Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Fish

Nearest Town: Waterville
Primary County: Le Sueur
Survey Date: 06/01/2009
Inventory Number: 40005100

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Gravel


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 72.02
Littoral Area (acres): 33
Maximum Depth (ft): 55
Water Clarity (ft): 15

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


Did you know? Minnesota has 11,482 lakes 10 acres or larger, of which 5,483 are fishing lakes. Excluding Lake Superior, the state has 3.8 million acres of fishing water. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is 1.4 million acres.

Fish Sampled for the 2009 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Gill net 2.00 0.5 - 11.0 1.17 0.2 - 0.6
Black Crappie Trap net 0.25 0.5 - 3.3 0.38 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 5.00 0.5 - 2.9 0.33 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 43.50 5.7 - 40.5 0.26 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 3.00 N/A 0.30 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.88 0.4 - 1.3 1.84 3.0 - 4.5
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.12 0.2 - 1.5 0.07 0.1 - 0.2
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.12 N/A 0.24 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.12 0.3 - 1.6 0.04 0.2 - 0.9
Gill net 1.00 0.3 - 1.5 0.56 0.5 - 1.3
Northern Pike Trap net 0.25 N/A 0.33 N/A
Gill net 7.00 2.8 - 8.7 3.03 1.5 - 2.9
Pumpkinseed Trap net 4.75 1.3 - 6.3 0.16 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.50 N/A 0.14 N/A
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.75 1.0 - 8.4 0.93 0.5 - 0.7
Gill net 16.50 0.5 - 11.0 0.59 0.4 - 0.7
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2009 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 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
black crappie 0 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 12
bluegill 56 288 0 0 0 0 0 0 354
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 7
golden shiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
largemouth bass 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 3
northern pike 0 0 2 0 8 1 3 2 16
pumpkinseed 29 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 39
yellow bullhead 0 2 33 4 0 0 0 0 39


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 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 06/01/2009)

Fish Lake in Le Sueur County is a 78 acre lake north of the city of Elysian. A DNR-owned public access is located on the southeast end of the lake off Le Sueur county road 14. Fish Lake's small and wooded watershed, natural environment designation with little shoreline development, clear water and abundant plant growth make this lake a gem in south central Minnesota.

Fish Lake was surveyed the week of June 1, 2009 to monitor the fish community. Bluegills were the most abundant fish in the survey, averaging 44 fish per trap net lift, a value that exceeds the upper quartile for class 28 lakes. Size structure was also favorable; average bluegill weight was 0.25 pounds per fish, also in excess of the upper quartile for this lake class. Bluegill length ranged from 3.0 to 8.6 inches with an average length of 6.8 inches, an intermediate size between quality and preferred length category stock values. Bluegills do well in Fish Lake's clear water and healthy aquatic vegetation community. Secchi disk readings, a measure of water clarity, were reported at 15 feet. Aquatic vegetation grows to this depth as well.

Twelve black crappie were caught in gill and trap nets. Average crappie size between all gears was just under 9 inches. Anglers report good crappie fishing in the fall, with fish suspended over the 55 foot deep hole in the center of the lake. Because of the exceptional water clarity and steep breaklines around shore, crappies may not be well sampled in Fish Lake.

Northern pike averaged 7 fish per gill net lift. Pike size was favorable; the average fish weight was 3 pounds. Pike ranged from 16 to 37 inches.

Yellow bullheads were the most abundant fish in the gill nets at 17 fish per lift. Yellow bullhead are indicators of good water quality, unlike black bullheads that generally live in disturbed and turbid waters. Yellow bullhead ranged from 8 to 12 inches in length.

Largemouth bass are doing well in Fish Lake's clear water, abundant macrophyte, bass-panfish community. Fish Lake was sampled with an electrofishing boat one week prior to the netting survey. Largemouth bass abundance totaled 105 fish per hour of on time. Average size ran small, with average weight around 0.4 pounds and average length 8.3 inches. Less than five percent of the fish sampled exceeded fifteen inches in length. Other fish sampled in the survey include pumpkinseed, black bullhead, bowfin (dogfish), golden shiner, and hybrid sunfish.

Anglers can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium- to large-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Fish Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future.

Shoreline areas on the land and into the shallow water provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota's lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants, and natural lake bottom soils.

Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion, and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.


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 C1222 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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