Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Steele

Nearest Town: Greenland
Primary County: Le Sueur
Survey Date: 06/23/2014
Inventory Number: 40004400

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Gravel

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 75.91
Littoral Area (acres): 53.6
Maximum Depth (ft): 27
Water Clarity (ft): 5.8

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

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 Bullhead Trap net 8.75 1.3 - 26.0 0.14 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.50 5.2 - 56.2 0.15 0.2 - 0.5
Common Carp Trap net 6.25 0.3 - 2.6 0.24 2.0 - 4.5
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.75 0.2 - 1.4 0.05 0.1 - 0.1
Mirror Carp Trap net 0.62 N/A 0.12 N/A
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 bullhead 46 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 71
common carp 30 16 2 1 1 0 0 0 50
golden shiner 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
mirror carp 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

For the record, the largest White Bass taken in Minnesota weighed 4 lbs., 2.4 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River Pool 5, Wabasha County
    When: 5/4/2004

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Black Crappie adults 38 15.0
  Bluegill adults 230 46.0
  Largemouth Bass adults 20 20.0
  Northern Pike adults 72 72.0
2014 black crappie adults 51 23.0
  bluegill adults 175 43.5
  northern pike adults 432 240.0

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 06/23/2014)

Introduction Steele Lake is a 75 acre lake located in Le Sueur County north of the town of Elysian. A county operated public access is located on the south side of the lake at the end of Steele Lake Lane. Steele Lake is a small, mostly undeveloped lake with a maximum depth of 27 feet. Based on limnological variables and lake characteristics, Steele Lake is placed in Lake Class 30. Other area lakes with this classification include George Lake (Blue Earth County), Sunfish Lake (Le Sueur County), and Roemhildts Lake (Le Sueur County). Steele Lake is managed primarily for bluegill and northern pike and secondarily for largemouth bass and black crappie. After a winterkill event in the winter of 2014, adult fish stocking took place to initialize the fish community. Fish species that were stocked in 2014 included northern pike (432 adult fish), bluegill (175 adult fish), and black crappie (50 adult fish). A post-winterkill assessment is scheduled for spring of 2015 to determine how the fish community responded from stocking and if more fish potentially need to be stocked. Steele Lake was surveyed the week of June 23, 2014 as part of a regular monitoring program conducted by Minnesota DNR. This survey was intended to assess the fish community after a winterkill event by deploying two gill nets and eight trap nets, as well as recording water quality parameters.

Fish Community Typical of post-winterkill lakes, black bullhead and common carp dominated the survey. Black bullhead were sampled at a rate of 8.8 fish/net, which is low abundance for Lake Class 30. Lengths ranged from 4.4 to 6.7 inches and averaged only 5.9 inches, indicating that larger individuals were likely victims of winterkill. Common carp have historically been in low abundance in Steele Lake. The 2014 catch rate of 6.3 fish/net was the highest abundance in recent history. Nearly all common carp were small individuals, with 90% measuring less than 8.0 inches. The only other fish species observed in this survey in low abundance was golden shiners (N = 6). Steele Lake showed typical signs of a severe winterkill. As stated above, northern pike, black crappie, and bluegill were stocked following this survey to initiate the fish community. A post winterkill assessment will be conducted during spring of 2015 to determine if additional stocking is necessary.

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

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 C2035 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