Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Frances (Francis)

Nearest Town: Greenland
Primary County: Le Sueur
Survey Date: 07/16/2012
Inventory Number: 40005700
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
City Other
County Concrete West end of lake
DNR Concrete East end of lake off CR 11.


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 927.01
Littoral Area (acres): 502
Maximum Depth (ft): 60
Water Clarity (ft): 5.5 (5-6)

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


Did you know? Ongoing habitat improvement and maintenance work is conducted on trout streams that have publicly owned land or easements.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 0.25 0.7 - 25.7 0.51 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 1.44 2.5 - 45.0 0.76 0.3 - 0.7
Black Crappie Trap net 0.50 1.8 - 21.2 0.27 0.2 - 0.3
Gill net 1.78 2.5 - 16.5 0.37 0.1 - 0.3
Bluegill Trap net 19.00 7.5 - 62.5 0.11 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 5.33 N/A 0.29 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.33 0.4 - 1.3 1.80 2.3 - 4.1
Gill net 0.11 0.2 - 0.8 4.57 2.4 - 4.2
Common Carp Gill net 0.11 0.3 - 3.0 7.54 1.9 - 5.2
Freshwater Drum Trap net 0.42 0.5 - 4.2 3.97 0.4 - 1.2
Gill net 1.67 4.0 - 32.3 2.81 0.3 - 1.1
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.75 N/A 0.21 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.17 0.2 - 0.7 0.32 0.2 - 0.9
Gill net 2.44 0.3 - 0.8 0.95 0.4 - 1.0
Northern Pike Trap net 1.42 N/A 0.98 N/A
Gill net 5.44 1.5 - 7.3 1.93 2.0 - 3.5
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.83 0.7 - 4.2 0.09 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 1.11 N/A 0.18 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.42 0.3 - 1.2 2.14 0.8 - 2.8
Gill net 3.89 1.2 - 6.3 2.05 1.2 - 2.7
White Sucker Trap net 0.17 0.2 - 1.0 4.05 1.6 - 2.8
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 2.67 0.9 - 5.7 1.01 0.5 - 0.8
Gill net 17.33 0.5 - 7.5 0.94 0.5 - 0.8
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2012 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 1 2 8 5 0 0 0 0 16
black crappie 2 12 7 0 0 0 0 0 22
bluegill 174 94 0 0 0 0 0 0 276
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 5
common carp 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
freshwater drum 0 0 0 1 16 3 0 0 20
hybrid sunfish 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
largemouth bass 0 2 11 6 1 0 0 0 24
northern pike 0 0 0 7 41 4 2 2 66
pumpkinseed 16 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 20
walleye 0 1 1 0 23 11 1 0 40
white sucker 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
yellow bullhead 1 7 81 99 0 0 0 0 188


For the record, the largest Hybrid Sunfish taken in Minnesota weighed 1 lb., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Middle Branch of the Zumbro River, Olmsted County
    When: 7/9/94
    Statistics: 11.5" length, 12" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye adults 238 98.0
  Walleye adults 3,940 127.0
  Walleye fingerlings 431 33.0
  Walleye fry 502,632 5.0
  Walleye fingerlings 3,774 178.0
  Walleye yearlings 225 75.0
2011 Walleye yearlings 889 127.0
  Walleye fry 508,252 4.9
  Walleye fingerlings 8,243 341.5
  Walleye adults 35 70.0
2009 Walleye fingerlings 11,500 575.0
  Walleye fry 502,225 5.0
2007 Walleye fry 500,000 5.0
  Walleye fingerlings 4,507 340.0
2006 Walleye fry 922,531 8.8
  Walleye fingerlings 5,720 260.0
  Walleye adults 272 159.0
  Walleye yearlings 320 285.0
2005 Walleye fingerlings 1,824 81.0
  Walleye adults 54 99.0
  Walleye yearlings 560 140.0

Privately Stocked Fish
* indicates privately stocked fish. Private stocking includes fish purchased by the DNR for stocking and fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.

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

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
FRANCES
Le Sueur Co., 40005700
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Bullhead   All sizes     Mercury
Carp   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Freshwater Drum All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Bass   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
FRANCES
Le Sueur Co., 40005700
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Bullhead All sizes        
Carp All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Freshwater Drum All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Bass 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 07/16/2012)

Francis Lake is an 870.0 acre lake located in LeSueur County near the Town of Elysian. Francis Lake is a mesotrophic lake that has good water quality and a diverse plant community. Residential development has disturbed and altered the majority of Francis Lake's shoreline. In areas with residential development, lawns are typically maintained to the water's edge and shorelines are altered with rock riprap or sand blankets, thereby disrupting the natural riparian buffer. Despite substantial residential development, Francis Lake has very good water quality and a diverse, abundant aquatic vegetation community. Emergent and floating leaf vegetation are relatively common, providing valuable fish habitat. A DNR owned ramp is located at the east end of the lake, and a county access is located at the west end of the lake. The sport fish community consists of black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye. Walleyes have been stocked extensively in Francis Lake to maintain the walleye population. Walleye fry, fingerlings, yearlings or adults have been stocked in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011. The current management plan calls for walleye fry to be stocked at a rate of 500,000 fry every other year and 500 pounds of fingerlings if the fry stocking is unsuccessful. Other sport fish populations maintain their populations through natural reproduction. A resurvey was conducted on 7-16-2012 to monitor the sport fish populations in Francis Lake using 9 gill nets and 12 trap nets. Nighttime boat electrofishing was conducted on Frances Lake on June 6, 2011 to monitor the largemouth bass population. Additionally, a near shore survey (Index of Biotic Integrity; IBI) was conducted in June and July to assess populations of non-game species and young-of-the-year (YOY) sport fish using backpack electrofishing and seining.

Water quality at Lake Francis was good, having a secchi depth reading of 6.0 ft. The water was moderately green, likely the result of a minor algae bloom. A dissolved oxygen profile was taken on 7-19-2012. Dissolved oxygen ranged from 9.0 ppm at the surface to 0.1 ppm at 20.0 feet of depth. Thermal stratification of the water column occurred between 16.0 and 17.0 ft of depth, as evidenced by a drop in temperature from 81.1 to 78.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Primary management species at Francis Lake include largemouth bass and bluegill. The largemouth bass catch rate nearly doubled from the 2006 assessment, increasing from 48.0/hour in 2006 to 91.5/hour in 2011. Size structure of the largemouth bass population has decreased from 2006. In 2006, largemouth bass ranged from 4.0 to 17.7 inches in length and averaged 10.9 inches, and in 2011 largemouth bass ranged from 3.7 to 14.1 inches in length and averaged 9.1 inches. Approximately 14% of largemouth bass sampled were greater than 12.0 inches long.

Past catches of bluegill have consistently been between 15.0/trap net and 30.0/trap net. The 2012 catch rate (19.0/trap net) decreased from the 2006 catch rate (28.3/trap net), and is about average when compared to other similar lakes. Age estimates indicated that 10 year classes of bluegills were sampled (2002-2011), indicating that bluegills are long lived in Francis Lake. The size structure of bluegills in 2012 was small (minimum=2.8 inches, maximum=8.3 inches, average=4.9 inches) and decreased from the 2006 sample (minimum=2.6 inches, maximum=8.2 inches, average=6.4 inches. Based on the data, growth of bluegill in Francis Lake is relatively slow, with lengths averaging 3.4 inches, 4.4 inches, 5.3 inches, 6.2 inches, 6.8 inches, 7.6 inches, 7.4 inches, 8.3 inches, 8.0 inches, and 7.8 inches at ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, respectively.

Secondary management species at Francis Lake include walleye and northern pike. Walleye have historically occurred in low abundance at Francis Lake, as catch rates have ranged from 2.7/gill net in 1996 to 6.8/gill net in 1986. The 2012 catch rate fell within this range at 3.9/gill net, and is slightly higher than what would be expected in similar lakes. Estimated ages indicated a long lived walleye population, as fish up to age-13 were observed. Nine year classes of walleye were sampled including walleye from 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, with 56% being from the 2009 year class (age-3). Walleyes ranged in length from 15.0 to 22.1 inches and averaged 17.9 inches. Walleye grew fast early in life, averaging 16.3 inches at age-3, but grew slow thereafter, with the average length of walleye being less than 22.1 inches up to age-13. The largest walleye captured was 26.6 inches and was captured in a trap net.

Past catch rates of northern pike have ranged between 0.9/gill net in 1991 and 7.6/gill net in 2001. In 2012, northern pike were captured at a rate of 5.4/gill net, which is moderately high when compared to similar lakes, and was consistent with the 2006 catch rate of 5.0/gill net. Seven year classes of northern pike were sampled including pike from 2001, 2002, and 2005-2009, with 75% of the pike being age-3 and age-4. The majority of the northern pike were small, ranging in length from 12.9 to 38.6 inches and averaging 18.9 inches. Ninety-three percent of the northern pike captured were less than 21.0 inches long and nearly 50% were less than 17 inches long.

Catch rates of black crappie have historically been low in Francis Lake, not surpassing 11.9/gill net or 3.0/trap net. In 2012, black crappies were caught at rates of 1.8/gill net and 0.5/trap net, which is low when compared to similar lakes. Gill netted black crappies were small, ranging from 6.2 to 10.2 inches and averaging 8.4 inches. Five year classes of black crappies were sampled (2006, and 2008-2011), and had growth consistent with other area lakes.

The 2012 yellow bullhead catch rate (17.3/gill net) decreased from the 2006 catch rate (24.3/gill net), which is high when compared to similar lakes. Yellow bullheads were large, as they averaged 11.7 inches, and had a maximum length of almost 15 inches.

Black bullhead, bowfin, common carp, freshwater drum, pumpkinseed, hybrid sunfish, and white sucker were present, but occurred in low numbers.

Backpack electrofishing and seining (10 ft or 50 ft) was conducted at 12-100 ft stations around the perimeter of Francis Lake. Nearshore IBI sampling captured several species of fish including 13 johnny darter, 717 bluegill, 216 bluntnose minnow, 19 green sunfish, 16 hybrid sunfish, 279 largemouth bass, 10 yellow bullhead, 81 yellow perch, 9 Iowa darter, 38 banded killifish, 3 black crappie, 1 blackchin shiner, 2 northern pike, 2 pugnose shiner and 59 pumkinseed. Nearshore catches will be used to develop an IBI score which will help us determine the health of Francis Lake.

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 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 B0384 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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