Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Sullivan

Nearest Town: Harding
Primary County: Morrison
Survey Date: 07/08/2013
Inventory Number: 49001600
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
Township Concrete West side of lake
DNR Concrete East side of lake

Fishing Regulations:

Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1103.4
Littoral Area (acres): 567
Maximum Depth (ft): 57
Water Clarity (ft): 10.8 (9.5-12)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 42 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 10.0 (5-14)

Did you know? The state operates 17 hatcheries: 5 for trout and salmon and 12 for coolwater species.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Crappie Gill net 2.08 0.4 - 2.7 0.12 0.3 - 0.6
Bluegill Gill net 0.17 N/A 0.43 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Gill net 0.08 0.1 - 0.4 3.07 3.1 - 4.6
Largemouth Bass Gill net 0.08 0.3 - 1.4 1.45 0.5 - 1.2
Northern Pike Gill net 4.92 2.8 - 9.0 2.05 1.6 - 2.8
Rock Bass Gill net 0.67 0.6 - 3.9 0.60 0.3 - 0.5
Walleye Gill net 1.00 3.3 - 8.8 1.56 1.2 - 2.1
White Sucker Gill net 0.08 0.9 - 4.0 2.03 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Gill net 0.08 1.2 - 10.9 1.00 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Gill net 2.00 7.0 - 46.3 0.11 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 2013 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 crappie 21 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 25
bluegill 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
largemouth bass 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 0 1 30 23 3 2 59
rock bass 2 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 8
walleye 0 0 2 2 6 2 0 0 12
white sucker 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
yellow bullhead 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
yellow perch 17 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 24

For the record, the largest Yellow Bullhead taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lbs., 10.5 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Osakis Lake, Todd County
    When: 8/5/02
    Statistics: 17 7/8" length, 11 3/4" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Walleye fry 1,700,000 15.0
2013 Walleye fry 1,700,000 15.0
2011 Walleye fry 1,700,000 15.5
2009 Walleye fry 1,700,000 17.0
2008 Walleye fingerlings 17,993 947.0
2007 Walleye fry 1,700,000 17.0
2006 Walleye fingerlings 28,700 615.0

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

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 07/08/2013)

Sullivan Lake is a popular fishing destination for many people in both summer and winter. Near the Crow Wing County border in northeast Morrison County, the lake has a broad connection to Platte Lake via the Platte River. Much of the lakeshore, other than wetland areas, has been developed. Not only does the lake have two boat accesses, shoreline fishing has been provided for from a new bridge on County Road 51 over the channel to Platte Lake. The channel also allows boat traffic between the two lakes. Steep drop-offs, points, vegetation islands, weedlines, flats, and sunken bars provide a variety of fish habitat and angling opportunity. Some of the more common submergent plants include northern watermilfoil, variable- leaf pondweed, white stem pondweed, and coontail. Dense beds of hardstem bulrush are common in the north half of the lake. Fish species popular with anglers include Walleye, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, Bluegill, and Largemouth Bass. The Walleye population in Sullivan Lake, is sustained through regular stocking and natural reproduction. The gillnet catch continues to be below the management goal for the lake as well as the catch range for similar type lakes, however, spring assessments indicate a healthy adult population. The average size of the Walleye in the summer survey was about 16 inches or 1.6 pounds, but past spring assessments have shown that the lake can produce some trophy size fish over 27 inches. Northern Pike abundance did not appear to change significantly from the last survey and remained within the normal range when compared to similar type lakes. The average Northern Pike in the summer survey was about 21 inches or 2 pounds, but some trophies have been reported by fishermen. While only one Largemouth Bass was caught in the summer survey, previous spring electrofishing surveys have documented bass up to almost 18 inches, with the most common size between 11 and 13 inches in length. Yellow Perch abundance continues to be low, which could affect growth rates in the gamefish as perch can be an important prey species. Sullivan Lake supports a Tullibee population, but the species can be difficult to assess with summer surveys as the nets typically are not set deep enough to sample them. A panfish assessment was conducted in late-June of 2013 to evaluate the Bluegill and Black Crappie populations. The average size for the Bluegill was seven inches, with fish over nine inches measured. Anglers are encouraged not to keep too many larger fish as Bluegill take 7 to 9 years to reach 8 inches in Sullivan Lake. Average length for the crappie caught in the panfish assessment was about 7 inches in length although there were a few fish over 11 inches netted. While only a single Yellow Bullhead was sampled in the summer survey, all three species of bullhead were caught in the spring panfish assessment. Individuals up to 13 inches were caught of all the species. With a majority of the lakeshore's high ground already developed, the remaining low ground may come under consideration for future residential development. Efforts to develop these low areas should be discouraged as it could negatively impact the lake's natural characteristics and habitats. The extensive area of emergent vegetation near the inlet from Platte Lake has high value as fish and wildlife habitat. It also provides valuable erosion control and filters pollution. Good land use practices are encouraged in the watershed and by lakeshore owners to protect and maintain the water quality and fish habitat in the lake.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
16543 Haven Rd
Little Falls, MN 56345
Phone: (320) 616-2450
Internet: Little Falls 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 B0215 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