Lake water level forecasting is very important for an accurate and reliable management of local and regional water resources. In the present study two nonlinear approaches, namely phase-space reconstruction and self-exciting threshold autoregressive model (SETAR) were compared for lake water level forecasting. The modeling approaches were applied to high-quality lake water level time series of the three largest lakes in Sweden; Vanern, Vattern, and Malaren. Phase-space reconstruction was applied by the k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) model. The k-NN model parameters were determined using autocorrelation, mutual information functions, and correlation integral. Jointly, these methods indicated chaotic behavior for all lake water levels. The correlation dimension found for the three lakes was 3.37, 3.97, and 4.44 for Vanern, Vattern, and Malaren, respectively. As a comparison, the best SETAR models were selected using the Akaike Information Criterion. The best SETAR models in this respect were (10,4), (5,8), and (7,9) for Vanern, Vattern, and Malaren, respectively. Both model approaches were evaluated with various performance criteria. Results showed that both modeling approaches are efficient in predicting lake water levels but the phase-space reconstruction (k-NN) is superior to the SETAR model.