Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Mountain

Nearest Town: Mountain Lake
Primary County: Cottonwood
Survey Date: 08/30/2010
Inventory Number: 17000300
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Earthen
DNR Concrete

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 219.79
Littoral Area (acres): 241
Maximum Depth (ft): 8
Water Clarity (ft): 4.5

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

Did you know? Ongoing habitat improvement and maintenance work is conducted on trout streams that have publicly owned land or easements.

Fish Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 2.14 11.5 - 132.6 0.47 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 47.00 30.3 - 150.6 0.44 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 0.86 1.2 - 20.5 0.27 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 39.14 1.2 - 20.0 0.19 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 20.00 N/A 0.20 N/A
Northern Pike Gill net 2.00 1.1 - 8.0 6.62 1.8 - 3.4
Pumpkinseed Trap net 5.14 0.3 - 4.9 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 19.00 N/A 0.27 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.14 0.5 - 3.0 0.27 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 2.00 2.3 - 18.1 3.61 1.0 - 2.3
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 2.00 0.5 - 2.5 0.48 0.3 - 0.7
Gill net 3.00 0.5 - 3.5 0.27 0.3 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.57 0.3 - 3.8 0.23 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 71.00 2.7 - 25.0 0.20 0.1 - 0.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2010 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
black bullhead 0 17 45 0 0 0 0 0 62
black crappie 0 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 6
bluegill 133 157 0 0 0 0 0 0 294
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
pumpkinseed 31 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 55
walleye 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3
yellow bullhead 0 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 17
yellow perch 2 68 0 0 0 0 0 0 75

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
2014 walleye fingerlings 13,863 491.0
2012 Walleye adults 20 15.0
  Walleye fingerlings 3,865 413.8
  Walleye yearlings 1,280 64.0
2010 Walleye fingerlings 1,649 88.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,236 206.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 6,858 254.0
2006 Walleye1 fingerlings 11,921 723.0

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 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

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Cottonwood Co., 17000300
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Bullhead All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Cottonwood Co., 17000300
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

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 08/30/2010)

Mountain is a 241-acre lake located within the city limits of Mountain Lake in Cottonwood County. Mountain Lake is managed primarily for bluegill and largemouth bass while black crappie, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, and yellow bullhead are managed as secondary species. In the early 1990's, Mountain Lake had a diverse fish population. The lake suffered a partial winterkill during the winter of 1993-94 resulting in a decrease in aquatic vegetation and an increase in common carp and black bullhead. Mountain Lake was reclaimed during the fall of 1998 to restore the fish population and re-establish aquatic vegetation. By 2000, the lake was taken over by curly-leaf pondweed, an unwanted exotic species. Annual aquatic plant management (APM) permits were given to the Lake Commission to partially treat the plant in early spring. A point-intercept vegetation survey conducted in June of 2009 indicated that 74% of the 204 points surveyed contained curly-leaf pondweed. A point-intercept delineation survey was conducted in April of 2010 to determine the extent of curly-leaf present. The percent frequency had decreased from 74% in 2009 to 32% in 2009. The percent frequency for coontail, a native plant, increased from 60% in 2009 to 79% in 2010. The lake was covered with primarily native vegetation for the entire summer of 2010. It is possible that heavy snow cover during the winter of 2009-10 restricted curly-leaf growth which starts growing under the ice prior to any native vegetation. This may have allowed the native vegetation to get a jump on curly-leaf and essentially outcompete it. It is also possible that years of partial chemical treatment to control curly-leaf has finally had an impact on the species allowing native vegetation to dominate.

The fish survey in 2010 indicated a high bluegill population in Mountain Lake. Numbers of bluegill are similar to what they were in 2004. Lengths of bluegill caught in our nets ranged from 3.6 to 8.5 inches and averaged 6.2 inches. Pumkinseed sunfish are also present in good numbers. The pumpkinseed sunfish can be identified by an orange spot at the end of its gill cover. Lengths of pumpkinseed caught in our trap nets ranged from 3.6 to 6.5 inches and averaged 5.6 inches.

Black crappie numbers are down in Mountain Lake based on our 2010 netting results. The lower number sampled could be attributed to the dense vegetation which was present during the assessment. Fish are less likely to move around in dense vegetation and therefore less likely to get caught in our trap nets. Lengths of black crappie caught in our trap nets ranged from 6.9 to 9.0 inches and averaged 7.7 inches. Local anglers have reported catching nice crappie during the summer of 2010 and the winter of 2010-11.

Not very many northern pike were sampled during our 2010 fish survey but anglers reported catching some nice northern pike in the 8 to 10 lb range during the summer and winter of 2010-11. The one northern pike caught in our gill net was 30.5 inches in length.

As with northern pike, not very many walleye were caught in our nets during the summer fish survey. Three walleye were measured during the survey, which were 9.7, 16.7, and 24.4 inches in length. Anglers also reported catching a lot of the smaller walleye during the winter of 2010-11 indicating a fair number of walleye are present in Mountain Lake.

There is a high number of yellow perch present in Mountain Lake based on our fish survey results. Yellow perch lengths ranged from 5.8 to 8.8 inches and averaged 7.5 inches. There were good numbers of yellow perch in the 8 to 8.5 inch range.

Both black and yellow bullhead are present in Mountain Lake. There are plenty to catch if you want a meal of fresh bullhead. The numbers have decreased from a high of 233 fish/gill net in 2002 to the present catch rate of 47 fish/gill net. The average size of bullhead has also increased and is presently around 9.3 inches in length. You can tell the difference between the two species by looking at the barbells (whiskers) under the chin and also by looking at the tail. Black bullhead have black whiskers under their chin while yellow bullhead have yellow or white whiskers. The tail on a black bullhead is square while the tail on a yellow bullhead are rounded. Yellow bullhead are considered more desirable than black bullhead and do not overpopulate like black bullhead have a tendency to do.

To maintain a healthy fishery in Mountain Lake; we need to promote Best Management Practices (BMP's) within the watershed to help reduce nutrients entering the lake. High nutrients and sediments in a lake can cause algae blooms and reduce water clarity.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
175 Co Rd 26
Windom, MN 56101-1868
Phone: (507) 831-2900
Internet: Windom 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 C2884 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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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093