Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Lime

Nearest Town: Avoca
Primary County: Murray
Survey Date: 06/17/2013
Inventory Number: 51002400

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Concrete County Park on South side of Lake.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 326.04
Littoral Area (acres): 326.04
Maximum Depth (ft): 7
Water Clarity (ft): .8 (.5-1)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 0

Did you know? Fishing piers are installed on lakes to provide opportunities for shore fishing.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Trap net 1.67 0.2 - 1.0 5.45 2.6 - 5.8
Black Bullhead Trap net 11.42 11.5 - 132.6 0.25 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 1.92 1.2 - 20.5 0.85 0.2 - 0.5
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.42 N/A 2.22 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 4.83 1.0 - 5.5 3.66 1.4 - 4.6
Northern Pike Trap net 0.92 N/A 2.29 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.25 0.5 - 3.0 1.73 0.8 - 2.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.25 0.3 - 2.6 1.59 1.0 - 2.0
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.08 0.5 - 2.5 0.60 0.3 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.25 0.3 - 3.8 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 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
bigmouth buffalo 0 0 0 0 8 9 3 0 20
black bullhead 2 123 8 0 0 0 0 0 137
black crappie 2 3 13 5 0 0 0 0 23
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 5
common carp 0 0 0 11 16 25 4 1 58
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 9 2 0 11
walleye 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3
white sucker 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3
yellow bullhead 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
yellow perch 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

For the record, the largest Smallmouth Buffalo taken in Minnesota weighed 20 lbs., 0 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Big Sandy Lake, Aitkin County
    When: 9/20/03
    Statistics: 32" length, 23-3/4" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 northern pike fingerlings 3,219 29.1
  northern pike adults 44 88.0
2011 Northern Pike fingerlings 3,160 13.7
2009 Northern Pike fingerlings 649 4.1
2008 Northern Pike fingerlings 1,580 9.0
2007 Northern Pike adults 67 167.5
  Northern Pike fingerlings 390 5.1
2006 Northern Pike fingerlings 3,160 22.3

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 06/17/2013)

INTRODUCTION Lime Lake is a shallow 316-acre lake adjacent to the City of Avoca in Murray County. Due to its shallowness (maximum depth of 5.0 ft.), Lime Lake has been highly vulnerable to winterkill which has resulted in it being opened to liberalized fishing 18 times since 1950. An aeration system is operated on Lime Lake to reduce the likelihood of winterkill, thereby stabilizing fish populations. Historically, Lime Lake has been managed as a pike/perch fishery because of the extensive network of wetlands that were connected upstream of the lake (Big Slough), which provided ideal spawning areas for northern pike, and because these species tend to have a higher tolerance of low oxygen conditions. Primary management species include northern pike and yellow perch. Northern pike fingerlings are stocked annually at a rate of 10 fish per acre, because Lime Lake is used as a brood source for northern pike rearing activities. The yellow perch population is self-sustaining, as yellow perch have not been stocked in the last decade. Black crappie adults were stocked in 2003 to supplement the existing population, but have not been stocked since. A population assessment was conducted during the week of June 17, 2013 to monitor fish populations using 12 trap nets.

NORTHERN PIKE Catch rates of northern pike in Lime Lake have varied from 0.6 per trap net in 1992 to 3.1 per trap net in 2007, averaging 1.6 per trap net over that time period. The 2013 northern pike catch rates decreased from the previous survey, going from 3.1 per trap net in 2007 to 0.9 per trap net in 2013. Northern pike ranged in length from 20.0 to 25.6 inches and averaged 22.8 inches. Northern pike were skinny indicating that foraging success may be negatively affected by the turbid water present in Lime Lake. Although trap net catches indicate that the northern pike population may be down in Lime Lake, it is unknown how effectively trap nets sample northern pike during mid-June, and may be underestimating the true abundance of pike in the lake. Evidence from MN DNR brood fish collection in the spring suggests that the northern pike population is more abundant than observed in this survey, as 150 to 200 northern pike are collected in 1 to 2 days annually. Annual stocking of northern pike fingerlings should continue to help supplement the existing population.

YELLOW PERCH The 2013 yellow perch catch rate of 0.25 per trap net was below the expected range of catch rates (0.3 to 3.8 per trap net) for similar lakes. Yellow perch catch rates have varied from 0.0 per trap net in 2001 to 4.2 per trap net in 1997, and averaged 1.9 per trap net since 1987. Yellow perch ranged from 5.8 to 6.1 inches and averaged 5.9 inches. Sixty-eight young-of-the-year (just hatched in the spring) perch were sampled in a near shore seining and backpack electrofishing survey on July 1, 2013, indicating that some natural reproduction occurred. Yellow perch populations tend to fluctuate, where years of high catch rates are followed by years of low catch rates; therefore, the low catch rate observed in 2013 was not alarming and should not adversely impact the yellow perch population.

BLACK CRAPPIE Black crappie catch rates have varied from 0.0 per trap net in 2001 to 23.9 per trap net in 2007, and have averaged 5.3 per trap net since 1987. In 2013, black crappies were captured at a rate of 1.9 per trap net which is within the expected catch range (1.2 to 20.5 per trap net) for lakes similar to Lime Lake, but was a drastic decrease in catch rate since 2007 (23.9 per trap net). Similar to yellow perch, black crappie populations tend to be highly variable where a strong year class is produced every 3-5 years, often resulting in a boom or bust fishery. Lime Lake black crappies were large in 2013, having an average length of 10.5 inches, with the largest crappie being 12.6 inches in length. Twenty-two percent of crappies sample were 12 inches or bigger. It appears that Lime Lake has a relatively stable population of black crappies that is self-sustaining and could provide an additional angling opportunity in the future.

BLACK BULLHEAD Black bullhead abundance has steadily declined in Lime Lake, ranging from a high catch rate of 544.3 per trap net in 1987 to a low of 11.4 per trap net in 2013, averaging 146.5 per trap net over that time frame. The 2013 catch rate of 11.4 per trap net was below the expected range (11.5 to 132.6 per trap net) of catch rates for lakes similar to Lime Lake, indicating that bullhead numbers may be low. Black bullheads were relatively small, ranging in length from 5.9 to 10.2 inches and averaging 7.6 inches. The extreme turbidity in Lime Lake coupled with the potentially low abundance of black bullheads may be some of the factors affecting the weights of northern pike, as black bullheads are an important prey resource for northern pike in southern Minnesota lakes.

COMMON CARP Catch rates of common carp prior to 2007 commonly exceeded the expected range of catch rates (1.0 to 5.5 per trap net) for similar lakes, as catch rates ranged from 7.3 per trap net in 1987 to 31.0 per trap net in 2001 and averaged 20.1 per trap net from 1987 to 2001. In 2007 and 2013, the catch rates fell to expected levels at 3.0 and 4.8 per trap net, respectively. Common carp size structure was large as lengths of common carp ranged from 13.3 to 30.0 inches and averaged 19.7 inches. The carp population in Lime Lake appears to be well established as multiple year classes were present.

OTHER SPECIES Three walleyes were captured in 2013 which is the first time that they have been documented in Lime Lake. The walleyes ranged from 15.6 to 16.8 inches and averaged 16.1 inches. Lime Lake is connected to the West Fork of the Des Moines River via Lime Creek, which is likely how walleyes moved into the lake.

Bigmouth buffalo were captured at a rate of 1.7 per trap net in 2013, which is high compared to similar lakes. Bigmouth buffalo ranged in length from 16.8 inches to 25.8 inches and averaged 21.2 inches.

Other species sampled included channel catfish (0.4 per trap net), white sucker (0.3 per trap net), and yellow bullhead (0.1 per trap net).

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 or improve water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.

Best management practices within the watershed (no-till farming, cover crops, buffer strips, targeted fertilizer application, reduced or metered tiling) would help reduce nutrients entering the lake. High nutrient and sediment input can cause algae blooms and reduce overall water quality. Any improvements in the watershed are likely to have positive impacts on the fishery.

Prepared by Jonah Dagel

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
No depth map available.

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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