Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Snowbank

Nearest Town: Ely
Primary County: Lake
Survey Date: 07/19/2010
Inventory Number: 38052900

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
US Forest Service Carry-In Southcentral portion of lake, Canoe Landing adjacent to AC1 at end of Snowbank Lk. road.
US Forest Service Portage Southeast portion of lake, 428yd. portage from Parent Lk.
US Forest Service Concrete Southcentral portion of lake, at end of Snowbank Lk. road.
US Forest Service Portage North shore, Bass Bay, 141yd. portage from Grub Lk.
US Forest Service Portage West shore, 774yd. portage from Flash Lk.
US Forest Service Portage Northeast portion of lake, 367yd. double portage from Boot Lk.
US Forest Service Portage East shore, 775yd. portage from Disappointment Lk.
US Forest Service Gravel Southwest portion of lake, end of road past RE1.


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 4654.74
Littoral Area (acres): 879
Maximum Depth (ft): 150
Water Clarity (ft): 19

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Boulder (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 32 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 3.0 (2-6)


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

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Burbot Gill net 1.35 0.3 - 1.3 1.40 0.7 - 1.9
Golden Shiner Gill net 0.04 N/A 0.24 N/A
Lake Trout Gill net 0.70 0.8 - 4.3 3.07 1.2 - 3.1
Largemouth Bass Trap net 1.60 N/A 0.55 N/A
Northern Pike Trap net 0.80 N/A 1.90 N/A
Gill net 2.04 0.3 - 1.0 2.56 2.7 - 5.3
Northern Pike (silver Phase) Trap net 0.20 N/A 0.99 N/A
Gill net 0.09 N/A 2.79 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 20.47 0.3 - 4.2 0.19 0.1 - 0.5
Gill net 2.78 0.4 - 5.1 0.22 0.2 - 0.4
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 1.60 0.6 - 3.5 0.30 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 2.04 0.3 - 2.2 1.02 0.7 - 1.4
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 2.91 1.4 - 17.4 0.27 0.1 - 0.7
Walleye Trap net 0.67 0.8 - 2.9 1.73 N/A
Gill net 4.04 0.6 - 9.7 1.63 1.1 - 3.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.40 0.5 - 3.4 1.51 1.1 - 2.0
Gill net 3.04 1.7 - 5.0 2.13 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.13 0.3 - 2.3 0.15 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 0.13 0.3 - 2.8 0.25 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
burbot 0 0 0 5 19 7 0 0 31
golden shiner 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
lake trout 0 0 2 4 1 5 4 0 16
largemouth bass 0 5 15 4 0 0 0 0 24
northern pike 0 0 0 0 21 26 9 3 59
northern pike (silver phase) 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 5
rock bass 174 191 0 0 0 0 0 0 371
smallmouth bass 0 30 21 12 8 0 0 0 71
tullibee (cisco) 0 41 17 9 0 0 0 0 67
walleye 0 2 1 63 16 16 5 0 103
white sucker 0 8 0 11 47 10 0 0 76
yellow perch 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5


For the record, the largest Tiger Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 2 lbs., 9.12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mill Creek, Olmsted County
    When: 8/7/99
    Statistics: 20" length, 9 5/8" girth

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
SNOWBANK
Lake Co., 38052900
Burbot     All sizes   Mercury
Lake Trout   shorter than 18" 18" or longer   Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Smallmouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
SNOWBANK
Lake Co., 38052900
Burbot   All sizes     Mercury
Lake Trout   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker 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 07/19/2010)

Snowbank Lake is a 4,273-acre lake with a maximum depth of 150 feet located 18 miles east and 5 miles north of Ely in Lake County. The lake is located on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). There is a public access with a concrete boat ramp and a canoe landing at the end of the Snowbank Lake Road off the Fernberg Road on the south end of the lake. Snowbank Lake is a popular entry point for the BWCAW administered by United States Forest Service (USFS). Permits are required on the BWCAW portion of the lake. Please contact USFS for information on necessary permits. Outboard motors are restricted to 25 horsepower maximum on the BWCAW portion of the lake. Snowbank Lake is managed primarily for lake trout and walleye.

An aquatic vegetation survey was included in the 2010 sampling on Snowbank Lake. All aquatic plants identified had an abundance rating of rare. The shallow bays on the south end of the lake have the most abundant aquatic plants and are critically important to the over-all health of the lake. In 2010, the non-native rusty crayfish were first discovered for the first time in Snowbank Lake. Clearwater crayfish, another non-native crayfish, also exists in the lake. Their introduction into Snowbank Lake and surrounding lakes was probably accidental by anglers using them as bait. It is unlawful to harvest and transport crayfish.

Snowbank Lake has a combination of private and public shoreline. Most of the northeast half of the lake is in the BWCAW. Most of the southwest half of the lake is privately owned and subject to development. The number of lake homes on the lake has increased from 18 in 1983 to 34 in 2010. This increasing development on the south end of the lake and within the lakeshed can degrade water quality and impact valuable shoreline habitat. Lakeshore owners can minimize their impact on the shoreline and maintain a more natural setting while decreasing annual maintenance. For more information on how to accomplish this, contact the nearest area fisheries office or go to www.mndnr.gov website.

Snowbank Lake is a popular destination for anglers seeking walleye, lake trout, northern pike and smallmouth bass. In 2010, lake trout up to 28 inches were sampled by DNR personnel. These lake trout consisted of nine different year classes indicating good natural reproduction.

In 2010, walleye abundance was typical of past assessments. Walleye sampled ranged in length from 8.5 inches to 27.5 inches with an average of 15.8 inches. Ten different year classes were identified in the sample with the 2007 year class (age 3) comprising 72% of the sample. All of these year classes are the result of natural reproduction.

Northern pike abundance was typical for BWCAW lakes. Pike up to 31 inches were sampled in 2010; however, pike up 38 inches have been sampled in past assessments. Silver pike, a rare color phase are present in Snowbank Lake and some of the adjacent lakes. The connecting Disappointment Lake is connected to Snowbank and currently holds the state record for silver pike.

Smallmouth bass provide additional opportunities for anglers on Snowbank Lake. Smallmouth up to 18 inches long have been sampled in past assessments. Largemouth bass are also present in the lake especially in the shallow south bays.

There is a fish consumption advisory on fish from Snowbank Lake due to mercury. For information see www.mndnr.gov/Lakefinder.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
650 Hwy 169
Tower, MN 55790
Phone: (218) 753-2580
Internet: Tower Fisheries
E-Mail: Tower.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 B0191 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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