Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Lax

Nearest Town: Finland
Primary County: Lake
Survey Date: 08/11/2014
Inventory Number: 38040600
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete On the north end of the lake off of Lake Co. Rd. #408 (Lax Lake Road)

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 295.1
Littoral Area (acres): 192
Maximum Depth (ft): 35
Water Clarity (ft): 10.1 (7.5-16)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 4.0 (0-15)

Did you know? Each year, DNR fisheries personnel stock game fish fry and fingerlings in lakes lacking habitat for natural reproduction.

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 0.78 0.8 - 4.5 0.34 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 3.50 0.4 - 3.3 0.28 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 27.44 3.2 - 21.2 0.13 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 9.17 N/A 0.22 N/A
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.33 N/A 0.06 N/A
Gill net 0.17 N/A 0.05 N/A
Largemouth Bass Gill net 0.67 0.2 - 1.1 2.12 0.4 - 1.4
Northern Pike Trap net 0.67 N/A 1.25 N/A
Gill net 4.83 1.8 - 5.5 2.56 1.9 - 3.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 3.44 1.0 - 5.2 0.11 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.67 N/A 0.07 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 1.1 1.18 0.8 - 2.5
Gill net 2.17 2.0 - 9.7 2.21 0.8 - 2.0
White Sucker Gill net 3.17 2.3 - 8.7 2.09 1.5 - 2.2
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 2.5 0.07 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 2.33 1.7 - 14.1 0.12 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 4 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 28
bluegill 174 127 1 0 0 0 0 0 302
hybrid sunfish 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
largemouth bass 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4
northern pike 0 0 0 0 20 7 7 1 35
pumpkinseed 30 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 35
walleye 0 0 3 1 7 3 1 0 15
white sucker 0 0 1 5 11 2 0 0 19
yellow perch 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 14

For the record, the largest Blue Sucker taken in Minnesota weighed 14 lbs., 3 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River near Alma, Wabasha County
    When: 2/28/87
    Statistics: 30.4" length, 20.2" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Walleye2 fingerlings 2,873 191.5
2013 Walleye2 fingerlings 6,303 193.0
2012 Walleye2 fingerlings 5,423 193.0
  Walleye fingerlings 58 2.0
2009 Walleye1 fingerlings 4,926 192.6
2008 Walleye fingerlings 5,722 210.0

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 guidelines 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
Lake Co., 38040600
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass     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
Lake Co., 38040600
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
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 08/11/2014)

Lax Lake is a 295 acre body of water located approximately 5 miles south-southwest of Finland MN. The public access off of Lake County Rd. #408 (Lax Lake Road), on the north end of the lake, has a concrete ramp and room for about eight vehicles with trailers in the parking lot. There is also a handicap accessible fishing pier with a small picnic area and separate parking lot. One resort is located on the lake.

Walleye were sampled in below average numbers for northeastern Minnesota lakes with similar characteristics, and the lowest numbers seen within the past twenty years. The average size of Walleye was 2.21 pounds (17.6 inches) in 2014; the largest Walleye sampled measured was 25.8 inches. The strongest year classes of Walleyes came from 2012, 2009 and 2008; all which correlate to fingerling stockings. Contributions to the population from natural reproduction appear to have been poor in recent years. At the time of the 2014 investigation Lax Lake was stocked with Walleye fingerlings on a two consecutive years out of every four years frequency (this frequency began in 2004). The stocking frequency will be changed to an annual stocking of Walleye fingerlings starting the fall of 2015.

The 2014 assessment was the third consecutive investigation where Northern Pike were sampled in above average numbers for the lake class. The average size of 2.56 pounds (21 inches) was near average for the lake class and within the range seen in previous investigations on Lax Lake. Only twenty-three percent of the catch was over 24 inches; the previous two investigations had at a greater percentage of fish over 30 inches; although the largest Northern Pike sampled in 2014 measured 39 inches. A small percentage of the Northern Pike have Neascus (black spot parasite). These parasites are small and produce black pigmentation that resembles black pepper sprinkled on fins or flesh (fillets) of fish. However, although unsightly, the fillet is safe to eat if it is well cooked.

Largemouth Bass gill net catch was above average for the lake class, the mean weight of the catch was 2.12 pounds, also above average (1.40 pounds). Three separate special assessments using electrofishing for Largemouth Bass have been completed on Lax Lake (2010, 2013 and 2014). Although the catch rate of Largemouth Bass for each assessment has remained similar, the average length of fish has increased (from 11 inches to 14 inches) and maximum length of fish has remained around 19 inches.

Lax Lake Black Crappie reproduction is sporadic which leads to the boom and bust Black Crappie population of Lax Lake. In all five year classes of Black Crappie were sampled; the 2010 year class by far was the strongest year class representing 68% of the total catch. Black Crappie numbers and size were above average for the lake class, but grow rates were below average. The mean length was 8.6 inches and the largest fish sampled was seven-years old and measured 10.8 inches.

Bluegills were sampled at above average numbers and exhibit slower than average growth in Lax Lake compared to lakes in northeastern Minnesota with similar characteristics. The average length of the trap net catch was 5.3 inches (0.13 pound). Ten year classes of Bluegill were found with the 2010 and 2006 year classes each representing 25% of the sample. The largest Bluegill sampled measured 9 inches. Many of the Bluegill in Lax Lake also had small to moderate amount of Neascus (black spot parasite).

White sucker were sampled at slightly below average numbers and above average size for the lake class. Low numbers of Pumpkinseed Sunfish and Hybrid Sunfish (Bluegill x Pumpkinseed) were also sampled.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 546
6686 Hwy 1
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218) 353-8840
Internet: Finland 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 C0394 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