Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Shallow

Nearest Town: Warba
Primary County: Itasca
Survey Date: 06/23/2014
Inventory Number: 31008400
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete Access on west shore of lake off Shallow Lake Road.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 538.95
Littoral Area (acres): 268
Maximum Depth (ft): 85
Water Clarity (ft): 15.0 (14-16)

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

Did you know? Each year, the MinnAqua program teaches youth and families across Minnesota about aquatic biology, fishing, and conservation..

Fish Sampled for the 2014 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 0.11 0.5 - 2.2 0.21 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 2.67 0.3 - 1.7 0.53 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 7.67 7.7 - 43.4 0.20 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 2.89 N/A 0.24 N/A
Burbot Gill net 0.22 0.2 - 0.3 0.93 1.5 - 3.0
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.11 N/A 0.75 N/A
Gill net 0.44 N/A 0.55 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.33 0.4 - 1.5 0.88 0.2 - 0.7
Gill net 1.56 0.5 - 1.7 0.82 0.5 - 1.2
Northern Pike Gill net 1.89 2.2 - 8.7 5.23 1.5 - 3.2
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.78 1.4 - 5.9 0.46 0.1 - 0.2
Rock Bass Trap net 0.56 0.8 - 3.7 0.43 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 1.56 0.7 - 4.4 0.25 0.2 - 0.4
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 6.56 1.3 - 10.4 1.74 0.3 - 1.0
Walleye Trap net 0.44 0.2 - 0.7 4.43 0.7 - 2.8
Gill net 3.56 1.0 - 5.0 0.95 1.2 - 3.0
White Sucker Gill net 0.22 0.5 - 2.0 5.18 1.6 - 2.6
Yellow Perch Gill net 4.89 1.5 - 13.8 0.16 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 2014 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 crappie 6 4 15 0 0 0 0 0 25
bluegill 23 72 0 0 0 0 0 0 95
burbot 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
hybrid sunfish 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 5
largemouth bass 2 2 5 6 2 0 0 0 17
northern pike 0 0 0 0 2 7 3 5 17
pumpkinseed 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
rock bass 6 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 19
tullibee (cisco) 0 0 0 3 56 0 0 0 59
walleye 0 3 4 14 11 1 3 0 36
white sucker 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
yellow perch 6 37 1 0 0 0 0 0 44

For the record, the largest Northern Pike taken in Minnesota weighed 45 lbs., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Basswood Lake, Lake County
    When: 5/16/29

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 walleye2 fingerlings 16,053 535.1
2012 Walleye2 fingerlings 10,312 535.7
2010 Walleye1 fingerlings 8,079 536.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 12,622 539.0
2006 Walleye yearlings 611 470.0
  Walleye fingerlings 210 35.0
  Walleye adults 162 27.0

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
Itasca Co., 31008400
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
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
Itasca Co., 31008400
Bluegill Sunfish 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 06/23/2014)

Shallow Lake is located southwest of Warba, Minnesota in the Mississippi River Watershed. Shallow Lake has a total surface area of 531 acres, a littoral area of 268 acres (50 %), and a maximum depth of 85 feet. The lake has one unnamed inlet and an outlet through a bog that leads to the Swan River. The lake is characterized by a steep sided, deep basin on the western side and a shallow flat with emergent plants on the eastern side. Residential development is relatively high around most of the lake. Previous surveys have identified a diverse aquatic plant community.

The lake management plan was last revised in 2010. The goals of the plan were to increase the Walleye gill net catch to 3.0 fish/net and maintain a quality Northern Pike population characterized by a catch of 3.0 fish/gill net and an RSD-P of at least 15.

Shallow Lake has been stocked with Walleye fingerling at a rate of 2 pounds per littoral acre every other year since 2004 in an attempt to improve the Walleye gill net catch rate. This is a higher than typical stocking rate for lakes in the Grand Rapids Fisheries Area. A population assessment was conducted on Shallow Lake in June of 2014 to determine the status of the fish community and evaluate the effectiveness of Walleye fingerling stocking. The assessment consisted of 9 gill nets and 9 trap nets.

Cisco (tullibee) were not sampled from Shallow Lake prior to the 1970s. Since that time, Shallow Lake has produced moderate catches of Cisco. Cisco were the most common fish captured in gill nets in 2014 and the catch was typical when compared to similar lakes and consistent with past sampling on Shallow Lake. Captured Ciscoe were generally large, ranging from 14.6 to 17.3 inches with an average length of 16.2 inches. Shallow Lake has been closed to sports netting for Cisco, but local residents indicate that ice angling for this species has increased in popularity. Ciscoes are an important forage fish for large predators such as Northern Pike and Walleye.

Yellow Perch were the second most common fish in the gill net sample. Lakes with habitats similar to Shallow Lake typically produce low to moderate catches of Yellow Perch. The 2014 catch rate was typical compared to similar lakes and near the long term mean for Shallow Lake. Size structure was moderate, as Perch ranged from 5.5 to 9.8 inches with an average length of 7.2 inches. Small size and relatively low abundance likely limit the popularity of the perch fishery. Yellow Perch are an important forage species for Walleye and low abundance may limit the Walleye population.

Shallow Lake has a history of low to moderate gill net catches of Walleye. It should be noted that lakes with similar habitats typically do not produce large Walleye catches. The 2014 gill net catch rate was typical compared to similar lakes, but above the long-term average for Shallow Lake and was the second highest catch recorded for the lake. Walleye were generally small, as lengths from the gill net ranged from 8.2 to 21.5 inches and averaged 13.8 inches. It should be noted that some large Walleye are present; however, as Walleye up to 27 inches were captured in the trap nets. Age and growth analysis identified four year classes, and all but one fish corresponded to a stocked year class. Growth was slower than expected as walleye exceeded 14 inches by age 5. It is likely that the higher then typical stocking rate has contributed to poor growth. Despite poor growth, good angling opportunities should exist given the current size structure and abundance.

The Northern Pike sample from Shallow Lake has consistently resulted in a relatively low catch rate and quality size structure. The 2014 catch rate was low compared to similar lakes, but typical for Shallow Lake. Low Pike abundance is a desirable attribute of Shallow Lake. Average size and growth are typically good when Northern Pike occur at low densities. Size structure from Shallow Lake was good in 2014 as pike ranged from 18.9 to 39.8 inches and averaged 25.8 inches. Age and growth analysis identified seven year classes with inconsistent recruitment. Many pike populations are dominated by ages 2-5 with few older fish present. In contrast, 35% of the pike from the 2014 Shallow Lake sample were age 6 or older, suggesting good survival of adult fish. The oldest pike captured was a 30 inch male estimated to be 14 years old. Growth was fast as fish exceeded 28 inches by age 6. An abundance of small pike can be a nuisance to anglers while negatively impacting the fish community. Releasing medium and large pike is the best way to maintain a quality pike population and avoid the problem of too many small pike. Anglers are encouraged to help maintain the quality pike population of Shallow Lake by releasing pike exceeding 24 inches.

Black Crappie populations often exhibit irregular recruitment resulting in dominant year classes, shifting age and size structures, and inconsistent angler success. Shallow Lake has a history of sporadically producing a quality Black Crappie fishery. The gill net catch in 2014 was high compared to similar lakes and above the long term average for Shallow Lake. Size structure was good as crappie ranged from 4.1 to 11.9 inches and averaged 9.1 inches. Six year classes (ages 2-7) were present and recruitment appeared relatively consistent in the recent past. Growth was fast, as crappie typically exceeded 10 inches by age 5. The current age and size structure indicates good angling opportunities for this species.

Shallow Lake has typically produced large trap net catches of Bluegill characterized by poor size quality. The 2014 catch contrasted this trend, as the catch rate was relatively low. It is unknown if the dramatic reduction in catch rate represents and actual population decline or sampling conditions were poor due to weather. A major cold front occurred mid-week during sampling and few fish were observed in near-shore areas. Size structure remained poor, as Bluegill from the trap nets ranged from 3.1 to 7.9 inches and averaged 6.3 inches. Poor size quality may limit the popularity of the Bluegill fishery. Age and growth data was not collected but past sampling has consistently shown poor growth.

Largemouth Bass have been commonly sampled from Shallow Lake. Bass were sampled at a typical rate for the lake class. Bass ranged from 5.9 to 15.5 inches and averaged 11.7 inches. It should be noted that Largemouth Bass are difficult to sample in standard survey nets. Spring electrofishing was not conducted in 2014, but sampling in 2009 indicated relatively high bass abundance with a population dominated by small fish.

Other species captured included Burbot, Hybrid Sunfish, Rock Bass, and White Sucker.

Shallow Lake is not known to support invasive species. Anglers and boaters are reminded to help stop the spread of invasive species by removing all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, and equipment. All drain plugs must be removed and live and bait wells must be drained before leaving the access. Anglers and boaters are encouraged to power wash and thoroughly dry all equipment prior to use in another water body.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
1201 East Hwy 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 327-4430
Internet: Grand Rapids 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 C1990 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

Tip Logo    Turn in Poachers (TIP):

    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093