Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Turtle

Nearest Town: Marcell
Primary County: Itasca
Survey Date: 08/02/2010
Inventory Number: 31072500
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete


Fishing Regulations:

Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 2102.97
Littoral Area (acres): 556
Maximum Depth (ft): 137
Water Clarity (ft): 15.5

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


Did you know? Minnesota has 11,482 lakes 10 acres or larger, of which 5,483 are fishing lakes. Excluding Lake Superior, the state has 3.8 million acres of fishing water. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is 1.4 million acres.

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

Black Crappie Trap net 0.87 0.3 - 1.7 0.29 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 1.80 0.2 - 1.1 0.43 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 19.93 3.7 - 42.9 0.13 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 8.67 N/A 0.07 N/A
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.13 N/A 0.24 N/A
Lake Whitefish Gill net 0.13 0.1 - 0.9 1.63 1.0 - 3.0
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.13 0.4 - 1.4 0.30 0.3 - 0.7
Gill net 1.40 0.3 - 1.2 1.04 0.6 - 1.0
Northern Pike Trap net 0.33 N/A 1.73 N/A
Gill net 2.60 3.0 - 7.9 3.05 1.7 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 1.20 1.6 - 6.9 0.16 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 1.80 N/A 0.13 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 2.60 0.7 - 3.3 0.27 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 8.07 1.0 - 6.6 0.41 0.3 - 0.5
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.13 0.1 - 0.6 0.42 0.1 - 0.6
Gill net 4.73 0.2 - 0.9 2.07 0.9 - 1.8
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 4.80 0.5 - 5.2 0.66 0.4 - 1.0
Walleye Trap net 0.27 0.3 - 0.9 4.16 1.0 - 2.2
Gill net 4.27 4.0 - 9.6 1.94 1.1 - 1.9
White Sucker Gill net 0.27 1.0 - 3.5 1.96 1.5 - 2.3
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.13 0.9 - 4.8 0.76 0.7 - 1.0
Gill net 0.13 0.6 - 6.4 0.62 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.27 0.7 - 3.7 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 3.33 7.1 - 33.9 0.14 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 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 crappie 5 21 12 2 0 0 0 0 40
bluegill 314 109 1 0 0 0 0 0 429
hybrid sunfish 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
lake whitefish 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2
largemouth bass 1 3 9 8 2 0 0 0 23
northern pike 0 0 0 2 10 19 11 2 44
pumpkinseed 33 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 45
rock bass 33 92 35 0 0 0 0 0 160
smallmouth bass 1 2 10 15 44 1 0 0 73
tullibee (cisco) 0 18 31 12 10 1 0 0 72
walleye 0 0 9 9 32 17 1 0 68
white sucker 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 4
yellow bullhead 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 4
yellow perch 7 42 5 0 0 0 0 0 54


For the record, the largest Brown Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 16 lbs., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Superior, St. Louis County
    When: 6/23/89
    Statistics: 31.4" length, 20.6" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye2 fingerlings 16,226 555.0
  Walleye1 fingerlings 3,080 110.0
2011 Walleye2 fingerlings 11,155 566.0
  Walleye1 fingerlings 1,705 110.0
2010 Walleye1 fingerlings 10,161 555.0
  Walleye fingerlings 1,650 110.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 10,803 556.0
  Walleye1 fingerlings 1,870 110.0
2006 Walleye1 fingerlings 8,314 665.8
2004 Walleye fingerlings 12,780 556.0

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

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
TURTLE
Itasca Co., 31072500
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Cisco   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie All sizes        
Lake Whitefish All sizes        
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Smallmouth Bass     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
TURTLE
Itasca Co., 31072500
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Cisco All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Lake Whitefish All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   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 08/02/2010)

Turtle Lake is located about a mile north of Marcell, MN, within the Bigfork River Watershed and the Chippewa National Forest. The 2,052 acre lake has 556 littoral acres with a 137 foot max depth and is in Lake Class 22. Walleye and smallmouth bass are primary management species, while northern pike, black crappie, and largemouth bass are secondary management species. Walleye have a long stocking history and fingerlings have been stocked biennially on even years since 2002. A special smallmouth bass regulation of a 12 to 20 inch protected slot with one fish over 20 inches allowed was implemented in 2006. The shoreline is relatively developed with some public ownership along various areas around the lake. Somewhat diverse aquatic plant life including floating leaf and emergent vegetation can be found along the 26.7 mile shoreline. The lake association is active in purple loosestrife control. There is one public access located along the northeast shore with parking available for five rigs.

Walleye were sampled at a rate slightly higher than the previous assessment and within the expected range for lakes similar to Turtle. The catch rate fell short of the ambitious lake management plan goal despite being the second highest observed. Lengths were from 9.1 to 24.7 inches with a mean length of 16.9 inches. Size structure was favorable with a relatively abundant proportion of angler preferred sizes present. Scale and bone analysis identified 10 age classes with fish from age 2 to 16 present. The three strongest year classes represented 78% of the aged sample and correspond to biennial stockings from 2004 to 2008. The strongest year class was 2006, comprising 38% of the catch and averaging nearly 16 inches by age 4. Back-calculated length-at-age suggests growth was near the statewide average.

Gill nets sampled smallmouth bass better than expected, typical to most assessments, and exceeding the lake management plan goal. Lengths were from 7.3 to 20.1 inches with a mean length of 15.1 inches. Size structure appeared robust, exceeding lake management plan size goals. Smallmouth bass were also sampled with spring night electrofishing at the highest observed rate, 67.2/hr on-time. Lengths were from 4.2 to 19.2 inches with a mean of 11.7 inches. Size structure values were less than gill net values but likely related to the efficiency and susceptibility of all sizes of bass being sampled and a larger sample size. Scale analysis from the electrofishing sample identified eight consecutive year classes from age 2 to 9. Back-calculated length-at-age determined growth was slow being less than the statewide average for nearly all ages.

Northern pike were sampled within the expected range similar to most assessments, and similar to the lake management plan goal. Lengths were from 15.5 to 31.8 inches and a mean of 23.2 inches. Size structure appeared favorable but netting failed to sample a fish over 34 inches, atypical to most assessments since 1975. Scale and bone analysis suggests ages 1 through 7 were present in the sample. Back-calculated length-at-age determined growth was similar to the statewide average for most ages. Northern pike averaged almost 24 inches by age 4.

The black crappie gill net catch was a historical high, exceeding the expected range while the trap net catch was within the traditional and expected range. Lengths from the trap net sample were from 5.5 to 9.7 inches and a mean of 8.2 inches, while the gill net sample was from 5.3 to 14.2 inches and a mean of 8.6 inches. Size structure values from the gill net sample were encouraging despite a modest sample size. Scale analysis identified seven consecutive age classes from age 2 to 8 present in the combined samples. Back-calculated length-at-age determined growth was slow early but similar to the statewide average by age 3. Black crappie averaged 10 inches by age 5.

Largemouth bass were sampled with spring night electrofishing at a rate of 23.7/hr on-time, similar to the previous assessment. Largemouth were also sampled in gill nets at a rate exceeding the lake class expected range. Lengths from the electrofishing sample were from 7.4 to 16.2 inches with a mean of 11 inches, while the gill net sample had a mean length of 12 inches with fish up to 17.5 inches. Size structure indices were modest in the EF sample. Scale analysis identified six consecutive age classes from age 3 to 8 present in the sample. Back-calculated length-at-age determined growth was slow early but within 15% of the statewide average by age 4. Largemouth bass averaged almost 12 inches by age 5.

Bluegill were sampled at a historically high rate, near the middle of the expected range. Lengths were from 3.2 to 9.2 inches with a mean length of 5.3 inches. Size structure appeared moderately poor with 17% of the sample exceeding 7 inches. Scale analysis identified 7 year classes, from ages 4 to 9 and 11. Back-calculated length-at-age determined growth was near the lake class 22 median but slowed to less than 85% by age 2. Bluegill averaged almost seven inches by age 8.

Yellow perch were sampled at a rate lower than the lake class expected range, yet the highest catch since 1995. Lengths were from 4.9 to 10.1 inches with a mean of 7.0 inches. Size structure was relatively poor with most fish too small to interest most anglers.

Tullibee were sampled at a rate slightly higher than the previous assessment and near the higher end of the expected range. Lengths were from 6.7 to 21.1 inches with a mean of 11.1 inches. Two lake whitefish were also sampled, catch rate was within the expected range. The lengths of the fish were 14 and 18.9 inches. Triaenophorus was present in 22% of the examined tullibee sample and in one whitefish.

Other species sampled in test netting included hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, white sucker, and yellow bullhead. As part of IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity) near shore sampling, Iowa darter, Johnny darter, banded killifish, blacknose shiner, bluegill, bluntnose minnow, fourspine stickleback, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, mottled sculpin, rock bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch and one unknown species were sampled in 19 seine hauls. Backpack electrofishing sampled Iowa darter, Johnny darter, banded killifish, bluegill, bluntnose minnow, brook stickleback, central mudminnow, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, mottled sculpin, rock bass, smallmouth bass, tadpole madtom, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch in 20 stations.


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
E-Mail: GrandRapids.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 B0428 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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