Fisheries Lake Survey

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Nearest Town: WINDOM
Primary County: Jackson
Survey Date: 07/06/2004
Inventory Number: 32-0058-00

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 198.00
Littoral Area (acres): 198.00
Maximum Depth (ft): 8.00
Water Clarity (ft): 0.90

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: common
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 2.00

Did you know? Ongoing habitat improvement and maintenance work is conducted on trout streams that have publicly owned land or easements.

Fish Sampled up to the 2004 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Gill net 25.0 0.8 - 7.0 1.13 N/A - N/A
  Trap net 0.9 0.2 - 1.0 6.62 2.6 - 5.8
Black Bullhead Gill net 63.3 30.3 - 150.6 0.24 0.2 - 0.4
  Trap net 7.6 11.5 - 132.6 0.34 0.2 - 0.4
Common Carp Gill net 19.7 1.0 - 13.8 1.13 0.8 - 3.7
  Trap net 2.1 1.0 - 5.5 9.16 1.4 - 4.6
Northern Pike Gill net 2.0 1.1 - 8.0 1.76 1.8 - 3.4
  Trap net 0.8 N/A - N/A 2.95 N/A - N/A
Orangespotted Sunfish Trap net 0.4 N/A - N/A 0.02 N/A - N/A
Snapping Turtle Trap net 0.4 N/A - N/A ND N/A - N/A
White Crappie Trap net 0.1 0.3 - 6.0 1.46 0.3 - 0.6
White Sucker Trap net 0.2 0.3 - 2.6 1.55 1.0 - 2.0
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.8 0.5 - 2.5 0.62 0.3 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Gill net 77.7 2.7 - 25.0 0.32 0.1 - 0.3
  Trap net 1.6 0.3 - 3.8 0.30 0.1 - 0.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species Sampled for All Gear for the 2004 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 16 127 89 0 0 0 0 0 232
Northern Pike 0 0 0 0 6 4 2 1 13
Orangespotted Sunfish 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
White Crappie 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Yellow Bullhead 0 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 7
Yellow Perch 28 91 88 5 0 0 0 0 212

For the record, the largest Hybrid Sunfish taken in Minnesota weighed 1 lb., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Middle Branch of the Zumbro River, Olmsted County
    When: 7/9/94
    Statistics: 11.5" length, 12" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 yellow perch adults 250 50.0
2013 Northern Pike adults 317 305.0
2010 Northern Pike adults 50 45.5
  Northern Pike fingerlings 1,854 6.5
2006 Northern Pike fingerlings 2,641 35.4

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

No fish consumption guidelines are available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Status of the Fishery (as of 07/06/2004)

Timber Lake, near Wilder, is a typical pothole prairie lake located about 5 miles south of Windom. Timber Lake has a maximum depth of around 8 feet and has a history of winterkill. A relatively consistent yellow perch/northern pike fishery seems to be maintained in spite of the partial winterkill history. Timber Lake is managed primarily for northern pike and secondarily for yellow perch and black crappie. A resurvey was conducted during the week of July 6, 2005 using 3 gill nets, 9 trap nets, and 3 seine hauls.

The catch rate for northern pike was within the expected range (2.0/gill net) for the Windom Area. During the 2004 survey, total lengths ranged from 17 to 26 inches and averaged 19 inches. Only 2 year class of fish were sampled (2000 and 2002) which indicated the population may have limited habitat for natural reproduction. Northern pike catch rates have varied historically from 1.0/gill net in 1998 to 11.7/gill net in 1994. Most of the variation in catch rates among years for northern pike can be attributed to varying water levels at the time northern pike spawn. During years in which high water persists during the spawning and hatch period, northern pike are able to utilize the flooded vegetation and successfully reproduce. The high catch rate in 1994 was likely a result of the high water from 1993. Although numbers of northerns have been higher in other years, anglers do have the opportunity to catch some nice "toothies" on Timber Lake.

The catch rate for yellow perch was nearly 3 times the normal range for Windom Area lakes. Total lengths ranged from 4 to 12 inches and averaged 8.5 inches. Great sizes of fish can be caught but may take some persistence to produce a stringer full of fillets. Six year class of yellow perch were sampled during the survey which indicated consistent natural reproduction. Natural reproduction appeared to be excellent as many Age 0 fish were sampled. Growth rates are quite good as an Age 4 perch was nearly 11 inches. The take home message is that if an angler is targeting yellow perch, Timber Lake is worth trying for an afternoon as good numbers and sizes are abundant.

No black crappie were sampled during the 2004 survey which may indicate the population is in a building period. It is likely that the abundant perch population is dominating the panfish population.

The black bullhead catch rate was within the expected range but most are small sized. The bigmouth buffalo catch rate was the highest ever recorded on Timber Lake while the common carp catch rate was the second highest ever recorded. The abundant bigmouth buffalo and common carp probably contribute to the limited submergent vegetation.

A total of twelve species of fish were sampled during the 2004 survey. Other species sampled were fathead minnow, orangespotted sunfish, white sucker, and yellow bullhead.

To promote and maintain healthy fish populations, pollution and other inputs need to be controlled. Fish habitats are directly affected by water quality. Nutrient, sediment and other waste inputs can drastically alter the biological, chemical, and physical components of a lake. It is paramount to maintain if not improve the current water quality of Timber Lake through watershed management to preserve this fishery for future generations to enjoy.

Prepared by Ryan Doorenbos

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
175 Co Rd 26
Windom, MN 56101-1868
Phone: (507) 831-2900
Internet: Windom Fisheries

Lake maps can be obtained from:

Minnesota Bookstore
660 Olive Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000 or (800) 657-3757
No depth map available.

For general DNR Information, contact:

DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR

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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093