Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Chippewa

Nearest Town: Brandon
Primary County: Douglas
Survey Date: 08/05/2013
Inventory Number: 21014500
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1175.04
Littoral Area (acres): 550.69
Maximum Depth (ft): 95
Water Clarity (ft): 9.3 (7.5-11)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand and Marl (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 16 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 12.4 (0-17)


Did you know? The DNR Section of Fisheries has a full-time staff of 285. There are 4 regional and 28 area fisheries offices.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Gill net 0.08 0.5 - 4.1 0.36 0.6 - 1.0
Black Crappie Trap net 1.17 0.3 - 1.7 0.27 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.75 0.2 - 1.1 0.46 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 13.17 3.7 - 42.9 0.16 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 2.75 N/A 0.21 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.25 0.3 - 1.1 3.04 3.9 - 5.1
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.17 0.3 - 1.7 1.34 0.7 - 1.1
Common Carp Trap net 0.08 0.2 - 1.0 7.57 3.5 - 7.4
Gill net 0.08 0.1 - 0.5 8.64 3.1 - 7.1
Freshwater Drum Gill net 0.08 0.3 - 0.6 6.50 0.2 - 0.9
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 2.92 N/A 0.29 N/A
Gill net 0.25 N/A 0.28 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.25 0.4 - 1.4 0.97 0.3 - 0.7
Gill net 1.67 0.3 - 1.2 0.94 0.6 - 1.0
Northern Pike Trap net 0.17 N/A 3.49 N/A
Gill net 3.42 3.0 - 7.9 1.88 1.7 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.67 1.6 - 6.9 0.14 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.25 N/A 0.14 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.92 0.7 - 3.3 0.47 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 3.58 1.0 - 6.6 0.22 0.3 - 0.5
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 0.17 0.5 - 5.2 0.15 0.4 - 1.0
Walleye Trap net 0.25 0.3 - 0.9 3.26 1.0 - 2.2
Gill net 11.58 4.0 - 9.6 1.30 1.1 - 1.9
White Sucker Gill net 0.25 1.0 - 3.5 2.52 1.5 - 2.3
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.92 0.9 - 4.8 1.01 0.7 - 1.0
Gill net 2.50 0.6 - 6.4 1.00 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.67 0.7 - 3.7 0.09 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 2.25 7.1 - 33.9 0.10 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
black bullhead 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
black crappie 4 10 8 1 0 0 0 0 23
bluegill 98 93 0 0 0 0 0 0 191
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3
brown bullhead 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
common carp 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
freshwater drum 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 10 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 38
largemouth bass 1 0 15 4 3 0 0 0 23
northern pike 0 2 0 0 16 21 3 1 43
pumpkinseed 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 11
rock bass 24 22 8 0 0 0 0 0 54
tullibee (cisco) 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
walleye 0 1 29 27 69 15 1 0 142
white sucker 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
yellow bullhead 0 0 21 19 1 0 0 0 41
yellow perch 23 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 35


For the record, the largest Yellow Perch taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lbs., 4 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Plantaganette, Hubbard County
    When: 1945

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye1 yearlings 750 50.0
  Walleye fry 1,178,220 11.3
2010 Walleye fry 1,190,804 10.6
2008 Walleye fry 1,194,288 12.0
2006 Walleye fry 1,186,000 9.5
2004 Walleye fry 1,186,040 11.1

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

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
CHIPPEWA
Douglas Co., 21014500
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Carp   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
CHIPPEWA
Douglas Co., 21014500
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
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.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 08/05/2013)

Big Chippewa Lake is a 1,175 acre natural basin located northeast of Brandon in Douglas County. Water quality is very good. Water clarity averaged 11.0 feet throughout the summer months of 2013. Islands, points, shallow rock bars, and shallow bays form rich habitat complexity and thus, diverse fishing opportunities. Due to good fishing and high quality resource attributes, recreational uses can be heavy, particularly on weekends and holidays.

Big Chippewa Lake supports a naturally-recruiting walleye population. Walleye fry are also stocked on a biennial frequency to supplement natural reproduction and sustain a more consistent fishery. Walleye catches averaged 11.6 walleyes/gillnet in 2013. This catch rate exceeded expectations for comparable lakes in Minnesota. Size structure of the walleye catch proved good due to the broad age distribution of the catch. Average size of the walleye catch was 15.4 inches and 1.3 pounds. The largest walleye captured during the survey measured 25.0 inches. Fishing success should remain good into the future with documentation of strong year classes established in 2012 and 2013.

Northern pike are less abundant. Sizes at capture ranged from 6.9 to 30.6 inches. Fishing quality, in terms of average size of pike making up the population sample, is relatively good. Five percent of pike caught in gillnets exceeded 28.0 inches in length. Big Chippewa supports a robust largemouth bass fishery. Bass are abundant. Most captures were young, but large bass are present. The largest bass caught measured 19.5 inches.

Panfishes such as bluegill sunfish and black crappie are moderately abundant. Slow growth of bluegills undermines potential fishing quality. Age distribution of bluegill catches extended to age 7, but few 8.0 inch and larger bluegills were recorded in the catch. Average size of bluegills caught was 6.3 inches. Crappie abundance, size structure of the population, and fishing success can be inconsistent due to annual reproductive variability. The 2013 crappie population sample was comprised of three age groups. The oldest captures were only three-years-old, so average size was only 7.4 inches. Crappies grow much faster than bluegills. A few of the age-3 fish were already 10.0 inches in length. Other panfishes recorded in the 2013 catch included rock bass and pumpkinseed sunfish.

The next fish community survey is planned for 2017. In the interim, anglers are encouraged to harvest surplus numbers of 6.0-inch and smaller bluegills, 12.0-inch and smaller bass, and all sizes of rock bass. Such targetted harvest should reduce abundance and stimulate greater growth.

A single public access to this large basin is located on the east end of the lake. The access site is low and under-sized. Manuvering boat trailers can be challenging on busy weekends.

Notes: Similar to most deeper lakes in west-central Minnesota, Big Chippewa becomes thermally stratified (non-mixed water) during the summer. At time of the August survey, dissolved oxygen levels were too low below 23.0 feet to support game species.

Aquatic invasive species (zebra mussels) have been documented in nearby basins in Douglas County. Please check that all equipment is free of invasive species prior to leaving any access. Consult the current fishing regulations handbook for rules and regulations pertaining to the cleaning of equipment.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
23070 North Lakeshore Dr
Glenwood, MN 56334
Phone: (320) 634-4573
Internet: Glenwood Fisheries
E-Mail: Glenwood.Fisheries@state.mn.us

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 C0984 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
Internet: www.dnr.state.mn.us
E-Mail: info.dnr@state.mn.us

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