I am from Minneapolis and have many friends and family from Wisconsin, so here's the answer: Minnesota has over 20,000 lakes, but Wisconsin does have more than that, although that states reeks of manure :-) Also, despite the fact that Wisconsin has more lakes, Minnesota has the most boats per capita in the country.
Lake Winnebago is the largest lake by volume and the lake with the longest shoreline. The largest man-made lake is Petenwell Lake, which was created by damming the Wisconsin River. Vilas County has the most lakes (1,318) and Brown and Outagamie counties the fewest (4). Many lakes have the same names, with 116 named Mud Lake.
Most of Wisconsin’s inland lakes are about 4 acres in size. Minnesota doesn’t consider a body of water a lake if it is under 10 acres in size. If Minnesota used the same criteria, Minnesota could claim to have way more than 20,000 lakes. If Wisconsin used Minnesota’s criteria, Wisconsin would have only about 6,000 lakes.
Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," but Wisconsin claims to have more than 15,000 lakes. Which state really has more? VERIFY: Does Minnesota or Wisconsin have more lakes? | kare11.com
It's easy to fall in love with Wisconsin's 15,000 lakes. Breathtaking scenery and beautiful wildlife provide the backdrop along thousands of miles of shoreline, where Wisconsin residents and our visitors can fish, boat, swim or just relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Lake Michigan is Wisconsin's "working lake" and is a critical part of Wisconsin's economy. The availability of water and an inexpensive, easy way to transport goods brought many industries to the shores and tributaries of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan cities also benefit from charter fishing, recreational boating and marina activity.
Several Wisconsin state parks contain resources that have been recognized on a national level. Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area, Devil's Lake State Park, and Interstate State Park are units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, while the Wyalusing Hardwood Forest in Wyalusing State Park is a National Natural Landmark.
Obviously, by any estimate, Alaska has the most lakes, but most have no names, so according to Minnesota’s method, Alaska’s alleged 3 million lakes could be counted as about 15 lakes and 32 ponds. Speaking of Minnesota, it has 15,291 lakes, but only 11,842 have names. Wisconsin has 15,074 lakes, but only 6,044 have names.
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Wisconsin professes to have 15,074 lakes (see related links). However, 9,037 of these lakes are unnamed and average only four acres in size, leaving only 6044 that are named. According to WI DNR ...