Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Round

Nearest Town: Round Lake
Primary County: Jackson
Survey Date: 08/12/2013
Inventory Number: 32006900
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Gravel

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 929.85
Littoral Area (acres): 929.85
Maximum Depth (ft): 9
Water Clarity (ft): 1.2 (.8-1.5)

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

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

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Gill net 1.33 0.8 - 7.0 3.54 N/A
Black Bullhead Trap net 2.42 11.5 - 132.6 1.02 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 14.67 30.3 - 150.6 0.98 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 2.33 1.2 - 20.5 0.53 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 3.00 1.4 - 13.8 0.47 0.2 - 0.4
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.33 N/A 3.88 N/A
Gill net 7.00 N/A 3.03 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 0.67 1.0 - 5.5 8.21 1.4 - 4.6
Freshwater Drum Trap net 0.58 0.2 - 3.3 3.25 0.3 - 1.0
Gill net 4.67 0.5 - 8.3 2.49 0.4 - 1.7
Northern Pike Trap net 0.17 N/A 5.84 N/A
Gill net 0.33 1.1 - 8.0 4.08 1.8 - 3.4
Quillback Trap net 0.08 N/A 4.69 N/A
Shorthead Redhorse Trap net 0.08 0.4 - 4.6 3.20 1.0 - 2.2
Walleye Trap net 0.50 0.5 - 3.0 2.81 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 7.67 2.3 - 18.1 2.96 1.0 - 2.3
White Bass Trap net 1.00 0.2 - 0.7 0.80 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 4.00 0.3 - 9.9 1.12 N/A
White Crappie Trap net 0.33 0.3 - 6.0 0.50 0.3 - 0.6
White Sucker Trap net 0.17 0.3 - 2.6 2.63 1.0 - 2.0
Gill net 2.00 0.8 - 6.5 2.38 0.9 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Gill net 1.67 2.7 - 25.0 0.64 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 2013 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 3 0 1 0 0 4
black bullhead 1 2 48 22 0 0 0 0 73
black crappie 0 12 22 1 0 0 0 0 37
channel catfish 0 0 5 7 1 6 5 1 25
common carp 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 0 8
freshwater drum 2 1 0 1 10 6 0 0 21
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3
quillback 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
walleye 0 1 10 0 3 8 4 0 29
white bass 4 0 8 8 4 0 0 0 24
white crappie 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
white sucker 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 8
yellow perch 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 5

For the record, the largest River Carpsucker taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lbs., 15 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River, Ramsey County
    When: 3/9/91
    Statistics: 19.5" length, 14" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 walleye fry 475,411 4.4
2013 Walleye fry 479,045 4.0
2012 Walleye fry 473,916 4.3
2010 Walleye fry 474,566 4.6
2009 Walleye fry 472,668 3.7
2008 Walleye fry 474,522 4.5

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 08/12/2013)

INTRODUCTION Round Lake is a 1024-acre, class 43 lake located in Jackson County approximately 2 miles to the northeast of the City of Round Lake. Round Lake has a mean depth of 8.0 ft., a maximum depth of 9.0 ft., and had a secchi reading of 0.8 ft. Nutrient input into Round Lake is high, as its watershed is dominated by agriculture. Aquatic vegetation is rare as the turbid waters prevent its establishment and growth. Prior to the installation of an aeration system, Round Lake was prone to winterkill, as it was opened to liberalized fishing 10 times between 1945 and 1979. An aeration system was installed in 1981 to prevent winterkill. Round Lake has not experienced a winterkill since its installation. A rock spawning reef was installed in February of 1996 with the intention of providing spawning habitat for walleyes. The effect of the reef has not been evaluated, but it has been speculated that it has positively impacted the fish community in Round Lake. Walleyes are the primary management species in Round Lake and have been stocked as fry three out of four years since 2008 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013). Secondary management species include black crappie, channel catfish, and yellow perch. Channel catfish, yellow perch, and black crappie populations are self-sustaining; therefore, these species have not been stocked since the aeration system was installed. The sport fish community consists of black crappie, channel catfish, northern pike, walleye, white bass, yellow perch, and white crappie. A population assessment was conducted during the week of August 12, 2013 to monitor fish populations using three gill nets and 12 trap nets.

WALLEYE The 2013 walleye catch rate of 7.7 per gill net was the lowest catch rate observed in the last three decades on Round Lake. Since the record high catch rate of 152.5 per gill net in 2005, catch rates have steadily declined to 28.3 per gill net in 2009 and to 7.7 per gill net in 2013. The stocking regime has remained consistent during the decline, where walleye fry are stock three out of four years. The 2013 catch rate is within the expected range of catch rates (2.3 to 25.0 per gill net) for lakes similar to Round Lake. Since 1983, walleye catch rates have averaged 32.4 per gill net, including the 2005 catch rate, and averaged 17.4 per gill net, excluding the 2005 catch rate, both being magnitudes greater than what was observed in 2013. A population abundance model was used to estimate the 2013 population size for Round Lake based on gill net catches of walleye. The model estimated that there are around 8,315 walleyes in Round Lake, with 14 percent of them being 18.9 inches or larger. The model estimated that approximately 35 percent of the walleyes in Round Lake are around 10.5 inches, and 86 percent less than 11.3 inches. The actual net data indicated a larger size structure. Walleyes ranged in length from 6.4 to 26.7 inches and averaged 17.7 inches. Fifty-five percent of the walleyes captured were 19 inches or greater and 31 percent were 22 inches or greater. Six year classes of walleyes were sampled (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012) and corresponded to years in which fry stocking occurred. The presence of several year classes indicated a relatively balanced population. Walleyes in the sample that were aged averaged 9.4 inches at age-1, 14.0 inches at age-2, and 16.7 inches at age-3, indicating fast growth in young fish. The steady decline in walleye catch rates over the last two surveys could be partially attributed to the increase in abundance of other top level predators in Round Lake. White bass were first sampled in Round Lake in 2005 and have increased in abundance since. White bass are aggressive predators that could predate on or compete with walleye, if prey resources are limited. Channel catfish are also abundant in Round Lake, and are very effective at controlling black bullhead abundance, a prey resource for walleye. Natural reproduction is limited in Round Lake; therefore the walleye population is highly dependent on successful fry stockings such as the 2005 stocking. Electrofishing in the fall of 2013 for a walleye genetics study yielded a fair number young-of-year walleyes, suggesting that the 2013 fry stocking was successful; however, the magnitude of the year class is not known.

BLACK CRAPPIE Black crappie catch rates have been highly variable in Round Lake, ranging from 0.5 per trap net in 1997 to 14.6 per trap net in 1983. The 2013 black crappie catch rate was up slightly from the 2009 catch rate of 1.3 per trap net and fell within this historic range at 2.3 per trap net. The 2013 catch rate fell within the expected range of catch rates (1.2 per trap net to 20.5 per trap net) for lakes similar to Round Lake. Crappie recruitment tends to be highly variable, where strong year classes are produced every 3-5 years, resulting in a boom-and-bust fishery. Strong crappie year classes are typically produced when water levels are high enough to flood upland vegetation during the spawning season. Black crappie size structure was relatively small, with black crappies ranging from 5.4 to 13.4 inches and averaging 9.0 inches. The majority of the black crappies sampled were between 8 and 10 inches in length. Only one crappie greater than 10 inches in length was sampled. Black crappies were plump suggesting that crappies are foraging well in Round Lake. The lack of crappies greater than 10 inches is likely the result of harvest of fish 10 inches or greater in length.

YELLOW PERCH Yellow perch catch rates decreased from 11.7 per gill net in the 2009 survey to 1.7 per gill net in the 2013 survey, falling below the expected catch rate range (2.7 to 25.0 per gill net) for lakes similar to Round Lake. Yellow perch have never occurred in extremely high numbers, except in 1983 when the gill net catch rate was 126.0 per net. Excluding the 1983 catch rate, gill net catches of yellow perch have ranged from 1.7 per gill net in 2013 to 15.7 per gill net in 1988, averaging 7.6 per gill net. The five yellow perch captured in 2013 were likely from the same year class, as they ranged in length from 10.1 inches to 10.9 inches and averaged 10.7 inches. Yellow perch populations tend to fluctuate depending on the abundance of predator populations such as northern pike and walleye. Both northern pike and walleye abundances were down from previous surveys, indicating that other predators such as channel catfish or white bass may be utilizing perch as a forage base. No yellow perch less than 10 inches in length were sampled in this survey and only one young-of-year perch was sampled in the near shore survey indicating that natural reproduction has been minimal in recent years. Low water levels resulting from drought conditions likely reduce the amount of preferred spawning habitat available for adult perch, thereby limiting reproduction.

CHANNEL CATFISH Channel catfish catch rates have varied from 0.0 per gill net in 1994 to 19.5 per gill net in 2001 and averaged 4.2 per gill net dating back to 1983. In 2013, channel catfish were captured at a rate of 7.0 per gill net, up from 3.0 per gill net in 2009 and 3.5 per gill net in 2005, and within the observed range of catch rates on Round Lake. Channel catfish ranged in length from 11.7 to 30.4 inches and averaged 18.6 inches. Fifty-two percent of the channel catfish captured were 19 inches or greater in length. Channel catfish were plump, indicating that sufficient prey is available. The channel catfish population in Round Lake is self-supporting as they have not been stocked since 1981. The walleye spawning reef installed in 1996 is likely functioning as a spawning area for channel catfish. The rock reef likely provides prime spawning habitat for channel catfish, who construct their nests in cavities.

BLACK BULLHEAD Black bullhead gill net and trap net catch rates increased in 2013, compared to 2009 catch rates. Bullheads were captured at a rate of 14.7 per gill net and 2.4 per trap net in 2013, both the highest catch rates observed since 2001. Gill net and trap net catch rates were below the expected catch range (30.3 to 150.6 per gill net; 11.5 to 132.6 per trap net) for lakes similar to Round Lake. Black bullheads ranged in length from 5.4 to 13.1 inches and averaged 11.5 inches. Most of the black bullheads were large, with 96 percent being 10 inches or greater. Lack of bullheads less than 10 inches may be attributable to the predators in Round Lake, particularly channel catfish and walleye. At this time it appears that the black bullhead population in Round Lake is being controlled by the predators in the system.

OTHER SPECIES Three northern pike were captured in the survey, ranging from 23.0 to 34.5 inches and averaging 27.7 inches. Catches of northern pike have been low in Round Lake since surveys began. The lack of preferred habitat (i.e., clear water and aquatic vegetation) likely contributes to the low catch rates of northern pike.

White bass were first sampled in Round Lake during the 2005 survey at a rate of 0.5 per gill net. The white bass catch rate increased to 3.7 per gill net in 2009. In 2013, the catch rate increased to 4.0 per gill net, which was within the expected catch range (0.3 to 9.9 per gill net) of lakes similar to Round Lake. Gill netted white bass ranged in length from 9.3 to 15.4 inches and averaged 12.4 inches. Some smaller (4 to 5 inches) white bass were sampled in trap nets, indicating that white bass are able to reproduce in Round Lake or are able to move into the lake through the West Fork of the Little Sioux River when water levels are high. White bass are aggressive predators that could potentially compete with other predators if prey is limited, but may also provide an additional angling opportunity in Round Lake.

The freshwater drum catch rate increased from 2.0 per gill net in 2009 to 4.7 per gill net in 2013, which is the second highest catch rate observed on Round Lake. The 2013 catch rate of 4.7 per gill net is within the expected range of catch rates for similar lakes.

Other species sampled included bigmouth buffalo, white sucker, common carp, quillback, shorthead redhorse, and white crappie.

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 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 or improve water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.

Best management practices within the watershed (no-till farming, cover crops, buffer strips, targeted fertilizer application, reduced or metered tiling) would help reduce nutrients entering the lake. High nutrient and sediment input can cause algae blooms and reduce overall water quality. Any improvements in the watershed are likely to have positive impacts on the fishery.

Prepared by Jonah Dagel

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
To order, use C0524 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

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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093