Located entirely within a Three Rivers Park District Park Reserve , 254-acre Lake Rebecca is used to produce muskellunge (muskie) and tiger muskie eggs for statewide stocking needs. Annual muskie egg collections from Rebecca began in 1987.
Since 1982, small muskies from Leech Lake sources have been stocked to perpetuate a population; the lake is unsuitable for natural reproduction. Lake Rebecca naturally supports a bass-panfish mix similar to many local lakes. Only rarely are northern pike caught during the muskie capture, indicating a very low population.
The egg-take begins soon after ice-out. Lake conditions are monitored closely to maximize capture of egg-yielding ("ripe") females. Operations can occur from late March to early May; the third week of April has been typical and has recently been trending earlier. Actual egg collection is often completed within a week. Duration and success of the egg-take are affected by weather, number and type of fish captured, and annual muskie stocking needs.
About 70 muskies are caught each season, and about 20 of those are females able to provide eggs. Seasonal average production has been about 900,000 eggs. An individual female can produce over a quart of eggs, if large and "ripe" enough. (2017 season summary: operation run from April 14-26; 47 total muskies caught [largest 44.1 inches]; 13 females used; 508,003 [11.6 quarts] eggs taken and fertilized; smallest/youngest females used were from 2011 year-class)
Once fertilized at the Lake Rebecca site, eggs are transported to State hatcheries in St. Paul and Waterville for incubation and hatching. This site is one of several in the MN DNR Fisheries' muskellunge propagation program.
While fishing Lake Rebecca is allowed, we ask anglers to use methods that minimize stressing the valuable and vulnerable muskies, which typically number fewer than 120 and take five years or longer to mature.
If you have questions about the Lake Rebecca muskie spawn, contact our office. While there are no tours or guides, the public can observe the operation when in progress, keeping in mind 1) Park District rules and fees (note: electric trolling motors only) and 2) a small MN DNR Fisheries crew is doing detail-oriented, time-sensitive work in variable outdoor conditions, so opportunities for interaction are sometimes limited.