Lake information report

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Name: Fountain

Nearest Town: Albert Lea
Primary County: Freeborn
Survey Date: 08/01/2011
Inventory Number: 24001800
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
City Concrete Brookside park in lake narrows north of main basin.
City Concrete Edgewater Park in NW end of Edgewater Bay.


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 521.29
Littoral Area (acres): 521.29
Maximum Depth (ft): 14
Water Clarity (ft): 1

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 0


Did you know? Lake rehabilitation projects reclaim waters suffering from habitat degradation and overpopulation of some fish species.

Fish Sampled for the 2011 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 1.09 2.2 - 60.5 0.65 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 10.00 9.6 - 91.4 0.44 0.2 - 0.5
Black Crappie Trap net 10.27 2.4 - 15.1 0.30 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 82.00 1.5 - 14.7 0.23 0.1 - 0.3
Bluegill Trap net 28.00 1.9 - 29.5 0.22 0.2 - 0.3
Gill net 22.67 N/A 0.25 N/A
Channel Catfish Trap net 13.82 N/A 3.75 N/A
Gill net 8.33 N/A 1.37 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 3.09 1.0 - 3.6 3.21 2.1 - 5.3
Gill net 5.33 0.3 - 4.2 1.17 0.8 - 5.0
Goldfish Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.00 N/A
Green Sunfish Trap net 0.09 0.2 - 2.0 0.03 0.1 - 0.2
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.36 N/A 0.18 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.09 0.3 - 1.2 1.47 0.4 - 1.2
Gill net 0.67 0.5 - 1.0 0.24 0.2 - 1.5
Northern Pike Trap net 2.09 N/A 2.05 N/A
Gill net 14.00 1.5 - 7.0 2.14 1.5 - 3.4
Orangespotted Sunfish Trap net 0.18 N/A 0.07 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.18 0.4 - 1.9 1.88 0.6 - 2.6
Gill net 6.00 1.0 - 7.3 3.44 1.0 - 2.8
White Sucker Trap net 2.91 0.3 - 2.2 1.62 1.1 - 2.5
Gill net 25.00 0.5 - 7.4 1.41 1.0 - 2.2
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 3.00 0.8 - 6.2 0.53 0.4 - 0.7
Gill net 7.33 0.6 - 6.8 0.40 0.4 - 0.6
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.45 0.5 - 3.4 0.13 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 5.00 3.0 - 26.5 0.15 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 2011 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 18 24 0 0 0 0 0 42
black crappie 58 240 54 0 0 0 0 0 359
bluegill 56 317 0 0 0 0 0 0 376
channel catfish 3 2 0 7 79 54 24 1 177
common carp 0 0 20 15 3 6 6 0 50
goldfish 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
green sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
largemouth bass 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3
northern pike 0 0 0 0 11 51 3 0 65
orangespotted sunfish 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
walleye 0 0 0 1 10 7 2 0 20
white sucker 0 0 4 52 49 0 0 0 107
yellow bullhead 0 21 34 0 0 0 0 0 55
yellow perch 8 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 20


For the record, the largest Freshwater Drum (Sheepshead) taken in Minnesota weighed 35 lbs., 3.2 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River near Winona
    When: 10/5/99
    Statistics: 36" length, 31" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye adults 73 30.0
  Walleye fingerlings 10,691 504.0
  Walleye fry 542,410 6.0
2012 Northern Pike fry 143,820 2.1
2011 Walleye fry 536,740 4.7
  Walleye fingerlings 11,130 585.0
2010 Northern Pike fry 158,788 2.5
2009 Northern Pike fry 169,312 3.1
  Walleye fry 552,447 5.5
2008 Northern Pike fry 211,163 3.6
2007 Walleye fry 550,000 5.5
2006 Walleye* fingerlings 7,332 550.0
2005 Channel Catfish fingerlings 20,585 222.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,142 270.0
2004 Channel Catfish fingerlings 8,276 45.5
  Walleye fry 817,500 7.5
  Walleye* fingerlings 17,050 550.0

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
FOUNTAIN
Freeborn Co., 24001800
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Channel Catfish   All sizes     PCBs
Crappie All sizes        
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker All sizes        

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
FOUNTAIN
Freeborn Co., 24001800
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Channel Catfish   All sizes     PCBs
Crappie All sizes        
Walleye All sizes        
White Sucker 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 08/01/2011)

Fountain Lake is a 521-acre urban impoundment in the City of Albert Lea that forms the head water of the Shell Rock River. Much of the shoreline and riparian zone of the lake has been modified for residential and municipal development with most of the natural shoreline remaining around the large, shallow northern basin. City owned parks located at the narrows between the main basin and the northern basin and at the northwest end of Edgewater Bay provide public water access. The sport fish community consists of black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, and largemouth bass. Fountain Lake has been stocked extensively to maintain sport fish populations.

Fingerling channel catfish were stocked in 2002, 2004, and 2005. The current management plan calls for northern pike fry stocking in even years since 2008, and walleye fry stocking in odd years since 2007.

Fountain Lake has maintained a consistent walleye population since stockings began in the 1980s. The 2011 gill net catch rates of walleyes (6.0/gill net) were down from 2006 catch rates (11.3/gill net) but catch rates were still above average for similar lakes. A quality sized walleye population exists ranging from 15.8 to 27.2 inches in total length and averaging 20.6 inches. All of the walleyes sampled were 15.0 inches long or greater.

Fountain Lake appears to support an abundant, quality channel catfish population with fish ranging from 13.8 to 30.7 inches in total length and averaging 20.7 inches. Trap net catch rates of channel catfish increased from 5.3/trap net in 2006 to 13.8/trap net in 2011. Approximately 89% of channel catfish sampled were greater than 16 inches in length. Stocking of channel catfish fingerlings was suspended after 2005 to observe if the population could sustain itself via natural reproduction. The presence of channel catfish less than 8.0 inches in the gill nets indicates that natural reproduction is occurring in this population, however, the magnitude of natural reproduction is not known.

Catch rates of northern pike in gill nets increased from 0.0/gill net in 2006 to 14.0/gill net in 2011 which is well above average for lakes similar to Fountain Lake. Northern pike sampled in gill nets tended to be small ranging in total length from 19.3 to 25.7 inches and averaging 21.7 inches. Approximately 94% of northern pike were less than 24.0 inches long.

Past surveys have shown that Fountain Lake supports abundant panfish populations which include bluegills and black crappies. Bluegills increased in abundance from the all-time low in 2006 (3.8/trap net) to 28.0/trap net in 2011. Gill net catch rates in 2011 (22.7/gill net) increased drastically from catch rates in 2006 (1.7/gill net). Bluegills ranged in total length from 3.0 to 8.5 inches and averaged 6.4 inches. Eighty-six percent of bluegills captured in trap nets were between 6 and 8 inches long. Fountain Lake has historically supported an abundant black crappie population with trap net catch rates being greater than 15.3/trap net since 1993. Catch rates of black crappies in gill nets increased from 27.7/gill net in 2006 to 82.0/gill net in 2011. Black crappie catch rates in trap nets decreased from 41.6/trap net in 2006 to 10.3/trap net in 2011. Gill netted black crappies ranged from 4.7 to 10.3 inches and averaged 7.1 inches in total length. Nearly all of the black crappies sampled were less than 10 inches long.

Prior to 1993, the fish community was dominated by black bullheads with trap net catch rates consistently exceeding 100.0/trap net. The black bullhead population continues to decline with catch rates going from 24.9/trap net in 2006 to a new observed low, 1.1/trap net in 2011. Common carp relative abundance also decreased from 11.3/trap net in 2006 to 3.1/trap net in 2011.

Largemouth bass were present in Fountain Lake as three were sampled during the survey, ranging from 7.6 to 13.9 inches in length. Numbers of largemouth bass were likely underestimated because trap nets and gill nets do not effectively sample them.

White sucker, yellow bullhead, yellow perch, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, and a goldfish were sampled but occurred in low numbers.

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 Fountain 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 B0405 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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