Hospital: McLaren Northern Michigan, 416 Connable Ave, Petoskey
  • Nearest Veterinarian: Pellston Animal Clinic, 421 Stimpson St, Pellston

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