Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Rays (Charles)

Nearest Town: Elysian
Primary County: Le Sueur
Survey Date: 07/13/2009
Inventory Number: 40005600

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Earthen


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 165.74
Littoral Area (acres): 139
Maximum Depth (ft): 32
Water Clarity (ft): 2.8

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


Did you know? Spawning habitat improvements can enhance naturally reproducing populations of fish species such as walleye and northern pike.

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 Trap net 8.00 1.5 - 58.0 0.48 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 18.75 7.7 - 104.7 0.41 0.2 - 0.5
Black Crappie Trap net 15.89 2.1 - 24.1 0.19 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 47.50 1.7 - 17.5 0.14 0.1 - 0.3
Bluegill Trap net 83.33 3.5 - 57.1 0.16 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 6.25 N/A 0.15 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.56 0.3 - 1.3 1.91 2.5 - 4.2
Common Carp Trap net 0.11 0.4 - 2.4 2.96 1.8 - 5.1
Gill net 6.00 0.8 - 4.3 4.52 1.0 - 4.0
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.89 0.3 - 1.6 0.08 0.1 - 0.1
Hybrid Sunfish Gill net 0.25 N/A 0.31 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.33 0.2 - 0.8 0.85 0.3 - 1.5
Gill net 0.50 0.3 - 0.6 0.48 0.5 - 1.5
Northern Pike Trap net 0.22 N/A 7.19 N/A
Gill net 1.75 2.0 - 10.8 3.32 1.7 - 3.1
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.22 0.7 - 6.5 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Walleye Gill net 0.50 0.8 - 3.8 2.65 1.4 - 3.0
White Bass Gill net 0.25 N/A 1.71 N/A
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 4.00 1.0 - 7.1 0.81 0.4 - 0.8
Gill net 0.50 0.5 - 5.0 0.92 0.4 - 0.8
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.11 0.4 - 2.8 0.05 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 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 74 73 0 0 0 0 0 147
black crappie 38 290 0 0 0 0 0 0 333
bluegill 300 470 0 0 0 0 0 0 775
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 5
common carp 0 0 0 0 12 12 0 1 25
golden shiner 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
hybrid sunfish 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
largemouth bass 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 5
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 2 9
pumpkinseed 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
walleye 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2
white bass 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
yellow bullhead 0 0 28 10 0 0 0 0 38
yellow perch 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1


For the record, the largest Sauger taken in Minnesota weighed 6 lbs., 2.75 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River near Red Wing (L&D No.3), Goodhue County
    When: 5/23/88
    Statistics: 23 7/8" length, 15" girth

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 07/13/2009)

Rays (Charles) Lake in LeSueur County is a 156 acre lake located on the north side of the city of Elysian. A public access is located on the south side of the lake, off Le Sueur County Road 11. Eurasian watermilfoil was found in the lake in 2008. Boaters should be sure to remove all aquatic vegetation from boats, trailers, and equipment and drain all water from livewells, transoms, and bilges when leaving German lake to prevent the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil to other lakes.

Rays Lake was surveyed the week of July 13th, 2009 to monitor the fish community. A strong bass-panfish community is in place. Bluegills were overly abundant in trapnets at 83 fish per net. Size was poor with less than one percent of fish exceeding seven inches.

Black crappies, like bluegill, were overly abundant at 48 fish per gill net. Size was poor; three percent of all black crappie caught in the assessment exceeded 8 inches.

Largemouth bass are not well sampled by passive gears (trap and gill nets). Bass are better sampled with electrofishing and will be sampled with this method during the next scheduled full lake resurvey. Rays Lake has been a popular largemouth bass angling destination.

Northern pike abundance has noticeable dropped from the 2003 assessment of 9.6 fish per gill net to the 2009 value of 1.8. Pike size ranged from 23 to 29 inches. Walleye maintain a trace level of abundance in Rays lake; 2 walleye were caught in 2009.

Black bullhead abundance has dropped from 2003 levels of 101 fish per gill net to 19 fish per gill net. Average size is similar to 2003 at around a half a pound per fish. Other fish observed in the survey include common carp, hybrid sunfish, white bass, yellow bullhead, bowfin (dogfish), golden shiner, pumpkinseed sunfish, and yellow perch.

A point-intercept or grid sampling survey of aquatic plants was conducted in July 2009 according to the methodology of Perleberg 2006. This survey was conducted to quantify aquatic plant distribution as Eurasian Watermilfoil was recently discovered in the lake. Figure 1 shows 420 potential sampling point locations, 40 meter grid spacing, in relation to water depth contours. Figure 2 shows 96 points taht fell in the vegetated zone found to be in 5 feet of water or less and the number of rooted plant species found at these locations. Ray's aquatic community is only moderately diverse with 17 species or groups identified (Table 1). The distribution of rooted plants found at over 10% of vegetated zone sites are shown in Figures 3-11.

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 Rays 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.

Reference: Perleberg, D. 2006. Aquatic vegetation of German Lake, Le Sueur County, Minnesota (DOW 40-0063-00). June 22, 2004. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Ecological Services Division, 1601 Minnesota Dr., Brainerd, MN 56401. 17 pp.


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 D0149 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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