Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Sabre

Nearest Town: Cordova
Primary County: Le Sueur
Survey Date: 06/17/2014
Inventory Number: 40001400
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 258.12
Littoral Area (acres): 258.11
Maximum Depth (ft): 13
Water Clarity (ft): 5.6 (4-7.1)

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


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 2014 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Trap net 0.33 0.2 - 1.0 7.53 2.6 - 5.8
Black Bullhead Trap net 2.11 11.5 - 132.6 1.05 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 1.33 30.3 - 150.6 0.84 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 2.00 1.2 - 20.5 0.32 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 2.33 1.4 - 13.8 0.19 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 4.67 1.2 - 20.0 0.43 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 0.50 N/A 0.48 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 1.33 0.3 - 0.9 5.14 2.7 - 3.8
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.67 N/A 3.75 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 2.33 1.0 - 5.5 6.98 1.4 - 4.6
Freshwater Drum Trap net 5.11 0.2 - 3.3 2.78 0.3 - 1.0
Gill net 1.17 0.5 - 8.3 1.37 0.4 - 1.7
Northern Pike Trap net 0.33 N/A 1.51 N/A
Gill net 2.17 1.1 - 8.0 2.80 1.8 - 3.4
Walleye Trap net 0.22 0.5 - 3.0 2.22 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 3.50 2.3 - 18.1 0.34 1.0 - 2.3
White Bass Gill net 1.17 0.3 - 9.9 1.41 N/A
White Sucker Trap net 1.67 0.3 - 2.6 3.55 1.0 - 2.0
Gill net 0.83 0.8 - 6.5 3.11 0.9 - 2.0
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.44 0.5 - 2.5 1.27 0.3 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 3.8 0.07 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 10.50 2.7 - 25.0 0.16 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 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
bigmouth buffalo 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3
black bullhead 0 0 15 11 0 0 0 0 26
black crappie 13 12 6 0 0 0 0 0 31
bluegill 7 38 0 0 0 0 0 0 45
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 1 5 5 1 12
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 4 1 1 0 6
common carp 0 0 0 0 2 12 7 0 21
freshwater drum 2 1 0 5 42 2 1 0 53
northern pike 0 0 1 2 3 5 5 0 16
walleye 0 9 11 0 1 1 0 0 22
white bass 0 0 0 5 2 0 0 0 7
white sucker 0 0 0 0 16 4 0 0 20
yellow bullhead 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
yellow perch 46 7 9 0 0 0 0 0 62


For the record, the largest Black Crappie taken in Minnesota weighed 5 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Vermillion River, Dakota County
    When: 1940
    Statistics: 21" length

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 walleye fry 398,853 3.9
2013 Walleye fry 397,917 4.0
2012 Walleye fry 403,300 3.7
2010 Walleye fry 392,810 3.6
  Walleye fry 409,178 3.8
2009 Walleye fry 381,691 3.8
2008 Walleye fry 410,000 4.0
2006 Walleye fry 394,480 4.0

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

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 06/17/2014)

Introduction Sabre Lake is a 263 acre lake located in Le Sueur County west of the town of Kilkenny. A public access is located on the north side of the lake off Le Sueur County road 2. Sabre Lake has a maximum depth of 13.0 feet. Based on limnological variables and lake characteristics, Sabre Lake is placed in Lake Class 43. Other area lakes with this classification include Cody Lake (Rice County), Ida Lake (Blue Earth County), and Loon Lake (Waseca County). Sabre Lake is managed primarily for walleye and is stocked with walleye fry three out of every four years at a target rate of 1,500 fry per littoral acre. A contingency stocking plan calls for adult northern pike, yellow perch, black crappie, and bluegill to be stocked after winterkill events. Sabre Lake was surveyed the week of June 17, 2014 as part of a regular monitoring program conducted by Minnesota DNR. This survey was intended to assess the fish community by deploying gill nets and trap nets, as well as recording water quality parameters.

Walleye Walleye catch rates in Sabre Lake have remained relatively stable throughout the survey history, averaging 3.3 fish/gill net. The 2014 survey yielded 3.5 fish/gill net, which is an improvement from 2009 when walleye abundance was at a record low of 1.3 fish/net. However, walleye were small, ranging from 7.4 to 18.8 inches and averaging 9.4 inches. The population was comprised of young individuals , as twenty of the twenty-one walleye collected were determined to be age-1. This strong year class is the result of a stocking event in 2013, when nearly 400,000 walleye fry were stocked. Walleye fry were stocked in 2012, 2013, and 2014 at a target rate of 1,500 fry per littoral acre. Since walleye are stocked three out of every four years, fry stocking will not occur again until 2016.

Yellow Perch Yellow perch was the most abundant fish species in the 2014 survey at Sabre Lake. The gill net catch rate was 10.5 fish/net, which is above the long-term average (5.1 fish/net). Yellow perch lengths ranged from 4.9 to 10.8 inches and averaged 6.4 inches, indicating a relatively small size structure. The yellow perch population is sustained through natural recruitment and is an important prey source for predators in Sabre Lake.

Northern Pike Northern pike abundance has remained variable throughout the survey years, ranging from 1.0 fish/net in 1986, 1989, and 1994 to 6.7 fish/net in 2009. The 2014 catch rate was 2.2, which was right below the long-term lake average of 2.5 fish/net. With lengths ranging from 12.1 to 29.3 inches and averaging 22.3 inches, northern pike size structure is small. Compared to other similar lakes in southern Minnesota, northern pike in Sabre Lake had relatively slow growth rates. Since northern pike are only stocked following severe winterkill events, no stocking has taken place in recent history.

Black Crappie Historic black crappie catch rates in Sabre Lake have been variable, ranging from zero fish in 2009 to 9.2 fish/net in 1999. The 2014 catch rate was 2.3 fish/net, which is right below the long-term average of 2.7 fish/net. Black crappie lengths ranged from 3.9 to 10.1 inches and averaged 5.7 inches, indicating a small size structure in Sabre Lake.

Bluegill Bluegill abundance has been low throughout the survey history of Sabre Lake. The 2014 catch rate was 4.7 fish/net, which was just above the long-term lake average of 4.6 fish/net. The lengths of bluegill ranged from 3.0 to 8.8 inches and averaged 7.4 inches, indicating a good size structure of bluegill. Although bluegill size structure is favorable in Sabre Lake, overall abundance appears to be low compared to other lakes in the Cannon River chain.

Black Bullhead Black bullhead catch rates have steadily decreased since the peak in 1968 (186.0 fish/net). The 2014 catch rate was only 1.3 fish/net, which is well below the long-term average of 55.1 fish/net. Black bullhead from gill and trap nets ranged in length from 9.1 to 15.0 inches and averaged 11.6, indicating a good size structure.

Other Species Other fish species sampled from the 2014 survey included freshwater drum (N = 53), white sucker (N = 20), common carp (N = 21), bowfin (N = 12), channel catfish (N = 6), yellow bullhead (N = 4), and bigmouth buffalo (N = 3).

Anglers can play an important role in maintaining or improving a fish population by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for consumption, while encouraging the release of medium to large fish that may contribute to natural recruitment. This practice helps maintain balance in the fish community and provides anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future. Additionally, smaller fish often taste better and have fewer contaminants than larger, older fish from the same water body.

Shoreline property owners also play an important role in the overall health of an aquatic ecosystem, including the fish population. Natural shorelines, including vegetation, woody debris, and bottom substrates, provide valuable habitat for fish and wildlife, help maintain water quality, and reduce bank erosion. By leaving natural shorelines unaltered or restoring them to natural conditions, shoreline property owners are doing their part to maintain or improve a healthy ecosystem in the lake and protect the resource for future generations.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 86
50317 Fish Hatchery Rd
Waterville, MN 56096-0086
Phone: (507) 362-4223
Internet: Waterville Fisheries
E-Mail: Waterville.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 C1917 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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