Lake information report

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Name: Wilson

Nearest Town: Lake Wilson
Primary County: Murray
Survey Date: 06/11/2007
Inventory Number: 51008100
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
City Concrete

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 179
Littoral Area (acres): 170
Maximum Depth (ft): 8
Water Clarity (ft): 1

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 3 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 2.4 (0-4.2)

Did you know? Minnesota has 11,482 lakes 10 acres or larger, of which 5,483 are fishing lakes. Excluding Lake Superior, the state has 3.8 million acres of fishing water. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is 1.4 million acres.

Fish Sampled for the 2007 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 68.00 11.5 - 132.6 0.37 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 109.50 30.3 - 150.6 0.24 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 13.50 1.2 - 20.5 0.86 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 2.00 1.4 - 13.8 0.53 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 0.17 1.2 - 20.0 0.40 0.1 - 0.4
Brown Bullhead Gill net 2.50 0.5 - 5.6 0.43 0.3 - 0.7
Green Sunfish Trap net 4.17 0.2 - 1.9 0.16 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 9.50 0.4 - 6.5 0.17 N/A
Orangespotted Sunfish Gill net 0.50 N/A 0.03 N/A
Walleye Trap net 2.00 0.5 - 3.0 3.64 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 24.50 2.3 - 18.1 1.54 1.0 - 2.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.33 0.3 - 2.6 3.03 1.0 - 2.0
Gill net 0.50 0.8 - 6.5 0.90 0.9 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Trap net 1.00 0.3 - 3.8 0.73 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 58.50 2.7 - 25.0 0.34 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 2007 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 85 402 133 3 0 0 0 0 627
black crappie 0 26 53 3 0 0 0 0 85
bluegill 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
brown bullhead 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 5
green sunfish 34 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 44
orangespotted sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
walleye 0 0 0 41 7 12 1 0 61
white sucker 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3
yellow perch 11 65 46 0 0 0 0 0 123

For the record, the largest Rock Bass (tie) taken in Minnesota weighed 2 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Osakis, Todd County
    When: 5/10/98
    Statistics: 13.5" length, 12.5" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2011 Walleye fingerlings 1,050 75.0
  Walleye yearlings 2,459 111.8
2008 Walleye fingerlings 4,860 180.0
2005 Black Crappie adults 510 170.0
  Walleye fingerlings 4,152 173.0

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

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 06/11/2007)

Lake Wilson is a 170-acre lake located in the southwest corner of Murray County. The water level of Lake Wilson has fluctuated over the years, but has stabilized within the last 10 years. The lake is bisected by highway 30 with a culvert under the road, which allows free flow of water between the two basins. Although water moves between the basins, it is believed that the riprap prevents fish movement. Because of the water fluctuations over the years, no defined outlet, and a state highway bisecting the lake, most of the shoreline has riprap to prevent erosion. Most of the active fish management and all of the survey work occur in the north basin. The long-term data from fish sampling on Lake Wilson is not as robust compared to many other lakes in the Windom Area. The initial survey was conducted in 1989, which documented exceptional water clarity (Secchi disk > 7.0 feet) and good abundance of macrophytes. Since 1997, a helixor aeration system has been able to maintain higher winter dissolved oxygen and the lake has not been open to liberalized fishing since the change in aeration. Because there was local interest in managing the lake for walleye and in an effort to control black bullhead abundance, walleye was added as a species of secondary management. Lake Wilson is managed primarily for yellow perch and secondarily for black bullhead, black crappie, and walleye. A resurvey was conducted during the week of June 6, 2007 using two gill nets, six trap nets, and two seine hauls.

Lake Wilson has never had higher catch rates of yellow perch. The yellow perch catch rate (58.5/set) in gill nets was twice the expected range. Total lengths ranged from 5 to 12 inches with an average of 8.5 inches. Not only are the fish abundant, but also 68% of the fish were eight inches or greater. The condition indices allude to very plump fish with good growth rates. Most of the fish were 2, 3, and 5 years old. There is no question that this lake is a "sleeper" for a quality day of perch fishing.

Not only are the perch abundant, but also the walleye catch rate (24.5/set) in 2007 was the highest ever recorded and 8 times higher than any of the previous surveys. Lake Wilson has only been stocked with walleyes 3 times, with the initial stocking of fingerlings in 1999. Total lengths ranged from 13 to 26 inches with a mean of 15 inches. Good growth rates, good condition indices, and highest abundance ever sampled, suggest this would be a great lake for fishing. A majority of the fish sampled (74%) were 2 years old and likely from the fingerling stocking in 2005. An angler could make a day out of fishing Lake Wilson by fishing the yellow perch in the afternoon and staying through sunset for the walleye bite. There is a good chance the walleye that are caught could be "eaters".

The black crappie catch rate in trap nets was 13.5/set, which equal the highest catch rate ever documented. Total lengths range from 8.0 to 12 inches with a mean of 10 inches. Sixty-six percent of the fish were 10 inches or greater. As with the walleye and yellow perch population, good abundance, condition, and size structure could provide some good action and a real possibility of taking some fillets home for a meal.

The catch rate of black bullheads in trap nets was 68.0/set, compared to the 1995 and 2001 assessments, which documented over 300/trap. Although the population was dominated by smaller-sized fish (average length=7.7 inches), it is likely black bullheads would provide some fishing action for kids and adults alike.

Other species sampled were brown bullhead, fathead minnow, green sunfish, orangespotted sunfish, and white sucker. This is one of few lakes in the Windom Fish Management Area that has never documented the presence of common carp. The absence of common carp may be a contributing factor to the 80% frequency of occurrence of sago pondweed.

Efforts to improve the health of the lake should focus on best management practices within the watershed. Improvements and education in land stewardship will often have secondary benefits to the lake in the way of quality and quantity of habitat. Generally, improvements in the quality and quantity of lake habitat will mean direct improvements of the fishery.

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
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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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093