Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Lax

Nearest Town: Finland
Primary County: Lake
Survey Date: 08/16/2010
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): 292.53
Littoral Area (acres): 192
Maximum Depth (ft): 35
Water Clarity (ft): 10.4 (7.5-16)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 35 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 4.0 (0-15)

Did you know? Much of Minnesota's fisheries program is reimbursed by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (federal excise tax), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 0.22 0.8 - 4.5 0.44 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 1.83 0.4 - 3.3 0.34 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 14.44 3.2 - 21.2 0.19 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 4.50 N/A 0.21 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 1.2 0.11 0.2 - 0.6
Northern Pike Trap net 0.78 N/A 1.58 N/A
Gill net 5.00 1.8 - 5.5 2.76 1.9 - 3.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 2.22 1.0 - 5.2 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.16 N/A
Walleye Gill net 5.50 2.0 - 9.7 2.34 0.8 - 2.0
White Sucker Gill net 2.17 2.3 - 8.7 2.03 1.5 - 2.2
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 2.5 0.21 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 3.67 1.7 - 14.1 0.11 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 0 10 3 0 0 0 0 0 13
bluegill 70 87 0 0 0 0 0 0 157
largemouth bass 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 0 5 13 10 6 2 37
pumpkinseed 13 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 22
walleye 0 2 2 10 6 9 4 0 33
white sucker 0 0 0 3 10 0 0 0 13
yellow perch 3 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 23

For the record, the largest Brook Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 6 lbs., 5.6 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Pigeon River, Cook County
    When: 9/2/00
    Statistics: 24" length, 14.5" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
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
2005 Walleye fingerlings 9,803 390.9

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

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 08/16/2010)

Lax Lake is a 296 acre body of water located approximately 5 miles south-southwest of Finland MN. The public access off of Lake County Rd. #408, on the north end of the lake, has a concrete ramp and asphalt parking area with space for approximately eight vehicles with trailers. There is one resort with 4 cabins and 15 campsites located on the north shore of Lax Lake. Lax Lake is considered the best panfish (black crappie and bluegill) lake in the Finland area.

Walleye were sampled in average numbers for northeastern Minnesota lakes with similar characteristics, but at the low end of the sample range previous seen on Lax Lake. The average size of walleye was 2.34 pounds (17.8 inches) in 2010 included 39% of the sample over 20 inches, the largest walleye was 26.8 inches. Walleye growth was slower than average in Lax Lake compared to fish sampled in other Finland area assessments. Walleyes are stocked 2 out of every 4 years with the last stocking in 2009.

Northern pike were sampled in above average numbers for the lake class. The average size of 2.67 pounds (20.7 inches) was near average for the lake class and within the range seen in previous investigations on Lax Lake. Thirty percent of the catch was over 24 inches; the largest northern pike sampled in 2010 was 40.8 inches. Some of the northern pike have Neascus (black spot) parasites.

The bluegill numbers and size were above average in Lax Lake compared to lakes in northeastern Minnesota with similar characteristics. The average weight was 0.2 pound in the sample. The average length of the trap net catch was 6.1 inches, with the maximum length at 8.4 inches. Lax Lake is the best bluegill lake in the Finland area for consistently good fishing and quality size bluegill. Fishing pressure on Lax Lake increases each June when the bluegills are in the shallows to spawn and they are a popular target after the walleye/northern pike winter angling season is closed. Many of the bluegill in Lax Lake have Neascus (black spot) parasites.

Black crappie numbers and size were above average for the lake class. The average weight was 0.34 pound (8.6 inches) with the maximum length at 9.2 inches. The 2006 year-class represented 87.5% (14/16) of the aged black crappie sample. As is the case in many northeastern Minnesota panfish lakes, Lax Lake black crappies occasionally produce strong year-class although the sporadic spawning success typically results in a highly variable black crappie population.

The largemouth bass population of Lax Lake was first assessed with boat electrofishing on June 3, 2010. The total largemouth bass catch was 37 fish with a run-time per hour catch rate of 16.82 and on-time per hour catch rate of 26.77. The mean length of the largemouth bass was 11.9 inches with the maximum length recorded at 18.9 inches. Largemouth bass reproduction in Lax Lake appeared to be good with many young-of-the-year largemouth bass sampled by seining and in small mesh trap nets.

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