Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Melissa

Nearest Town: Detroit Lakes
Primary County: Becker
Survey Date: 07/13/2009
Inventory Number: 03047500
Buy your walleye stamp todayPurchase a walleye stamp. Your voluntary contribution will be used to support walleye stocking.

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
Township Earthen Off W shore of SW point. No parking. Commons access.
Township Earthen SE shore- behind old resort. Commons access.
Township Earthen N. shore- appro. 200 yd west of Pelican River inlet. Commonsaccess
Township Earthen Northeast shore off Twnshp. 108. No parking. Commons access.
DNR Concrete Northeast shore off Co. Rd. 17. Just south of resort/campground.


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): 1850.13
Littoral Area (acres): 934
Maximum Depth (ft): 37
Water Clarity (ft): 8

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


Did you know? Spawning habitat improvements can enhance naturally reproducing populations of fish species such as walleye and northern pike.

Fish Sampled for the 2009 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 0.20 0.3 - 2.6 0.70 0.5 - 0.9
Gill net 0.13 0.6 - 6.8 0.79 0.5 - 1.0
Black Crappie Trap net 0.13 0.4 - 2.3 0.57 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.80 0.4 - 2.7 0.57 0.3 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 12.80 4.4 - 49.0 0.19 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 7.93 N/A 0.22 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.53 0.3 - 1.1 5.07 3.7 - 5.1
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.93 0.3 - 1.6 1.39 0.7 - 1.1
Gill net 1.73 0.3 - 1.8 1.15 0.7 - 1.2
Green Sunfish Trap net 0.53 0.2 - 1.0 0.03 0.1 - 0.2
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 2.13 N/A 0.23 N/A
Gill net 0.60 N/A 0.30 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.40 0.3 - 1.3 1.99 0.2 - 0.8
Gill net 0.80 0.3 - 1.4 1.41 0.5 - 1.2
Northern Pike Trap net 0.93 N/A 4.26 N/A
Gill net 7.80 2.8 - 9.0 3.77 1.6 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.60 1.8 - 7.8 0.20 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 1.07 N/A 0.29 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.20 0.5 - 2.5 0.60 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 1.07 0.6 - 3.9 0.65 0.3 - 0.5
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 5.27 0.8 - 6.2 1.29 0.6 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 0.60 0.2 - 0.8 5.13 1.0 - 2.7
Gill net 3.80 3.3 - 8.8 1.81 1.2 - 2.1
White Sucker Trap net 0.07 0.2 - 1.1 2.62 1.8 - 3.0
Gill net 0.53 0.9 - 4.0 2.21 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 4.93 1.2 - 5.2 0.88 0.6 - 0.9
Gill net 12.53 1.2 - 10.9 0.68 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.07 0.6 - 3.5 0.03 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 9.80 7.0 - 46.3 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 2009 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 4 1 0 0 0 0 5
black crappie 1 5 6 2 0 0 0 0 14
bluegill 115 190 0 0 0 0 0 0 311
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 0 5 3 0 8
brown bullhead 0 0 11 23 6 0 0 0 40
green sunfish 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
hybrid sunfish 22 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 41
largemouth bass 2 0 2 8 6 0 0 0 18
northern pike 0 0 0 0 10 34 65 22 131
pumpkinseed 9 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 25
rock bass 2 6 11 0 0 0 0 0 19
tullibee (cisco) 0 18 5 9 47 0 0 0 79
walleye 1 7 5 14 21 8 10 0 66
white sucker 0 0 2 0 7 0 0 0 9
yellow bullhead 1 21 188 52 0 0 0 0 262
yellow perch 42 106 0 0 0 0 0 0 148


For the record, the largest River Redhorse taken in Minnesota weighed 12 lbs., 10 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Kettle River, Pine County
    When: 5/20/05
    Statistics: 28.38" length, 20" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 1,500,000 13.0
  Walleye fingerlings 20,940 935.0
  Walleye* fingerlings 4,005 267.0
2012 Walleye fry 1,800,000 15.9
2011 Walleye fingerlings 31,710 880.0
  Walleye fry 2,700,000 24.0
  Walleye yearlings 184 64.0
2010 Walleye adults 20 20.0
  Walleye fingerlings 10,474 757.0
  Walleye fry 1,000,000 8.9
  Walleye yearlings 269 158.0
  Walleye* fingerlings 4,400 400.0
2009 Walleye fingerlings 4,040 355.0
  Walleye* fingerlings 7,176 523.0
  Walleye fry 2,200,000 20.0
  Walleye yearlings 421 57.0
2008 Walleye adults 10 10.0
  Walleye fingerlings 15,947 788.0
  Walleye fry 1,000,000 9.1
  Walleye yearlings 794 137.0
2007 Walleye yearlings 1,659 341.0
  Walleye fry 1,500,000 13.8
  Walleye fingerlings 7,906 594.0
2006 Walleye fry 1,000,000 9.1
  Walleye fingerlings 10,113 479.0
  Walleye yearlings 787 476.0
2005 Walleye yearlings 1,286 394.0
  Walleye yearlings 31 13.0
  Walleye fry 1,500,000 13.6
  Walleye* fingerlings 2,200 146.7
  Walleye fingerlings 10,435 494.0
  Walleye adults 10 20.0
2004 Walleye yearlings 3,162 1,003.0
  Walleye fry 1,000,000 9.1
  Walleye* fingerlings 2,000 83.3
  Walleye fingerlings 9,815 401.0

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
MELISSA
Becker Co., 03047500
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
MELISSA
Becker Co., 03047500
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead All sizes        
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Sunfish 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 07/13/2009)

Lake Melissa's fish populations are similar to those of many central Minnesota lakes. Walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie are all typical angling targets here. The presence of a tullibee (cisco) population and a shift from black to yellow bullheads indicate relatively good water quality in the lake.

A walleye spawn-taking operation is in place on Lake Sallie that also uses migrating fish from Lake Melissa and, as a parent lake, walleye fry and fingerlings continue to be stocked annually here. Test net catches of walleye have remained relatively consistent within a range of 3.4 to 9.2 walleyes per net. In 2009, the walleye gill net catch rate was 3.8 per net, which was near the historic low. The walleyes averaged about 1.8 pounds each.

Sampled northern pike were also relatively large at an average 26.1 inches and 3.8 pounds. Pike greater than 24 inches in length have been protected from harvest by an experimental regulation since 1996. This regulation's goals were to improve the size structure of the population and to reduce the number of small pike. Thirteen years after the beginning of this regulation, these expectations are being met. The number of pike over 24 inches averaged 5.5 per test net in 2009. In six studies before the regulation started, the average number of pike over 24 inches was 1.8 per net and the number never exceeded 2.7 per net. Also, the average length of sampled pike in studies conducted before the regulation was 21.0 inches while the average length of pike sampled in 2009 was 26.1 inches. In addition, the overall northern pike catch rate was more typical (lower) than in the recent past and the portion of small pike in the catch has never been as low as it was in 2009, when just 30% of northern pike sampled were less than 24 inches long. Before the regulation, pike less than 24 inches averaged 77% of the sample.

A decision must be made in 2010 whether to continue, modify, or drop the experimental northern pike regulation. Public input will be an important part of this process and is invited through letters, phone calls, visits, or the public hearings that will be conducted during late summer. The regulation appears to have been effective at providing larger pike and reducing percentages of smaller pike. Dropping the regulation outright would likely lead to rapid harvest of the currently protected size pike and a quick return to large numbers of small pike typical of most area lakes. Anglers must decide whether the ability to catch larger pike and maintain a more balanced fishery is worth the sacrifice inherent in any harvest regulation.

Historic records show that Lake Melissa has the potential to produce large (over eight inches) bluegills. Sunfish of that size have become extremely rare in this lake over the past couple of decades where they were once common. As in many Minnesota lakes, it appears that bluegills are harvested as soon as they reach sizes that are acceptable to anglers (usually about seven inches), preventing the continued growth of larger bluegills. Restrictive harvest regulations are a potential solution to the small bluegill problem and may be considered. Public input, acceptance, and cooperation would be important parts of any successful regulation.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
14583 Cty Hwy 19
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-7121
Phone: (218) 846-8340
Internet: Detroit Lakes Fisheries
E-Mail: DetroitLakes.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 B0011 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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