Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Albert Lea

Nearest Town: Albert Lea
Primary County: Freeborn
Survey Date: 06/14/2010
Inventory Number: 24001400
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Asphalt
DNR Concrete
DNR Concrete


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 2669.17
Littoral Area (acres): 2669.17
Maximum Depth (ft): 5.5
Water Clarity (ft): N/A

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


Did you know? MinnAqua Fishing: Get in the Habitat! has a Minnesota-base activity guide for teachers, scout and 4-H leaders, youth leaders, outdoor sports groups, or anyone interested in teaching others about habitat, stewardship and fishing.

Fish Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Trap net 0.35 0.2 - 1.5 5.72 1.3 - 5.1
Gill net 0.33 0.3 - 6.1 1.99 N/A
Black Bullhead Trap net 20.60 1.3 - 78.1 0.36 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 8.33 4.6 - 83.0 0.32 0.2 - 0.6
Black Crappie Trap net 21.80 1.0 - 12.3 0.18 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 3.00 0.8 - 11.1 0.24 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 9.90 1.0 - 14.9 0.16 0.2 - 0.4
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.70 N/A 5.56 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 1.55 0.7 - 5.1 5.16 2.3 - 5.6
Gill net 1.00 0.5 - 9.1 3.03 1.0 - 4.9
Common Shiner Trap net 0.20 N/A 0.07 N/A
Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.13 N/A
Golden Shiner Trap net 1.95 0.2 - 1.0 0.06 0.1 - 0.1
Green Sunfish Trap net 3.10 0.1 - 0.7 0.05 0.1 - 0.2
Highfin Carpsucker Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.00 N/A
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 1.00 N/A 0.13 N/A
Northern Pike Trap net 0.15 N/A 2.70 N/A
Gill net 1.00 1.2 - 7.8 7.86 1.5 - 3.0
Orangespotted Sunfish Trap net 3.30 N/A 0.03 N/A
Walleye Trap net 1.55 0.3 - 1.7 1.54 0.9 - 2.4
Gill net 41.33 3.2 - 15.3 1.82 0.9 - 1.9
White Sucker Trap net 0.70 0.3 - 1.3 1.78 1.3 - 2.6
Gill net 16.67 0.8 - 5.9 2.01 1.4 - 2.2
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 1.20 0.5 - 4.1 0.34 0.4 - 0.8
Yellow Perch Trap net 129.40 0.3 - 2.6 0.11 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 141.33 3.0 - 22.5 0.22 0.1 - 0.4
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
bigmouth buffalo 0 0 0 0 5 1 2 0 8
black bullhead 144 148 114 21 0 0 0 0 437
black crappie 60 373 4 0 0 0 0 0 445
bluegill 126 67 0 0 0 0 0 0 198
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 1 10 3 0 14
common carp 0 2 3 6 5 5 12 1 34
common shiner 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
golden shiner 32 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 39
green sunfish 62 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 62
highfin carpsucker 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 16 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 20
northern pike 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 6
orangespotted sunfish 65 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 66
walleye 0 9 9 60 48 28 0 0 155
white sucker 1 3 3 12 43 2 0 0 64
yellow bullhead 10 5 8 1 0 0 0 0 24
yellow perch 1355 1515 127 0 0 0 0 0 3012


For the record, the largest Channel Catfish taken in Minnesota weighed 38 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River, North Minneapolis
    When: 1975
    Statistics: 44" length

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 2,682,464 27.0
2011 Walleye fry 2,686,477 25.9
2009 Walleye fry 3,515,575 35.0
2008 Walleye fry 1,896,250 18.5
  Walleye fry 1,230,000 12.0
2007 Walleye fry 2,100,000 21.0
2006 Walleye fry 2,421,508 23.6
2004 Walleye fry 4,360,000 40.0

Privately Stocked Fish
* indicates privately stocked fish. Private stocking includes fish purchased by the DNR for stocking and fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.

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
ALBERT LEA
Freeborn Co., 24001400
Buffalo All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Channel Catfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch All sizes        

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
ALBERT LEA
Freeborn Co., 24001400
Buffalo All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Walleye All sizes        
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.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 06/14/2010)

Albert Lea Lake in Freeborn County is a 2,654 acre lake located in the town of Albert Lea. A DNR-owned public access is located in Myhre Big Island State Park or in town near the lake's inlet on the northwest side of the lake. A county-owned public access is located on the south side of the lake at Saint Nicholas County Park. Albert Lea Lake was surveyed the week of June 14, 2010 to monitor the fish community and aquatic habitat.

Yellow perch were the most abundant fish in the assessment in both trap and gill net catches. Perch averaged 141 fish per gill net lift and 129 fish per trap net lift. Average (mean) size of gill net perch was just short of 8 inches.

Walleye were expected to decline sharply in abundance since the 2006 survey when 61 walleyes per gill net were observed. During the 2010 survey, 41 walleyes per gill net lift were observed, only a modest decline from 2006. Walleye from gill nets averaged 16 inches. Walleye fry stocking has been successful in all years stocked; fish in the 2010 assessment came from the 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 year classes. Walleye angling in Albert Lea Lake can be challenging because of the natural high productivity of the lake that keeps the fish well fed. Walleye were in good condition and had several forage options. Perch are the preferred forage because of their high abundance and body shape.

Northern pike maintain a low level of abundance in Albert Lea Lake, presumably from a lack of spawning habitat. Pike averaged one fish per gill net lift and a trace amount in each trap net. While forage is abundant for this top level predator, without establishing connections to adjacent wetlands pike will continue to be rare in Albert Lea Lake.

Bluegills are found in low numbers in Albert Lea Lake since most of the lake is large, exposed and windswept areas with little aquatic vegetation in places. Bluegills averaged ten fish per trap net set. Average size was 5.7 inches.

The black crappie population is composed of small individuals. Crappies averaged 6.8 inches between trap and gill nets. Three black crappies were caught per gill net lift, and 22 per trap net lift.

Channel catfish have been in Albert Lea Lake ever since connected Fountain Lake was stocked. Less than one fish was caught per trap net with none in the gill nets. The average size was 23 inches, with one fish measuring 27 inches.

The 2006 survey cautioned that black bullhead and common carp appeared to be increasing in abundance and could eventually become dominant fish species in the lake. Thankfully that has not been the case in the last four years. Gill net abundance declined from 176 to 8 black bullhead per net and from 44 to 1 common carp per net. Trap net abundance declined from 77 to 21 black bullhead per net and from 10 to 1.5 common carp per net.

Other fish seen in the survey include bigmouth buffalo, brook stickleback, central mudminnow, common shiner, fathead minnow, highfin carpsucker, golden shiner, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, Johnny darter, orangespotted sunfish, tadpole madtom, yellow bullhead, and white sucker.

Anglers can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium to large-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Albert Lea Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future.

Shoreline areas on the land and into the shallow water provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota's lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants, and natural lake bottom soils.

Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion, and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 86
50317 Fish Hatchery Rd
Waterville, MN 56096-0086
Phone: (507) 362-4223
Internet: Waterville Fisheries
E-Mail: Waterville.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 C1001 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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