Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Loon (Townline)

Nearest Town: McGregor
Primary County: Aitkin
Survey Date: 10/08/2012
Inventory Number: 01002400

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Gravel

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 34.19
Littoral Area (acres): 22
Maximum Depth (ft): 21
Water Clarity (ft): 4.3 (3.5-5)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): N/A

Did you know? The state operates 17 hatcheries: 5 for trout and salmon and 12 for coolwater species.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Brook Trout Trap net 0.12 N/A 0.69 N/A
Brown Trout Trap net 0.35 N/A 1.18 N/A
Rainbow Trout Trap net 2.53 N/A 0.66 N/A
White Sucker Trap net 0.76 0.4 - 1.3 2.01 0.7 - 2.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year

Species Number of fish caught in each category (inches)
0-5 6-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30+ Total
brook trout 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
brown trout 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 6
rainbow trout 0 0 29 13 1 0 0 0 43
white sucker 0 0 0 0 13 0 0 0 13

For the record, the largest Green Sunfish taken in Minnesota weighed 1 lb., 4.8 oz. and was caught:

    Where: North Arbor Lake, Hennepin County
    When: 6/14/05.
    Statistics: 10.25" length, 110.625" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Brown Trout yearlings 200 52.6
  Rainbow Trout fingerlings 224 61.4
  Rainbow Trout adults 14 53.6
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,013 864.0
2014 brown trout yearlings 200 63.7
  rainbow trout adults 41 139.9
  rainbow trout yearlings 2,023 663.6
2013 Brown Trout yearlings 200 50.0
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,000 744.0
2012 Brown Trout yearlings 200 160.0
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,000 516.8
  Rainbow Trout adults 56 299.5
2011 Brown Trout yearlings 200 142.9
  Rainbow Trout adults 21 57.7
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,040 490.4
2010 Brook Trout yearlings 2,034 308.2
  Splake yearlings 207 28.0
2009 Brook Trout yearlings 2,007 669.0
2008 Brook Trout yearlings 3,032 1,209.1
  Splake yearlings 202 40.0
2007 Brook Trout yearlings 2,679 977.2
  Splake yearlings 239 46.3
2006 Brook Trout yearlings 2,102 875.9
  Splake yearlings 200 39.8

Stocking Notes
1 - indicates fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.
2 - indicates fish purchased by the DNR for stocking.

Stocking Fish Sizes
Fry - Newly hatched fish that are ready to be stocked usually called "swim-ups". Walleye fry are 1/3 of an inch or around 8 mm.
Fingerling - Fingerlings are one to six months old and can range from a size of one to twelve inches depending on the species. Walleye fingerlings range from three to eight inches each fall.
Yearling - Yearling fish are at least one year old. A one-year-old fish can range from three to twenty inches depending on the species. Walleye yearlings average from six to twelve inches.
Adult - Adult fish are fish that have reached maturity. Depending on the species, maturity can be reached at two years of age. Walleye reach maturity between the ages of four and six years.

Fish Consumption Guidelines

No fish consumption guidelines are available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Status of the Fishery (as of 10/08/2012)

Loon Lake is a designated stream trout lake located entirely within the boundaries of Savannah Portage State Park in eastern Aitkin County. Anglers who fish Loon Lake are required to have a valid Minnesota State Park permit and a trout stamp. Park facilities on the lake include the park's main picnic area, swimming beach, canoe rental and boat launch with concrete log ramp. The use of gas-powered outboard motors is prohibited, limiting anglers to paddling, electric trolling motors, or shore fishing. Loon Lake is popular with the local residents and visitors to Savannah Portage State Park and provides a unique angling experience for central Minnesota.

Historically Loon Lake was a bass-panfish lake until it was reclaimed in 1971. The initial stocking of rainbow trout took place that fall. Brook trout yearlings were then introduced in 1985, and stocked nearly annually through 2010. Splake, a sterile hybrid between male brook trout and female lake trout, was introduced in 1999 and stocked thru 2009. With changes in hatchery production, beginning in 2011 Loon Lake has been stocked each spring with 2,000 rainbow trout yearlings and 200 brown trout yearlings. An additional 500 yearling or adult rainbow trout may be stocked later in the year when hatchery surplus is available. It is believed that the brown trout will be able to take advantage of the available prey (white suckers) and grow to larger sizes to provide a quality element to the fishery.

The 2012 fall trap net assessment sampled 43 rainbow trout ranging in size from 9.4 to 15.0 inches with an average length of 11.8 inches. The size distribution suggests that some of the 2011 stocked fish were able to survive through two summers and one winter fishing seasons. If stocked rainbow trout continue to survive multiple fishing seasons, there should be good opportunities for quality fishing in the future.

In addition, six brown trout were sampled measuring from 12.8 to 14.9 inches. It is too soon to tell how large brown trout might grow in Loon Lake, but the limited data suggests that at least some fish survive past their first winter. Future surveys will provide more information on the potential of the brown trout fishery.

White sucker abundance, which had increased through the late 1990's and 2000's, dropped back down to 0.8 per net in 2012. Lower abundance is favorable because white suckers are known competitors of trout and may be limiting the growth of trout in the system. However, growth rates for trout at Loon Lake have never been characterized as good, even in years of very low white sucker densities.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
1200 Minnesota Ave S
Aitkin, MN 56431
Phone: (218) 429-3010
Internet: Aitkin Fisheries

Lake maps can be obtained from:

Minnesota Bookstore
660 Olive Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000 or (800) 657-3757
To order, use C2084 for the map-id.

For general DNR Information, contact:

DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR

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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093