Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Trout

Nearest Town: Grand Marais
Primary County: Cook
Survey Date: 07/22/2013
Inventory Number: 16004900

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
US Forest Service Carry-In Carry-in access to NW corner of lake from USFS Rd. 308. Parking for four vehicles.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 259.32
Littoral Area (acres): 59
Maximum Depth (ft): 77
Water Clarity (ft): 17.8 (13-24.5)

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

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.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Brook Trout Trap net 0.08 N/A 0.10 N/A
Gill net 0.25 N/A 0.27 N/A
Creek Chub Trap net 2.83 N/A ND N/A
Golden Shiner Trap net 1.42 0.1 - 1.6 ND N/A
Lake Trout Gill net 3.25 0.8 - 4.3 1.30 1.2 - 3.1
Pearl Dace Trap net 0.08 N/A ND N/A
Rainbow Smelt Gill net 2.00 N/A 0.09 N/A
Rainbow Trout Trap net 0.17 N/A 0.41 N/A
Gill net 0.12 N/A 0.53 N/A
Yellow Perch Trap net 5.50 0.3 - 2.3 0.14 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 4.38 0.3 - 2.8 0.16 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
brook trout 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
creek chub 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 34
golden shiner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17
lake trout 0 0 8 14 0 3 1 0 26
pearl dace 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
rainbow smelt 0 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 16
rainbow trout 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
yellow perch 13 79 8 0 0 0 0 0 101

For the record, the largest Quillback taken in Minnesota weighed 6 lbs., 14.4 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River, Ramsey County
    When: 4/6/91
    Statistics: 23" length, 18" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Rainbow Trout fingerlings 7,000 777.8
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 4,004 1,291.6
2014 rainbow trout fingerlings 7,000 578.5
  rainbow trout yearlings 3,996 1,427.1
2013 Rainbow Trout yearlings 4,000 1,476.0
  Rainbow Trout fingerlings 5,650 543.0
2012 Rainbow Trout fingerlings 6,800 673.3
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 4,000 1,307.2
2011 Rainbow Trout fingerlings 7,000 416.7
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 7,500 2,392.2
2010 Rainbow Trout yearlings 7,498 2,672.1
2009 Rainbow Trout yearlings 7,500 2,761.6
2008 Rainbow Trout yearlings 4,461 1,424.1
  Rainbow Trout yearlings 3,039 575.1
2007 Rainbow Trout yearlings 7,499 2,749.4
2006 Rainbow Trout yearlings 7,500 2,968.8

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

No fish consumption guidelines are available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Status of the Fishery (as of 07/22/2013)

Lake trout were fairly abundant in Trout Lake in 2013, although most were small. The 2013 catch was similar to past catches seen in this lake, and met the long range goal for the species in the 2009 lake management plan (3.0 fish/set). Although the mean weight for lake trout taken in gill nets was below the median for the lake class, it was typical for this lake. Ten year classes, all naturally produced, contributed to the 2013 catch, although none appeared to have been particularly strong. Growth of young lake trout had been slow; four-year-old fish reached a mean length of 10.8 inches by the end of their fourth year, compared to an area mean of 12.1 inches in similar lakes. Examination of stomach contents for lake trout taken in survey nets, and by anglers earlier in the year, indicated invertebrates were an important source of forage for lake trout in this lake, with deepwater amphipods (scuds) and Mysis commonly found in their stomachs.

The rainbow trout gill net catch was one of the lowest ever seen in this lake, as was the catch in trap nets. However, rainbow trout can be difficult to catch in standard gill nets and trap nets, and low catches are not uncommon, even in lakes with good numbers of fish. One of the goals for this assessment was to determine the contribution of fall-stocked fingerlings to the rainbow trout population. The rainbow trout catch was too low to allow that to be done. Of the three rainbow trout collected, two were one-year-old fish; however, neither bore fin clips that would have identifed them as having come from fall fingerling stocking in 2012. The lone two-year-old fish collected could have been stocked as a yearling in the spring of 2012, or as a fingerling in the fall of 2011. Fingerlings stocked in 2011 had not been fin clipped.

Rainbow smelt remained present in fair numbers in 2013. Small-mesh gill nets were used to sample smelt in 2013. The catch in those nets was similar to several catches seen in the past on Trout Lake, and fell within the normal range (8.25-58.17 fish/net) for lakes in this area where the species has been found. Smelt collected in 2013 were unusually large, with a mean weight (0.09 lb/fish) that exceeded the normal range for local catches. Although smelt provide high-value forage for lake trout, analysis of their stomach contents in 2013 indicated they also compete with lake trout for invertebrate forage, including Mysis and deepwater amphipods.

Yellow perch were abundant but small in 2013, as has typically been the case in Trout Lake. Catches in standard gill nets and trap nets exceeded normal ranges for those gears. The yellow perch catch in 2013 consisted mostly of two-, three-, and four-year-old fish; no yellow perch older than six years were collected. Growth of yellow perch collected in 2013 seemed to have been somewhat faster than growth observed for fish taken in 2011. Four-year-old fish taken in 2013 reached a mean length of 7.2 inches by the end of their fourth year, compared to a mean of 6.8 inches for fish taken in 2011.

No undesirable fish species, and no species new to this lake, were collected in this assessment. Sampling of the nearshore fish community in 2013 also added no new species.

Trout Lake is infested with spiny waterflea, and anglers are advised to take extra care to clean and thoroughly dry their equipment before moving to a different lake from Trout Lake.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
1356 Hwy 61 E
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Phone: (218) 387-3056
Internet: Grand Marais Fisheries

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 C1606 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

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