|Nearest Town: Madison Lake
Primary County: Blue Earth
Survey Date: 06/29/2009
Inventory Number: 07005400
|Did you know? The annual budget for the Section of Fisheries is approximately $17 million, which is funded primarily by fishing license and stamp fees and by a federal excise tax on fishing and boating equipment.|
|Species||Number of fish per net||
Average Fish Weight (lbs)
Normal Range (lbs)
|Bigmouth Buffalo||Gill net||0.33||0.3 - 1.9||5.71||N/A|
|Black Bullhead||Trap net||2.12||1.5 - 58.0||0.60||0.2 - 0.5|
|Gill net||13.67||7.7 - 104.7||0.63||0.2 - 0.5|
|Black Crappie||Trap net||4.50||2.1 - 24.1||0.42||0.2 - 0.4|
|Gill net||22.33||1.7 - 17.5||0.16||0.1 - 0.3|
|Bluegill||Trap net||24.50||3.5 - 57.1||0.11||0.1 - 0.3|
|Bowfin (dogfish)||Trap net||0.38||0.3 - 1.3||5.97||2.5 - 4.2|
|Gill net||0.33||0.3 - 1.3||6.20||2.0 - 4.4|
|Common Carp||Trap net||0.62||0.4 - 2.4||3.19||1.8 - 5.1|
|Gill net||10.33||0.8 - 4.3||2.28||1.0 - 4.0|
|Freshwater Drum||Trap net||0.25||0.3 - 2.9||1.42||0.5 - 1.4|
|Gill net||1.00||3.1 - 18.4||1.02||0.3 - 0.8|
|Largemouth Bass||Gill net||1.33||0.3 - 0.6||2.82||0.5 - 1.5|
|Northern Pike||Gill net||7.33||2.0 - 10.8||4.42||1.7 - 3.1|
|Pumpkinseed||Trap net||0.12||0.7 - 6.5||0.04||0.1 - 0.2|
|Walleye||Trap net||0.12||0.3 - 0.8||2.76||0.9 - 3.5|
|Gill net||0.67||0.8 - 3.8||2.98||1.4 - 3.0|
|White Crappie||Trap net||2.25||0.4 - 14.4||0.42||0.2 - 0.4|
|Gill net||3.00||0.5 - 13.0||0.20||0.1 - 0.3|
|Yellow Bullhead||Trap net||0.62||1.0 - 7.1||1.03||0.4 - 0.8|
|Gill net||3.33||0.5 - 5.0||1.10||0.4 - 0.8|
|Species||Number of fish caught in each category (inches)|
|For the record, the largest Longnose Gar taken in Minnesota weighed 16 lbs., 12 oz. and was caught: |
Statistics: 53" length, 16.5" girth
Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years
|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.|
Ballantyne Lake in Blue Earth County is a 350 acre lake north of the town of Madison Lake. A DNR-owned public access is located on the south shore of the eastern bay off 615th lane. The lake is located within the Minnesota River major watershed.
Ballantyne Lake was surveyed the week of June 29th, 2009 to monitor the fish community. Bluegills were the most abundant fish in the assessment in both trap and gill net catches. Bluegills averaged 22 fish per gill net lift and 25 fish per trap net lift. Average (mean) size of bluegill was 5.2 inches for trap nets and 5.9 inches for gill nets. Size structure is poor; only one bluegill was caught that was larger than seven inches.
Black crappie abundance exceeds the upper quartile for class 38 lakes; 22 fish per gill net lift was observed. Observed sizes were poor in gill netted fish; average (mean) length was 6.7 inches. The largest gill netted fish was 8.3 inches. Trapnets, while unreliable at times for measuring crappie abundance, did show there is some size structure variability in the lake. Average (mean) size was 9.0 inches for trap netted black crappie, but more than a quarter of fish caught exceeded ten inches, including one 14.6 inch fish.
White crappies are not as abundant as black crappies in Ballantyne Lake, registering 3 fish per gill net lift and 2 fish per trap net lift. Average (mean) size of white crappie between all gears was 8.9 inches. The largest white crappie observed was 12 inches. White and black crappies are known to hybridize, and the F1 generation exhibits faster growth than their pure strain counterparts. A resident black and white crappie population can result in occasional hybrids that can quickly grow to large sizes, which may explain a few large crappies found in the nets in a population of otherwise small fish.
Northern pike are the dominant predator in Ballantyne Lake. Pike abundance was 7.3 fish per gill net lift, a value intermediate of the lake class median and upper quartile. Average (mean) weight was 4.4 pounds. Pike ranged from 19 to 37 inches in length.
Walleye maintain a low level presence in Ballantyne Lake. Walleye abundance was less than one fish per gill net lift, a decline from the 2003 rate of 3.2 fish per net. Walleye fry are currently stocked every other year at a rate of 100,000 fry per littoral acre.
Four largemouth bass was captured in gill nets. Bass are not well sampled by passive gears (gill nets and trap nets) and electrofishing is not scheduled until the next full fisheries survey. Anglers report good bass fishing along submerged weed edges and near emergent vegetation. Ballantyne lake has some good stands of bulrush.
Other fish seen in the survey include pumpkinseed, bigmouth buffalo, common carp, freshwater drum, yellow bullhead, bowfin (dogfish), and black bullhead. Missing from the 2009 survey were yellow perch. Perch were measured at a low level abundance during the last survey in 2003.
Anglers can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium- to large-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Ballantyne Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future.
Shoreline areas on the land and into the shallow water provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota's lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants, and natural lake bottom soils.
Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion, and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.
|For more information on this lake, contact:||Lake maps can be obtained from:|
For general DNR Information, contact:
DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR
Turn in Poachers (TIP):
Toll-free: (800) 652-9093