Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Knife

Nearest Town: Mora
Primary County: Kanabec
Survey Date: 04/19/2011
Inventory Number: 33002800
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
MnDOT Concrete
DNR Pier
County Carry-In
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): 1259.24
Littoral Area (acres): 1259.24
Maximum Depth (ft): 15
Water Clarity (ft): 3.5 (3-4)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 4.9 (0-6.2)


Did you know? Habitat acquisition of lands next to lakes and streams protects spawning areas and shoreline vegetation, and it increases access to fishing waters.

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 Crappie Gill net 15.92 0.8 - 11.1 0.17 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Gill net 3.00 N/A 0.24 N/A
Brown Bullhead Gill net 0.17 0.6 - 7.7 1.44 0.4 - 1.1
Common Shiner Gill net 0.08 N/A 0.10 N/A
Golden Redhorse Gill net 0.25 N/A 2.96 N/A
Golden Shiner Gill net 0.42 0.1 - 0.7 0.10 0.1 - 0.2
Northern Pike Gill net 2.75 1.2 - 7.8 5.18 1.5 - 3.0
Pumpkinseed Gill net 0.25 N/A 0.17 N/A
Rock Bass Gill net 0.42 0.2 - 0.7 0.26 0.3 - 0.4
Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 2.00 0.6 - 2.8 2.42 1.5 - 2.2
Walleye Gill net 2.42 3.2 - 15.3 1.61 0.9 - 1.9
White Sucker Gill net 0.58 0.8 - 5.9 2.73 1.4 - 2.2
Yellow Bullhead Gill net 0.58 0.3 - 3.6 0.77 0.5 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Gill net 23.17 3.0 - 22.5 0.18 0.1 - 0.4
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 crappie 105 65 9 1 0 0 0 0 191
bluegill 16 16 2 0 0 0 0 0 36
brown bullhead 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
common shiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
golden redhorse 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
golden shiner 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
northern pike 0 0 0 0 1 10 11 11 33
pumpkinseed 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
rock bass 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
shorthead redhorse 0 0 5 2 14 1 0 0 24
walleye 0 0 1 10 15 3 0 0 29
white sucker 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 7
yellow bullhead 0 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 7
yellow perch 49 215 7 0 0 0 0 0 278


For the record, the largest Pink Salmon taken in Minnesota weighed 4 lbs., 8 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Cascade River, Cook County
    When: 9/9/89
    Statistics: 23.5" length, 13.2" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye2 fingerlings 17,347 1,030.0
2011 Walleye fingerlings 19,614 1,253.0
  Walleye fry 1,475,000 13.0
  Walleye yearlings 39 13.0
2010 Walleye fry 1,500,000 15.0
2009 Walleye fingerlings 2,196 183.0
  Walleye1 fingerlings 15,107 1,000.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,263 60.1
2008 Walleye fingerlings 4,278 218.0
  Walleye yearlings 89 47.0

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
KNIFE
Kanabec Co., 33002800
Crappie All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Redhorse Sucker All sizes        
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
KNIFE
Kanabec Co., 33002800
Crappie All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Redhorse Sucker All sizes        
Walleye 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 04/19/2011)

Knife Lake is a 1,266 acre impoundment on the Knife River with an average depth of only 9.1 feet. Water clarity is generally low and the lake is susceptible to algae blooms in the summer. The lake is managed primarily for walleye and northern pike, with largemouth bass and panfish as secondary species. An 18 to 24 inch protected slot regulation is in effect for walleye, as well as a 24 to 36 inch protected slot for northern pike.

Walleye in Knife Lake have had good natural reproduction in the past, and stocking was not necessary to maintain good numbers of walleye between 1995 and 2006. However, test netting in 2006 indicated that the walleye population had fallen below target levels and fall electrofishing in 2007-2009 indicated poor or no natural reproduction. Stocking efforts began in 2008; fingerlings and fry have been stocked each year except 2010, when only fry were stocked. Fall electrofishing in 2010 showed that an abundant year class had been produced, likely as a result of the fry stocking. Despite stocking, the 2011 walleye gillnet catch (2.4/set) decreased from the 2006 catch (5.6/set) and was below the normal range for this lake class and below the management goal for Knife Lake. Sampled walleye ranged from 11.7 to 23.7 inches with a 16.4 inch mean. Walleye stocking and monitoring for natural reproduction will continue on Knife Lake in an effort to restore the fishery to previous levels.

Northern pike have shown some increases in size structure since a 24 to 36 inch protected slot regulation began in 2003. Northerns sampled by gill net ranged from 19.0 to 37.4 inches with a 28.0 inch average. Trap nets set in the spring of 2011 showed an even broader size range, with northern pike from 8 to 41.5 inches present. By all accounts the northern pike fishery in Knife Lake is very healthy, with opportunities for anglers to catch trophy size fish.

Black crappie numbers are higher than average for lakes similar to Knife Lake. There are many smaller fish, but average length has increased from the past few surveys. Some 10-12 inch crappies were sampled. In 2011 there were a good number of fish from the 2007 and 2008 year classes. These fish were approaching the 7-9 inch range, and should provide good black crappie fishing in Knife Lake in 2012 and beyond.

Trap netting in the spring of 2011 revealed a good bluegill sunfish population, with an average size of 0.3 pounds. Most bluegill were between 3 and 9 inches, and one giant 12 inch bluegill was released from a trap net.

Spring electrofishing resulted in a largemouth bass catch rate of 68 fish per hour in 2011, an increase from 41 fish per hour in 2006. Average size of largemouth bass is up from 1.2 pounds in 2006 to 1.6 pounds in 2011. Good numbers of adult size largemouth bass up to 19 inches should provide good angling action. Smallmouth bass are also present in Knife Lake and Knife River, but numbers in the lake are low.

Historically Knife Lake has supported high yellow perch populations. Gill net catches of yellow perch in 2011 were only half of catches in 2006, but perch numbers are still well above average for similar lakes. Although perch serve primarily as a prey base for walleye and northern pike, some perch were harvestable size, measuring up to 10.5 inches. Other species sampled during the survey included Johnny darter, golden shiner, logperch, rock bass, shorthead redhorse, yellow bullhead, and white sucker.

Knife Lake is a great fishery for anglers in east central Minnesota with many different game species to fish. Anglers have a good opportunity to catch a trophy sized fish or catch smaller fish for table fare. The overall outlook for the Knife Lake fishery is bright. The 2011 survey indicted many positive trends regarding fish size and abundance.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 398
306 Power Ave N
Hinckley, MN 55037
Phone: (320) 384-7721
Internet: Hinckley Fisheries
E-Mail: Hinckley.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 B0460 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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