Deep Portage Lake has an area of 123 acres and a shoreline length of 1.75 miles. Though it has a maximum depth of 105 feet, about one-quarter of the lake is less than 15 feet deep. This lake can be accessed via a public access on Big Portage Lake through a boatable channel to Deep Portage. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different classes based on physical, chemical and other characteristics. Deep Portage Lake is in Lake Class 23; lakes in this class are generally very deep and clear with a low percentage of shallow water areas. The west shoreline of Deep Portage Lake is public land administered by Cass County. Sixteen lake homes are scattered along the shoreline. The northern pike in Deep Portage Lake are abundant with larger fish in excellent condition. The average size of sampled northern pike was 20.1 inches and 1.9 pounds. Walleye are also are abundant and average 19.4 inches and 2.6 pounds. The largest walleye sampled was 26.7 inches. Nine year classes were present with the 1996 year class accounting for 30 percent of all sampled walleye. These fish averaged 18.9 inches in length. Largemouth bass sampled in Deep Portage Lake ranged in length between 5.1 inches and 15.8 inches. Bluegill and black crappie were sampled in low abundance and average 4.3 inches and 8.5 inches, respectively. Other species sampled in low abundance include: yellow perch, white sucker, tullibee, rock bass, and yellow bullhead. Angler can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium- to large-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Deep Portage Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future. Shoreline areas on the land and into the shallow water provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota's lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines can't support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. The combined effects of all lakeshore owners "fixing up" their property can destroy a lake's valuable natural shorelines. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants and natural lake bottom soils. Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. Natural lake bottom materials like silt or gravel are more ecologically productive than pure sand trucked in for a swimming beach. A tidy lawn and a sandy beach make great spots for sunbathing and swimming but do little to provide habitat for fish and wildlife. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife. Only if more lakeshore owners manage their shoreline in a natural condition can fish and wildlife populations on Minnesota lakes remain healthy and abundant. More specific information on protecting or restoring shorelines and watersheds is available through the local DNR Fisheries office.