Basic Facts

Brush Lake is located in McLean County, North Dakota. This lake is 225 acres in size. It is 21.80 feet deep at its deepest point. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Brook Stickleback, Fathead Minnow, Northern Pike, Tiger Muskellunge (Tiger Muskie), Walleye and Yellow Perch.

Overview

Brush Lake is a friendly, busy lake community comprised of over 175 cabins on leased and owned land.  Cabins range from campers pulled onto the property to large homes with foundations.  The lake is most active in the summer months from approximately Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The lake itself is used primarily for recreation in the afternoon on summer weekends.  In the morning or evening it’s not uncommon to find the lake calm and quiet, with anglers and slow moving pontoons quietly circling the lake.  A “counter-clockwise only” rule is enforced by cabin owners and safety is something everyone takes seriously.  Expect to be stopped if things get out of hand, sometimes by a cabin owner and other times by North Dakota Game and Fish.

In the winter months the lake has an aerator kept running by the Recreation District to reduce winter fish kill, and is home to a number of all-season cabin owners.  Once the lake freezes over, fishermen’s ice houses dot the lake.

Brush Lake is close to Mercer, ND making fuel, a machine shop, a bar and other services just minutes away.  A few miles more to the west is the small town of Turtle Lake, ND with a fully stocked grocery and hardware store, along with McClusky, ND not far to the east.

Situated on the south end of the lake just off the highway is the Pavilion, the lake’s event center and home to The Shore Bar and Grill, a full service bar and restaurant.

The Shore Bar and Grill Summer Hours of Operation 

  • Thursday: 4pm-1am
  • Friday & Saturday: 11am-1am
  • Sunday: 10am-1pm

For updates on events and specials throughout the summer click here. More information the Pavilion is available here.

The lake has a public camping area with an area designated for tents and another for larger campers.  There is also a public dock and ramp.

Supporting Organizations

Along with the fantastic cabin owners around the lake who donate their time, equipment and effort to help make Brush Lake a clean, safe and fun place to relax, the lake supported by two organizations – the Mercer Brush Lake Community Association of which most cabin owners are members, and the Recreation District, of which all cabin owners are members.

Membership in the MBLCA requires a small annual dues payment, payable to the MBLCA.  Proceeds go to ongoing maintenance, upkeep and event planning expenses for a number of the lake’s facilities.  The MBLCA meets regularly as a board to discuss ongoing lake issues and projects.  Members meet twice per season at the Pavilion.  Keep an eye on the Brush Lake website calendar of events for the next meeting date.

Current elected board members of the MBLCA are:

The Recreation District is comprised of 7 board members and as a tax payer for lake property, every cabin owner is automatically a member.  This group deals with the garbage, roads, aerator, siren, tree pit and the taxes that you pay for these items.

Current elected board members of the Recreation District are:

  • Bill Whalen
  • Errol Behm
  • Kevin Thune

Notable Historic Events

  • 1864- Many buffalo seen by Gen Sully’s Brush Lake camp.
  • 1870s-Terrible prairie fire swept over Brush Lake area.
  • 1880s- More open range ranchers appeared in the lake area.
  • 1897- July 4th-Fireworks, Merry Brothers’ orchestra played.
  • 1886- Nov. blizzard at Brush Lake- Joe Mann lost cattle in lake.
  • 1898-1900-Dan William’s had stage route post office on peninsula.
  • 1903- Homesteaders report horse thieves at Brush Lake.
  • 1908- Charlie Wise platted peninsula resort lots, and fish stocked.
  • 1909- First pavilion built and gasoline boat launch arrived.
  • 1926- Sommars, Lucas, Sprout, Littke, Braun, Fibelstad, Freeberg, Hjelle, Rice, Just & Pederson buy public land, which became public beach area and pasture to the south .
  • 1929- July 21- Opening day for Brush Lake Golf course.
  • 1930s- Old Settlers Picnics; Gov. Moses and Gov. Langer spoke.
  • 1958- New pavilion built, best known for its roller skating.

Links to More Information