Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Devil Track (Devils Track)

Nearest Town: Grand Marais
Primary County: Cook
Survey Date: 08/13/2012
Inventory Number: 16014300
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
US Forest Service Concrete USFS-owned public access and seaplane dock (with fueling facilities)- parking for 20 vehicles . NE 1/4 Sec. 28.
DNR Carry-In Sand Point public access, in the NE quarter of Section 27, in the middle of the north shore of the lake. Short carry-down from parking area for two or three vehicles.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1867.5
Littoral Area (acres): 626
Maximum Depth (ft): 50
Water Clarity (ft): 8.6 (7.5-10.4)

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

Did you know? Habitat acquisition of lands next to lakes and streams protects spawning areas and shoreline vegetation, and it increases access to fishing waters.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Green Sunfish Gill net 0.07 0.1 - 2.5 0.15 N/A
Lake Whitefish Gill net 0.53 1.1 - 9.3 2.20 1.3 - 2.3
Northern Pike Trap net 1.13 N/A 1.08 N/A
Gill net 1.07 0.3 - 1.0 1.68 2.7 - 5.3
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 1.00 0.6 - 3.5 0.32 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 3.07 0.3 - 2.2 1.63 0.7 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 1.13 0.8 - 2.9 0.64 N/A
Gill net 4.67 0.6 - 9.7 0.49 1.1 - 3.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.40 0.5 - 3.4 3.75 1.1 - 2.0
Gill net 2.20 1.7 - 5.0 2.16 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.20 0.3 - 2.3 0.10 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 2.33 0.3 - 2.8 0.24 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 2012 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
green sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
lake whitefish 0 0 2 0 2 4 0 0 8
northern pike 0 0 0 7 18 7 1 0 33
smallmouth bass 0 14 4 35 8 0 0 0 61
walleye 0 32 17 31 4 0 1 0 87
white sucker 0 1 5 5 20 8 0 0 39
yellow perch 9 19 8 0 0 0 0 0 38

For the record, the largest Goldeye taken in Minnesota weighed 2 lbs., 13.1 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Root River near Hokah
    When: 6/10/01
    Statistics: 20.1" length, 11.5" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye2 fingerlings 29,522 1,251.0
2011 Walleye2 fingerlings 21,580 1,252.0
2009 Brook Trout fingerlings 290 5.3
2007 Brook Trout fingerlings 1,500 41.0
2006 Walleye1 fingerlings 29,439 1,250.6

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 guidelines 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

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Cook Co., 16014300
Lake Whitefish   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   shorter than 19" 19" or longer   Mercury
Smallmouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Cook Co., 16014300
Lake Whitefish All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch 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.

PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate

Status of the Fishery (as of 08/13/2012)

Devil Track Lake is managed primarily for walleye and northern pike, and is one of the most heavily developed, heavily used, and heavily fished lakes in Cook County. The long range goal for walleye is to maintain a population with a minimum gill net catch of 5.0 fish/set. The goal for northern pike is to maintain a self-sustained population with a minimum gill net catch of 0.7 fish/set, with some fish over 30 inches in length present. This was the third of three assessments scheduled in the 2005 lake management plan to evaluate walleye stocking and monitor attainment of long range goals for the lake. The current plan will be reviewed and revised in March 2014.

In 2012, Clean Water Legacy funding allowed areas across the state to do some nearshore fish community sampling to improve our ability to use a fish-based Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) to identify disturbed aquatic ecosystems. Scoring criteria for IBIs in northeastern Minnesota lakes have not yet been developed. Devil Track Lake was selected for nearshore sampling because its accessibility allowed for use of the sampling gears required, it was a relatively large lake, and it was heavily developed.

Walleye were fairly abundant, but small, in Devil Track Lake in 2012. The 2012 walleye gill net catch was similar to catches seen in this lake since 1993, and fell within the normal range for the lake class. The mean weight for walleye taken in gill nets was well below the normal range, and was one of the lower values seen in this lake historically. Several year classes contributed to the 2012 catch. Fingerling stocking may have contributed to a strong 2011 year class, and a weaker 2006 year class. Fairly strong natural year classes had been produced in 2010, 2008, and 2007. Walleye growth had been slow. Four-year-old fish reached an average length of just 10.8 inches at the end of their fourth year, compared to an area mean of 14.6 inches.

Northern pike were abundant in 2012, although their average size was down from past years. The gill net catch exceeded the normal range for this type of lake, and was the highest seen in this lake since 1999. On the other hand, the mean weight for northern pike taken in gill nets declined compared to 2006 and 2009, and was one of the lower values observed in this lake to date. Most of the fish taken were less than four years of age. Growth had been somewhat slower than average among those younger fish. Three-year-old northern pike reached a mean length of 18.4 inches at the end of their third year, compared to an average of 20.2 inches in similar lakes in this area.

Although no special effort has been made to manage smallmouth bass in this lake, it continues to support a high quality bass population. Bass were abundant and large in 2012. The gill net catch, and the mean weight for smallmouth bass taken in gill nets, were the highest seen to date in this lake, and both exceeded normal ranges for the lake class. Several older year classes contributed strongly to the population, with fish as old as 13 years taken, while continued reproductive success was demonstrated by the presence of a strong 2010 year class. Growth of young bass had been relatively fast; three-year-old fish reached a mean length of 8.3 inches at the end of their third year, compared to a mean of 7.0 inches in similar area lakes. Growth slowed for older fish.

Devil Track Lake has been open to fall netting for lake whitefish for several years. The lake whitefish gill net catch was below the normal range for the lake class, but was similar to catches seen in this lake since 1990. Although the catch had dropped since 2009, similar declines have occurred in the past and have been temporary. The trend in this lake since the early 1980s has been towards increasing assessment catches, and to date we have no evidence suggesting fall gill net harvests have been excessive.

The yellow perch gill net catch was within the normal range for the lake class, and similar to catches seen in this lake since 1986. Yellow perch are the primary forage for walleye in this lake, but they also provide some angling opportunity. Thirty-seven percent of the yellow perch taken in gill nets in this assessment were 8 inches or more in length, an acceptable size for many anglers. As has usually been the case since the smallmouth bass population in this lake exploded (in the early 1990s), production of young-of-the-year yellow perch was relatively low in 2012. The catch in quarter-inch-mesh trap nets (27.1 fish/set) was one of the lower catches seen in this lake historically.

Sampling of the nearshore fish community was done using quarter-in-mesh trap nets, a 15-ft beach seine, and backpack electrofishing gear. Prior to sampling done in 2012, Devil Track Lake was known to support yellow perch, white sucker, walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, green sunfish, lake whitefish, slimy sculpin, and common shiner. Nearshore sampling in 2012 added only central mudminnow to that list.

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 B0435 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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