Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Little Rock

Nearest Town: Rice
Primary County: Benton
Survey Date: 06/24/2014
Inventory Number: 05001300

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete
County Gravel


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1310.61
Littoral Area (acres): 1240.12
Maximum Depth (ft): 17
Water Clarity (ft): 2.8 (1.5-4.1)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 21 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 1.8 (0-4)


Did you know? There are 15,000 miles of fishable streams in Minnesota, including 2,600 miles of trout streams.

Fish Sampled for the 2014 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Trap net 0.11 0.2 - 1.5 6.26 1.3 - 5.1
Black Crappie Trap net 0.56 1.0 - 12.3 0.33 0.2 - 0.5
N/A Gill net 0.36 0.8 - 11.1 0.20 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 4.78 1.0 - 14.9 0.18 0.2 - 0.4
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.44 0.1 - 0.7 3.16 3.7 - 5.1
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.11 0.4 - 9.8 1.55 0.4 - 0.9
Channel Catfish Trap net 1.11 N/A 3.55 N/A
N/A Gill net 6.64 N/A 3.68 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 1.56 0.7 - 5.1 8.97 2.3 - 5.6
N/A Gill net 0.09 0.5 - 9.1 13.28 1.0 - 4.9
Green Sunfish Trap net 0.11 0.1 - 0.7 0.11 0.1 - 0.2
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.11 N/A 0.14 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.11 0.1 - 0.8 2.44 0.4 - 1.5
Northern Pike Trap net 0.44 N/A 2.95 N/A
N/A Gill net 1.09 1.2 - 7.8 2.28 1.5 - 3.0
Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 0.27 0.6 - 2.8 2.79 1.5 - 2.2
Silver Redhorse Trap net 1.78 N/A 5.25 N/A
N/A Gill net 0.18 N/A 2.94 N/A
Smallmouth Bass Gill net 0.18 0.3 - 3.2 1.67 0.2 - 2.0
Tadpole Madtom Trap net 0.11 N/A 0.04 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.67 0.3 - 1.7 1.47 0.9 - 2.4
N/A Gill net 1.55 3.2 - 15.3 2.21 0.9 - 1.9
White Sucker Trap net 0.89 0.3 - 1.3 2.39 1.3 - 2.6
N/A Gill net 2.27 0.8 - 5.9 1.63 1.4 - 2.2
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.22 0.5 - 4.1 1.19 0.4 - 0.8
N/A Gill net 0.09 0.3 - 3.6 ND 0.5 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 3.00 0.3 - 2.6 0.10 0.1 - 0.3
N/A Gill net 4.82 3.0 - 22.5 0.19 0.1 - 0.4
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2014 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
bigmouth buffalo 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
black crappie 0 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 9
bluegill 26 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 43
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 4
brown bullhead 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
channel catfish 0 1 0 3 11 63 5 0 83
common carp 0 0 0 0 1 4 6 4 15
green sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
largemouth bass 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 0 1 4 8 2 0 15
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
silver redhorse 0 0 0 0 1 17 0 0 18
smallmouth bass 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
tadpole madtom 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
walleye 0 0 0 7 10 5 0 0 22
white sucker 0 0 7 3 23 0 0 0 33
yellow bullhead 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
yellow perch 15 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 73


For the record, the largest Black Crappie taken in Minnesota weighed 5 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Vermillion River, Dakota County
    When: 1940
    Statistics: 21" length

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
LITTLE ROCK
Benton Co., 05001300
Crappie All sizes        
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
LITTLE ROCK
Benton Co., 05001300
Crappie All sizes        
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 06/24/2014)

Little Rock Lake is the largest lake in Benton County. Though large and close to a major metropolitan area, the lake's development and recreational value has been limited by poor water quality. Severe algal blooms have historically occurred in mid to late summer, which affect both the recreational value and fish community diversity. At the time of the 2014 survey in mid-June the secchi disk reading was 4.1 feet which was better than usual for the time of year. Little Rock Lake is a popular destination when Walleye season opens but by early June, few boats are found on the lake after algal blooms begin. The lake likely receives more fishing pressure during the winter season than summer. The lake has limited vegetation due to poor water clarity. Four feet was the deepest any vegetation was found to grow. Filamentous algae was more common than any aquatic plant species when documenting vegetation diversity in August. The most common shallow water substrate was sand. A broad connection to the Mississippi River has some influence on the fish species composition in the lake as many of the species found are associated with riverine conditions. Lack of vegetation and turbid water make the lake less suitable for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. Due to its shallow nature, Little Rock is one of the first lakes to freeze over in the area and fishermen are quick to take advantage of this targeting Walleye and Black Crappie. Little Rock also warms up rapidly in the spring making it a good season opener destination. Walleye natural reproduction maintains the population in the lake and for the most part has been successful at meeting fishing pressure demands. The Walleye gill net catch rate was below management goals and low when compared to similar type lakes. Occasional strong year classes appear to sustain the Black Crappie population. Most crappie caught in surveys and reported "hot bites" are of similar sized fish. The Northern Pike catch was also low when compared to similar type lakes and most of the fish caught in the survey were small by most anglers' standards. An occasional large pike is caught in spring sampling and ice fishing also. Channel Catfish are quite common and averaged 21 inches or about four pounds in the survey and are rarely targeted by anglers. All three species of bullhead are known to inhabit Little Rock Lake. Brown and Yellow Bullhead were the two species caught in the 2014 survey and abundance appears to be low for both. Species in the sucker family found in Little Rock Lake are White Sucker, Shorthead Redhorse, Silver Redhorse, and Bigmouth Buffalo. Common Carp were also caught in the summer survey and abundance appears to be within the normal range when compared to similar type lakes. Carp bowfishing has become increasingly popular and Little Rock Lake has an abundance of shallow flats to accommodate the sport. Yellow Perch numbers showed a significant improvement from the last survey. Although most anglers consider perch to be nuisance when fishing, the species can be an important food species for most game fish. Improving the water quality in Little Rock Lake has been a goal of an active lake association as well as local government and state agencies. Work has been done with landowners in the watershed to reduce nutrient run-off to streams feeding the lake. The Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District is conducting a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) study on the lake to identify nutrient sources and needed remedies.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
16543 Haven Rd
Little Falls, MN 56345
Phone: (320) 616-2450
Internet: Little Falls Fisheries
E-Mail: LittleFalls.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 B0314 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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