Lake information report

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Name: Shaokotan (Shoakotan)

Nearest Town: Ivanhoe
Primary County: Lincoln
Survey Date: 08/01/2011
Inventory Number: 41008900
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Concrete
DNR Concrete

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 996.28
Littoral Area (acres): 996.28
Maximum Depth (ft): 10
Water Clarity (ft): 3.3 (2-4)

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

Did you know? The annual budget for the Section of Fisheries is approximately $17 million, which is funded primarily by fishing license and stamp fees and by a federal excise tax on fishing and boating equipment.

Fish Sampled for the 2011 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 1.00 1.3 - 78.1 1.25 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 0.33 4.6 - 83.0 0.34 0.2 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 0.27 1.0 - 14.9 0.04 0.2 - 0.4
Green Sunfish Trap net 0.18 0.1 - 0.7 0.06 0.1 - 0.2
Northern Pike Trap net 1.00 N/A 5.39 N/A
Gill net 1.33 1.2 - 7.8 2.54 1.5 - 3.0
Orangespotted Sunfish Trap net 0.18 N/A 0.02 N/A
Walleye Trap net 5.82 0.3 - 1.7 2.82 0.9 - 2.4
Gill net 18.33 3.2 - 15.3 1.82 0.9 - 1.9
White Sucker Trap net 0.27 0.3 - 1.3 2.85 1.3 - 2.6
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.82 0.3 - 2.6 0.37 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 21.67 3.0 - 22.5 0.59 0.1 - 0.4
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2011 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 4 1 2 4 0 0 0 12
bluegill 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
green sunfish 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 7 4 3 15
orangespotted sunfish 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
walleye 0 0 1 26 56 34 2 0 119
white sucker 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 3
yellow perch 4 12 55 2 0 0 0 0 74

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 Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 996,928 8.0
2012 Walleye fry 302,931 2.9
  Walleye fry 696,412 6.3
2010 Walleye fry 998,219 9.1
2009 Walleye fry 995,648 9.4
2008 Northern Pike fingerlings 2,216 16.3
2007 Walleye fry 994,816 9.7
2006 Walleye fry 995,648 9.4
2004 Northern Pike fingerlings 6,654 56.1
  Walleye fry 737,693 6.7
  Walleye fry 248,455 2.3

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

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Lincoln Co., 41008900
Bullhead   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye   shorter than 18" 18" or longer   Mercury
Yellow Perch All sizes        

General Population

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Lincoln Co., 41008900
Bullhead All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch 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.

PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate

Status of the Fishery (as of 08/01/2011)

Shaokotan is a 995-acre lake located near the town of Ivanhoe in Lincoln County. The lake has maximum depth of 10.0 feet, has 8.6 miles of shoreline and is a class 41 lake. The watershed-to-lake ratio is 9 to 1. Shaokotan was part of a Clean Water Partnership effort involving Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local groups and units of government. An extensive data gathering effort began in 1991 to understand watershed nutrient loading and lake response dynamics. After completion of the monitoring efforts, a watershed restoration program was initiated in late 1991. All actions had been implemented by late 1995. These actions resulted in a 58% reduction in phosphorus loading to the lake.

Shaokotan is currently managed primarily for walleye and secondarily for yellow perch and northern pike. Shaokotan is presently stocked with walleye fry at 1,000 per littoral acre 2 of 3 years with the next non stocking year in 2014.

The 2010 catch rate of walleye was 18.0 fish per gill net which was greater than the expected range for this type of lake (15.3 walleye per gill net) and also greater than the long-term average catch rate of 15.6 walleye per gill net. The average length of walleye in the gill nets was 16.4 inches with a range of 13.8 to 24.2 inches. Additionally, 5 walleye greater than 24 inches were caught in the trap nets with a maximum length of 25.4 inches, which indicated larger walleye are present in the system. Analyzing the size structure of all walleye in the sample showed that the walleye population is dominated by larger fish, particularly fish greater than 20 inches. The overall condition of the walleye was good indicating the fish were foraging successfully. Six different ages of walleye were present, 1 of those age groups were fish that were naturally reproduced. Growth of walleye was adequate as the fish reached 13.5 inches by age 3. The walleye population appears to be in high abundance with good condition and adequate growth. Fishing for walleye in Shaokotan Lake should be good if not excellent in the years to come as your 1 fish over 20 inches should be easier to come by in Shaokotan.

The yellow perch catch rate in 2011 was 22.0 fish per gill net which is equal to the upper normal range for this type of lake. Historically it was also half the long-term average gill net catch of 46.8 fish per net. The average length of yellow perch was 9.9 inches with a range of 8.2 to 13.7 inches. The overall condition of the yellow perch was excellent indicating that they are foraging successfully. The yellow perch population appears to be at a normal to high normal abundance with good condition. Fishing for yellow perch in Shaokotan should be good for the next couple of years as the fish have a large average size and will continue to get larger.

The northern pike catch rate (1.3 fish per net) in 2011 was in the normal range for the first time since sampling began in 1996 and a little more than 2.5 times the long-term average gill net catch rate of 0.5 fish per gill net. The average length of northern pike was 21.7 and 27.3 inches for gill nets and trap nets respectively, with a range of 20.6 to 34.1 inches. The sample of northern pike suggested that the population had an above average size structure. The overall condition was good suggesting the northern pike population is foraging adequately. In the 2010 survey the northern pike reached quality size by age 3, this did not appear to change in 2011 as the northern pike population continues to have good growth. Overall, the northern pike condition and growth are good and the population appears to be maintaining itself at a low abundance with some natural reproduction.

Other fish caught in the nets were black bullhead, bluegill, green sunfish, white sucker, and orangespotted sunfish all at low abundance. In nearshore index of biotic integrity (IBI) sampling with seines and backpack electrofishing we caught johnny darter, black bullhead, bluntnose minnow, brook stickleback, fathead minnow, green sunfish, and yellow perch. The types of species and their respective abundances in nearshore IBI sampling will be used to determine the overall lake health of Shaokotan Lake. It will give us insight into the overall water quality and if improvements can be made to the surrounding watershed or within the lake to improve the water quality of the lake and the overall fish community.

Including all types of sampling the total number of species in the sample was 11 indicating a simple fish community exists in Shaokotan. Simple fish communities can be easily managed and manipulated to augment catch rates and in the same way they can be easily devastated with overfishing and habitat degradation. Shaokotan Lake is currently in great condition and the fish community is thriving. Future management of Shaokotan Lake should include habitat protection, habitat restoration, and promotion of best management practices within the watershed. Catch-and-release fishing can help to preserve the fish community for years to come, consider releasing some of your catch, you may be releasing the next state record fish!

Prepared by Nate Hodgins

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
175 Co Rd 26
Windom, MN 56101-1868
Phone: (507) 831-2900
Internet: Windom 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 B0204 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