Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Farm Island

Nearest Town: Bennettville
Primary County: Aitkin
Survey Date: 07/22/2013
Inventory Number: 01015900
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete


Fishing Regulations:

Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 2002.95
Littoral Area (acres): 883
Maximum Depth (ft): 56
Water Clarity (ft): 8.3 (3.5-11.5)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 34 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 14.6 (10-16)


Did you know? Each year, DNR fisheries personnel stock game fish fry and fingerlings in lakes lacking habitat for natural reproduction.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Gill net 0.07 0.5 - 4.1 0.26 0.6 - 1.0
Black Crappie Trap net 0.20 0.3 - 1.7 0.33 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 1.67 0.2 - 1.1 0.41 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 9.27 3.7 - 42.9 0.11 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 5.87 N/A 0.29 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 1.67 0.3 - 1.1 5.21 3.9 - 5.1
Gill net 0.40 0.1 - 0.2 3.52 3.0 - 5.2
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.07 0.3 - 1.7 1.41 0.7 - 1.1
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 1.13 N/A 0.21 N/A
Gill net 1.27 N/A 0.41 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.20 0.4 - 1.4 2.28 0.3 - 0.7
Gill net 1.40 0.3 - 1.2 0.88 0.6 - 1.0
Northern Pike Trap net 1.07 N/A 1.54 N/A
Gill net 11.80 3.0 - 7.9 1.77 1.7 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.73 1.6 - 6.9 0.25 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.87 N/A 0.13 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.60 0.7 - 3.3 0.52 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 4.53 1.0 - 6.6 0.49 0.3 - 0.5
Smallmouth Bass Gill net 0.07 0.2 - 0.9 1.86 0.9 - 1.8
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 0.07 0.5 - 5.2 2.30 0.4 - 1.0
Walleye Trap net 0.47 0.3 - 0.9 2.98 1.0 - 2.2
Gill net 6.07 4.0 - 9.6 1.17 1.1 - 1.9
White Sucker Gill net 1.07 1.0 - 3.5 1.93 1.5 - 2.3
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.47 0.9 - 4.8 1.07 0.7 - 1.0
Gill net 0.60 0.6 - 6.4 1.02 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.20 0.7 - 3.7 0.10 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 1.27 7.1 - 33.9 0.11 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 2013 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 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
black crappie 0 19 8 1 0 0 0 0 28
bluegill 137 88 2 0 0 0 0 0 227
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 7 12 12 0 31
brown bullhead 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 10 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 36
largemouth bass 3 7 5 3 6 0 0 0 24
northern pike 0 0 1 1 78 105 6 2 193
pumpkinseed 14 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 24
rock bass 17 25 35 0 0 0 0 0 77
smallmouth bass 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
tullibee (cisco) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
walleye 0 7 35 5 39 11 0 0 98
white sucker 0 1 0 2 13 0 0 0 16
yellow bullhead 0 0 6 10 0 0 0 0 16
yellow perch 13 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 22


For the record, the largest Rainbow Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 17 lbs., 6 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Knife River, Lake County
    When: 1/19/74
    Statistics: 36.9" length

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 1,330,000 12.0
2012 Walleye fry 1,330,000 11.7
2011 Walleye fry 1,335,000 12.2
2009 Walleye fry 890,000 8.9
2008 Walleye fry 890,000 8.9
2007 Walleye fry 890,000 8.9
2006 Walleye fry 890,000 8.9
2005 Walleye fry 890,000 8.9
2004 Walleye fry 900,000 9.0

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

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
FARM ISLAND
Aitkin Co., 01015900
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead   All sizes     Mercury
Cisco   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker All sizes        

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
FARM ISLAND
Aitkin Co., 01015900
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead All sizes        
Cisco All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike All sizes        
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker All sizes        

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 07/22/2013)

Farm Island Lake is a large and popular lake located about seven miles south of Aitkin. There are two public accesses with concrete log ramps, one in the northeast and one in the southwest portion of the lake. Sand is the primary substrate around much of the lake, but scattered muck, silt, gravel, and rubble areas create diverse aquatic habitats. Consequently, aquatic vegetation is also diverse with a variety of emergent, floating-leaf, and submerged species present. Curly-leaf pond weed is also present. Healthy aquatic plant communities help to break wave action and prevent erosion, stabilize bottom substrates and maintain water clarity, and provide adult spawning and juvenile rearing habitat for numerous aquatic organisms.

Walleye have been stocked regularly since 1922, at a variety of sizes and frequencies. The current strategy calls for high density fry stocking in three of four years, leaving a non-stocked year to evaluate the amount of natural reproduction. A special regulation protecting walleye 16"-19" has been in place since 1996 to improve angler catch rates of those sizes of fish, and has largely been successful. The walleye assessment catch rate of 6.1 per gill net was slightly lower than the previous survey, but was within the expected range for similar lakes and within the goals for the current management plan. The 2013 walleye catch was composed of 53% less than 16", 30% within the protected slot, and 17% greater than 19". Age analysis found eleven year-classes and revealed that limited natural reproduction still occurs, as some fish in the sample were from the most recent non-stocked year. The 2011 year class appeared strong as young of the year in the 2011 fall electrofishing survey and continued to be strong in the 2013 gill net assessment. These fish averaged 11 inches at the time of the survey, which resulted in a slightly smaller average size for the sample (14.5" and 1.2 pounds) than the previous survey. This year class will also likely influence angler catches for the next several years. Given normal growth rates, they should be of sizes anglers prefer by the end of the 2014 open water season.

Northern pike catches continue to be above the expected range for similar lakes. Size was poor, but also similar to previous surveys, averaging 20.6" and 1.8 pounds with just 8% greater than 24". Larger pike play an important role in regulating survival and growth of various species. Anglers should consider releasing fish greater than 24" to help protect the vital function these fish provide, and allow additional opportunities for others.

Largemouth bass anglers will find ample habitat to fish. While bass are not typically sampled in high numbers by standard survey gear, several year classes were identified and fish up to 19" were captured. In addition, an adult smallmouth bass was captured for the first time on Farm Island Lake in 2013.

Bluegill and black crappie populations displayed better growth and lower abundance than the previous survey. Black crappie tend to be relatively short-lived and reach harvestable size in about four years, while bluegill can live for over a decade and require at least six years to reach 7". The lake does produce quality-sized fish of both species.

The lake also supports a small population of tullibee (northern cisco), a species that requires adequate coldwater habitat to survive. Temperature and oxygen monitoring conducted from 2009 to 2013 indicate only marginal habitat is available to tullibee in most years. Only one tullibee was captured during the 2013 survey. The lake will continue to be monitored for any changes to thermal habitat that could impact the fish community.


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 B0002 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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