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May 14, 2007

CONTACT: Rich Ahnen 906-875-6622 or Richard Morscheck 517-373-9265

Deer Lake State Forest Campground Ready for Campers

The Department of Natural Resources reminds campers heading to the Upper Peninsula that a hidden gem of a state forest campground in Iron County is once again open for business.

Deer Lake State Forest Campground, located 18 miles north of Crystal Falls and nine miles east of Amasa, was closed in 2003 for the removal of several hazardous trees, but the campground is now officially reopened.

The campground includes 12 designated campsites, a back-in boat launch on Deer Lake, a hand pump, vault toilets and a picnic area with a swim area. Following the removal of the trees several campsites were widened and the campground road was improved.

“This is a nice campground that is a bit off the beaten path,” said Ron Yesney, recreation specialist for the western U.P. “It is surrounded by 30 square miles of state and Commercial Forest Act land, making it scenic and remote, and there are multiple fishing opportunities in the area, including several trout streams.”

Fly-fishing enthusiasts, Yesney said, are encouraged to try the Fence River, Mitchigan River, Deer River and Net River, which all are within a short distance of the campground.

Fishing in Deer Lake has been excellent, according to DNR Fisheries officials. The lake has excellent natural reproduction of walleye, northern pike and bluegills. In survey assessments during 2006, the lake produced 24-inch walleyes, 30-inch northern pike and 8-inch bluegills. Other species present in the lake included perch, pumpkinseed, rock bass and largemouth bass.

In addition to Deer Lake, anglers should find good fishing opportunities at Bone Lake, Long Lake and Shank Lake.

Another special feature of the Deer Lake campground is the presence of moose in the area. “It’s one of the areas of concentration for moose in the U.P.” Yesney said.

There are two ways to access Deer Lake. The quickest is from Amasa. Take Corral Road east for one mile and then turn northeast on “the grade” and go seven miles to Deer Lake Road. Turn south on Deer Lake Road and go a quarter mile. From Crystal Falls, take Highway 141 north to Old 141 and travel east on Old 141. Turn north on Premo Creek Road for three miles to Deer Lake Road. On Deer Lake Road, travel eight miles north to the campground.

Bait, gas, groceries and restaurants are available in Amasa. For more information on the campground, contact Rich Ahnen at (906) 875-6622 or Ron Yesney at (906) 228-6561.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations.
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