There are 11,842 lakes in Minnesota, and a lot of them have the same names.

In our state, there are 27 "Long" lakes, 13 "Clear" lakes, 11 "Eagle" lakes, and 10 "Fish" lakes. Those are just a few of the name repeaters we have speckled across our great state.

And honestly those names aren't very creative. Long, clear, fish, they are all pretty generic, which works if you are super secretive about where you fish but for top-of-the-mind recognition purposes, it doesn't do a whole lot.

Take Lake Le Homme Dieu in Alexandria for example. This one is on a chain of lakes which could cause some confusion, but with a name so unique people automatically know what lake is being talked about.

So how would a person go about changing the name of a generic lake in Minnesota to something more interesting?

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According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, naming a lake or changing a lake name is guided by a state statute.

The process begins at the county where the lake is located. Fifteen or more voters registered in that county must petition the county board of commissioners for a public hearing. If the county board agrees on the proposed name, the board adopts a resolution in support of the name.

The resolution is forwarded to the Department of Natural Resources Commissioner for approval.

Unfortunately, the Commissioner will not approve a name that commemorates or may be seen to commemorate, a living person. So technically you can't get your favorite lake named after you while you are living, but if you leave a big enough positive impact on the area, it could potentially happen after you're gone.

But now we know how to change a lake name, so start thinking of creative ones!

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