The Jessie Lake Watershed (JLW) is located in northwestern Itasca County, and encompasses ten lakes and four tributary streams, and is located entirely in the Chippewa National Forest.
The Jessie Lake Watershed Association (JLWA) includes representatives from five of the major lakes in the area, JESSIE, LITTLE JESSIE, PETERSON, SPRING and LITTLE SPRING lakes. The watershed is part of the Sand Lake Chain, and their waters feed Bowstring Lake via the Bowstring River and eventually travel north to the Rainy River Watershed through the Bigfork River, ultimately reaching Hudson’s Bay. Jessie Lake, the largest in the Watershed, is the eighteenth largest of the 950 lakes in Itasca County. Because of the aesthetic beauty of the lake and its surrounding area, as well as its status as a premier walleye fishery, Jessie Lake is the recreational destination of hundreds of visitors and area residents throughout the year. It is ranked 15th (of 150) on the Itasca County Plan’s priority list, a list of lakes that “provide the highest recreation potential in regards to fishing, boating, etc. and also have a greater potential for development.” It also made “Minnesota’s Top 100 Walleye Lakes List” published by the Hunting and Fishing Library.
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