Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Two Island

Nearest Town: Grand Marais
Primary County: Cook
Survey Date: 09/04/2012
Inventory Number: 16015600

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
US Forest Service Concrete Concrete ramp in Section 4, beside USFS campground. Parking for 15 vehicles.

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): 753.82
Littoral Area (acres): 702
Maximum Depth (ft): 27
Water Clarity (ft): 9.0 (8.5-9.5)

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

Did you know? Each year, DNR fisheries personnel stock game fish fry and fingerlings in lakes lacking habitat for natural reproduction.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Bluegill Trap net 7.64 0.9 - 8.3 0.10 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 0.67 N/A 0.12 N/A
Northern Pike Trap net 0.64 N/A 1.95 N/A
Gill net 2.44 2.0 - 6.0 2.25 1.3 - 2.5
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.73 0.4 - 3.6 0.09 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.22 N/A 0.17 N/A
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 1.27 0.3 - 0.5 0.63 0.4 - 0.9
Gill net 5.33 0.2 - 1.8 2.09 0.9 - 2.0
Walleye Trap net 1.73 0.6 - 2.0 1.71 1.0 - 1.9
Gill net 5.89 3.2 - 13.7 1.24 0.8 - 1.3
White Sucker Trap net 1.09 0.3 - 2.1 3.63 1.6 - 2.8
Gill net 2.56 3.0 - 11.0 3.07 1.4 - 2.4
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.55 0.4 - 1.8 0.17 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 6.00 4.7 - 15.8 0.16 0.2 - 0.3
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
bluegill 72 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 90
northern pike 0 0 1 2 3 20 2 0 29
pumpkinseed 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
smallmouth bass 5 12 2 11 32 0 0 0 62
walleye 0 10 14 14 24 9 1 0 72
white sucker 0 0 1 2 15 17 0 0 35
yellow perch 9 47 2 0 0 0 0 0 60

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

    Where: Tofte Lake, Lake County
    When: 1/9/73
    Statistics: 25" length

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 09/04/2012)

This was the second of two assessments scheduled in the 2004 lake management plan to monitor the fish community and determine whether the change in special regulations implemented in 2004 ( increased the maximum size limit from 11 to 12 inches) resulted in a decrease in the quality of the smallmouth bass population. The first assessment was completed in 2008, and the current management plan will be reviewed and revised ion February 2014.

Two Island Lake is managed primarily for smallmouth bass and walleye. Long term goals for the two species are to maintain a walleye population with a minimum gill net catch of 4.0 fish/net, with some fish over 20 inches, and maintain a smallmouth bass fishery where half the fish taken by anglers are larger than 11 inches. Smallmouth bass in this lake are covered by a special regulation: all fish 12 inches or larger must be released, except that one fish over 20 inches may be harvested.

Smallmouth bass were abundant and large in Two Island Lake in 2012. The 2012 gill net catch was well above the normal range for a lake of this type, but was similar to catches observed in this lake since 1971. The mean weight for smallmouth bass taken in gill nets was the highest seen in this lake to date. There was no evidence to suggest the increase in the maximum size limit in 2004 had decreased the quality of the smallmouth bass population; mean weight of bass taken in gill nets had actually increased since the change. Many year classes contributed to the 2012 catch, which included fish as old as 12 years. Smallmouth bass growth had been somewhat faster than average; two-year-old fish reached a mean length of 5.8 inches at the end of their second year, and seven-year-old fish reached a length of 14.3 inches. It took about five years for bass to reach a length of 12 inches, where they would be protected from harvest by the special regulation.

Walleye gill net catches in Two Island Lake have been fairly stable since 1970, and the lake is known for producing good numbers of small to medium-sized fish. The 2012 catch was within the normal range for the lake class, and met current long range goals for the number and size of fish taken. The walleye population was entirely self-sustained, and many year classes contributed to the catch. Relatively strong year classes had apparently been produced in 2011 and 2009, and there were no obvious year class failures. Walleye growth had been about average for a lake in this area; three-year-old fish reached a mean length of 11.1 inches by the end of their third year, compared to an area average of 11.2 inches.

Northern pike gill net catches in this lake have increased since the 1970s, while mean weights for fish taken in gill nets have remained fairly stable at around 3 lb/fish. The 2012 catch was below the lake class median, but was similar to catches seen in this lake since 1982. No northern pike older than four years were collected in 2012, and two-year-old fish made up the majority of the catch. Growth had apparently been fast; fish reached an average length of 17.7 inches by the end of their second year. Good northern pike growth was no doubt due to the presence of a fairly robust yellow perch population.

The 2012 yellow perch gill net catch was within the normal range for the lake class, and was similar to catches seen in this lake since 1977. Perch taken in 2012 were small, with a mean weight that was near the bottom of the normal range for a lake of this type. Only a few would have been large enough to have been of interest to anglers.

Two Island Lake is one of very few lakes in Cook County to support a substantial bluegill population. The 2012 assessment yielded the highest bluegill catch seen to date in this lake. The catch in trap nets was near the upper end of the normal range for that gear. Although bluegill were abundant, they were also small, with a mean weight for fish taken in trap nets that was below normal for a lake of this type. Most of the bluegill collected were one- or two-year-old fish. Growth rates had been about average for this area; fish reached an average length of 3.2 inches by the end of their second year. If the strong year classes seen in this assessment survive, Two Island Lake could produce some good bluegill fishing by the end of 2013, and through 2014, with some larger fish appearing by 2015.

The only other fish species collected in 2012 were pumpkinseed sunfish and white sucker. Neither species was abundant. Pumpkinseed sunfish taken in 2012 were too small to have been of much interest to anglers.

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 B0512,C0358 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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