Lake information report

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Name: Ripple (Mud)

Nearest Town: Aitkin
Primary County: Aitkin
Survey Date: 08/11/2008
Inventory Number: 01014600
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 629.23
Littoral Area (acres): 295
Maximum Depth (ft): 39
Water Clarity (ft): 4

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Muck (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 45 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 7.4 (0-8)


Did you know? Much of Minnesota's fisheries program is reimbursed by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (federal excise tax), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish Sampled for the 2008 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 2.8 1.22 0.4 - 0.8
Black Crappie Trap net 3.56 0.7 - 3.2 0.17 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 19.11 0.5 - 2.7 0.22 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 12.67 5.6 - 42.3 0.19 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 2.78 N/A 0.19 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.56 0.4 - 1.0 4.32 3.1 - 4.8
Gill net 1.00 0.1 - 0.4 4.39 2.9 - 5.0
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 1.5 1.48 0.6 - 1.0
Gill net 0.56 0.3 - 2.2 1.39 0.6 - 1.0
Largemouth Bass Gill net 0.11 0.3 - 1.2 1.17 0.5 - 1.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.44 N/A 1.53 N/A
Gill net 3.44 3.1 - 8.5 3.05 1.5 - 2.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.56 1.7 - 8.2 0.09 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.44 N/A 0.23 N/A
Rock Bass Gill net 0.11 0.3 - 2.0 0.64 0.3 - 0.5
Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 1.44 0.2 - 1.2 1.39 1.1 - 2.5
Walleye Gill net 3.22 1.3 - 5.5 2.40 1.2 - 2.4
White Sucker Trap net 0.11 0.2 - 1.0 3.32 1.7 - 2.9
Gill net 2.67 0.5 - 3.5 2.69 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 3.67 1.5 - 7.7 0.75 0.5 - 0.8
Gill net 5.44 0.9 - 10.0 0.77 0.5 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.22 0.5 - 2.7 0.08 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 2.78 2.5 - 24.2 0.10 0.1 - 0.2
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2008 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
black bullhead 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
black crappie 35 154 15 0 0 0 0 0 204
bluegill 56 83 0 0 0 0 0 0 139
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 1 11 2 0 14
brown bullhead 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 7
largemouth bass 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 1 0 3 22 5 4 35
pumpkinseed 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
rock bass 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 6 7 0 0 0 13
walleye 0 0 4 4 12 4 5 0 29
white sucker 0 0 0 0 23 2 0 0 25
yellow bullhead 0 7 55 20 0 0 0 0 82
yellow perch 10 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 27


For the record, the largest Brown Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 16 lbs., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Superior, St. Louis County
    When: 6/23/89
    Statistics: 31.4" length, 20.6" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye fingerlings 11,308 589.7
2010 Walleye* fingerlings 8,850 590.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 15,033 589.8
2006 Walleye* fingerlings 5,965 345.0
  Walleye* fingerlings 4,526 155.0
  Walleye yearlings 130 100.4
2005 Walleye yearlings 904 231.0
  Walleye fingerlings 2,832 121.0
2004 Walleye fingerlings 7,755 235.0

Privately Stocked Fish
* indicates privately stocked fish. Private stocking includes fish purchased by the DNR for stocking and fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.

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

These fish consumption guidelines help people make choices about which fish to eat and how often. Following the guidelin es enables people to reduce their exposure to contaminants while still enjoying the many benefits from fish.

Pregnant Women, Women who may become pregnant and Children under age 15

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
RIPPLE
Aitkin Co., 01014600
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
RIPPLE
Aitkin Co., 01014600
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

DOWID - MN DNR, Division of Waters' lake ID number.

Contaminants listed were measured at levels that trigger advice to limit consumption.

Listing of consumption guidelines do not imply the fish are legal to keep, MN DNR fishing regulations should be consulted.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 08/11/2008)

Ripple Lake is located about five miles south of Aitkin and is one of the more popular fishing lakes in southwestern Aitkin County. Summer anglers target walleye, northern pike, bluegill and black crappie. Winter anglers on Ripple Lake target primarily northern pike and black crappie. The public access, which is located on the Ripple River between Ripple and Diamond lakes, is unsafe for vehicular traffic during the winter season, however access is possible by foot. Ripple Lake is part of the Ripple River chain of lakes. Currently it is possible to access Elm Island Lake via the inlet during normal flows with most watercraft. Downstream, the type C water control structure impedes motor boat traffic to Diamond and Hanging Kettle Lakes during most flow regimes. Canoe access is unlimited from Ripple Lake to the Mississippi River, and upstream to Sjodine Lake.

Northern pike abundance in Ripple Lake has remained fairly stable over the survey history of the lake. The northern pike size structure is desirable for a small lake with a mean size of about 24 inches, and about 10% over 30 inches. Growth rates are near average for the county and statewide, and yellow perch are likely the primary food source, with shorthead redhorse and white sucker providing forage for larger individuals.

The walleye fishery in Ripple Lake is supported by a walleye stocking program that has typically produced 2 to 3 fish per net in the past and was just slightly above that in 2008 at 3.22 per net. It is too soon to determine whether the increase in stocking rate in 2006 will result in an increase in walleye abundance. Growth rates for walleye were near average, and some fish over 26 inches were sampled.

Cisco have never been abundant in Ripple Lake, but had been observed in gill net assessments in 1970, and 1980-1998. They have not been sampled in the last two gill net assessments in 2003 and 2008. Water temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles suggest that the conditions at all depths were very near or below thresholds for survival of this coldwater species (Figure 1).

The abundant hardstem bulrush and wild rice beds along the shoreline of the lake provide ample cover for both bluegill and black crappie. Thirty six percent of bluegills sampled in 2008 were greater than 7 inches long. Black crappie catches remained high for this lake type at 19.1 per gill net. The winter black crappie fishery has increased in recent years to the point that some lake shore owners have requested that we limit access to the lake in the winter. This is not feasible for a variety of reasons, including that the primary winter access is currently via private property.

Yellow perch numbers have decreased substantially since 2003, which is a bit of a concern for the existing walleye and pike fisheries since perch are their main forage. However, variations in abundance of yellow perch similar to this have been previously observed, and the change does not appear to be due a trend in decreasing abundance. There did not appear to be any major changes in walleye or northern pike abundance.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 138
1200 Minnesota Ave S
Aitkin, MN 56431
Phone: (218) 927-7503
Internet: Aitkin Fisheries
E-Mail: Aitkin.Fisheries@state.mn.us

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 C1736 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
Internet: www.dnr.state.mn.us
E-Mail: info.dnr@state.mn.us

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