Fisheries Lake Survey

printer friendly version

Name: Big Twin

Nearest Town: Trimont
Primary County: Martin
Survey Date: 06/18/2012
Inventory Number: 46013300
Buy your walleye stamp todayPurchase a walleye stamp. Your voluntary contribution will be used to support walleye stocking.

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 444.51
Littoral Area (acres): 443.5
Maximum Depth (ft): 18
Water Clarity (ft): 1.5 (1.4-1.5)

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

Did you know? Much of Minnesota's fisheries program is reimbursed by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (federal excise tax), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 2.11 11.5 - 132.6 0.50 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 12.00 30.3 - 150.6 0.43 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 61.22 1.2 - 20.5 0.30 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 14.33 1.4 - 13.8 0.26 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 0.56 1.2 - 20.0 0.20 0.1 - 0.4
Channel Catfish Trap net 10.56 N/A 1.93 N/A
Gill net 22.33 N/A 1.54 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 0.22 1.0 - 5.5 5.04 1.4 - 4.6
Gill net 5.67 1.0 - 13.8 3.51 0.8 - 3.7
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.22 0.2 - 1.1 0.07 0.1 - 0.1
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.22 N/A 0.27 N/A
Orangespotted Sunfish Trap net 0.44 N/A 0.03 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.22 0.5 - 3.0 0.83 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 16.00 2.3 - 18.1 1.81 1.0 - 2.3
White Crappie Trap net 3.89 0.3 - 6.0 0.24 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.33 0.5 - 8.4 0.45 0.2 - 0.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 2.6 2.09 1.0 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Trap net 2.56 0.3 - 3.8 0.13 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 9.00 2.7 - 25.0 0.13 0.1 - 0.3
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 0 2 53 0 0 0 0 0 55
black crappie 148 276 161 0 0 0 0 0 594
bluegill 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
channel catfish 0 0 5 2 143 7 1 0 162
common carp 5 0 0 0 1 13 0 0 19
golden shiner 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
hybrid sunfish 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
orangespotted sunfish 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
walleye 0 8 1 2 38 1 0 0 50
white crappie 16 7 13 0 0 0 0 0 36
white sucker 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
yellow perch 5 41 2 0 0 0 0 0 50

For the record, the largest Longnose Gar taken in Minnesota weighed 16 lbs., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: St. Croix River, Prescott
    When: 5/4/82
    Statistics: 53" length, 16.5" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 walleye fingerlings 10,304 448.0
2013 Largemouth Bass fingerlings 29 3.0
  Walleye fingerlings 1,200 50.0
  Walleye fingerlings 16,340 666.0
  Walleye adults 4,301 187.0
2012 Walleye fingerlings 2,703 546.0
  Walleye yearlings 172 86.0
  Walleye adults 8 4.0
2011 Walleye fingerlings 14,408 694.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,240 40.0
2010 Walleye yearlings 503 156.0
  Walleye fingerlings 2,429 163.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,110 185.0
  Walleye fingerlings 1,904 103.0
2009 Walleye yearlings 21 21.0
  Walleye1 fingerlings 749 35.0
  Walleye fingerlings 7,090 388.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 20,058 760.0
2007 Walleye yearlings 4,200 140.0
  Walleye fingerlings 30,618 1,082.0
  Walleye adults 501 167.0

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

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
Martin Co., 46013300
Carp   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
Martin Co., 46013300
Carp All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Walleye 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 06/18/2012)


Big Twin is a 457-acre lake located near the city of Trimont in Martin County. The lake has a maximum depth of 18.0 feet and belongs to lake class type 43. The land surrounding Big Twin Lake that provides runoff to the lake is quite small when compared to other lakes in the Windom Area. In fact the watershed-to-lake ratio for Big Twin is only 2.5 acres of upland area to 1 acre of surface water and indicates that the watershed is very small. In fact Big Twin, for most years, has little or no run-out due to the fact that the location of the lake is towards the top of the watershed (a headwater lake). Most of the water loss that occurs on Big Twin is a result of evaporation, which can be substantial depending on the time of year and conditions in each year. Big Twin is managed for walleye, black crappie, and channel catfish. Big Twin has been stocked with walleye fingerlings only for at least the last 10 years. Typically walleye fry do very well in the Windom Area Lakes, but Big Twin is an example of a lake that has done well with fingerling per yearling stockings. A population assessment was conducted in June of 2012 using 3 gill nets and 9 trap nets.


The walleye gill net catch rate was 16.0 fish per net which was near the upper normal range. Typically we don't see this high of a catch rate in a fingerling stocked lake. That catch rate was the 3rd highest catch rate we have ever had on Big Twin Lake and it nearly matched the 2nd highest catch rate of 19 fish per net back in 1988. The walleyes sampled averaged 16 inches but ranged from 8 to 20 inches. Five different year class of walleye were sampled with the 2007 and 2009 fingerling stockings dominating the catch. The overall message here is that Big Twin has a healthy population of walleye and fishing should be good if you can get them to bite.


Channel catfish numbers have never been higher in Big Twin Lake. In fact, catch rates have doubled since the previous survey in 2008. Channel catfish lengths ranged from 9 to 25 inches but averaged 17 inches. The last stocking occurred back in 2001 which tell us the fish are self-sustaining and natural reproduction is happening consistently. Five year classes of fish were sampled with the 2001, 2005, and 2007 year classes dominating the catch. Try to target those catfish during the peak of the heat at night during the summer. You will likely catch a few, and sizes should be good.


Another big change from the 2008 survey is the dramatic increase in black crappie numbers. Similar to channel catfish, black crappie numbers have also never been higher. In fact, the catch rate in 2012 was nearly 3 times the catch rate in 2008. Black crappie were last stocked in Big Twin Lake in 1992. Total lengths of black crappie sampled in trap nets ranged from 4 to 12 inches and averaged 7 inches. There is no doubt that if anglers want to catch some crappies they should target the trees lying in the water near shore. Down trees in the water create excellent habitat for most species of fish, particularly crappie.


Black bullhead abundance on Big Twin Lake used to be quite high. Every year there used to be large pods of newly hatched bullheads on the surface throughout Big Twin Lake. However, nowadays black bullhead numbers are getting quite low on Big Twin Lake. The catch rate of black bullheads in gill nets was 12 fish per net, which was below the expected range (30.3 to 150.6 fish per set). Additionally, it was the lowest catch rate ever recorded on Big Twin Lake. The long term average is 173 fish per set, but we have seen catch rates in previous surveys ranging from 37 to 335 fish per set.


Yellow perch abundance appears to be improving slightly. The catch rate of yellow perch in gill nets was 9 fish per set which was above the long term average of 5.1 fish per net. Total lengths of yellow perch ranged from 4.5 to 9 inches and averaged 6.5 inches. It is possible to catch yellow perch on Big Twin Lake but odds are higher that you will catch a black crappie of walleye before a yellow perch latches on to your bait.


Common carp were first sampled in Big Twin in 1996. The catch rate of common carp in gill nets was 5.7 fish per set and within the expected range (1.0 to 13.8 fish per set). The long term average CPUE is 5.0 fish per set. Currently, the common carp population in Big Twin Lake is within the expected abundance range and continues to be a negative presence in the lake. Not much can be done to remove common carp from a lake because if all but 1 male and 1 female are removed the population can quickly recover as they reproduce very well. Currently, the best plan to combat common carp in Big Twin Lake is to continue stocking game fish that will eat young common carp and hopefully suppress their population over time.


Other species sampled in 2012 were bluegill, golden shiner, hybrid sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, white crappie, and white sucker. Twelve total species were sampled in 2012 which is very good and indicates a healthy fish community with a good diversity of predator and prey species.

Prepared by Ryan Doorenbos

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 C2885 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

Tip Logo    Turn in Poachers (TIP):

    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093