Lake information report

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Name: West Graham

Nearest Town: Kinbrae
Primary County: Nobles
Survey Date: 06/14/2010
Inventory Number: 53002100
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete STATE-OWNED ACCESS ON N SIDE OF LAKE.
County Concrete COUNTY OWNED ACCESS ON NORTHEAST SIDE OF LAKE


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 519.28
Littoral Area (acres): 515
Maximum Depth (ft): 8
Water Clarity (ft): 2.8 (1.1-4.5)

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


Did you know? There are 15,000 miles of fishable streams in Minnesota, including 2,600 miles of trout streams.

Fish Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 10.67 11.5 - 132.6 0.63 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 32.00 30.3 - 150.6 0.48 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 0.22 1.2 - 20.5 0.87 0.2 - 0.5
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.11 N/A 2.48 N/A
Gill net 9.33 N/A 2.20 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 0.56 1.0 - 5.5 4.37 1.4 - 4.6
Gill net 1.00 1.0 - 13.8 3.15 0.8 - 3.7
Green Sunfish Trap net 0.11 0.2 - 1.9 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.67 0.4 - 6.5 0.23 N/A
Northern Pike Gill net 0.67 1.1 - 8.0 1.86 1.8 - 3.4
Walleye Trap net 0.67 0.5 - 3.0 2.11 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 4.00 2.3 - 18.1 1.89 1.0 - 2.3
White Sucker Gill net 5.33 0.8 - 6.5 2.01 0.9 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 3.8 0.06 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 5.00 2.7 - 25.0 0.60 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 2010 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 5 44 143 0 0 0 0 0 192
black crappie 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
channel catfish 0 0 0 1 21 7 0 0 29
common carp 1 0 0 0 2 4 1 0 8
green sunfish 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
northern pike 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
walleye 0 0 0 4 11 3 0 0 18
white sucker 0 0 1 6 9 0 0 0 16
yellow perch 1 2 10 2 0 0 0 0 16


For the record, the largest Splake taken in Minnesota weighed 13 lbs., 5.44 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Larson Lake, Itasca County
    When: 2/11/01
    Statistics: 33.5" length, 19" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye fry 182,157 1.7
  Walleye fry 333,744 3.0
2011 Walleye fry 514,771 4.9
2010 Walleye fry 515,654 5.0
2008 Walleye fry 515,894 4.2
2007 Walleye fry 514,817 5.2
2005 Walleye fingerlings 14,508 515.0
2004 Channel Catfish fingerlings 12,978 49.5
  Walleye fry 395,635 3.6
  Walleye fry 138,519 1.3

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

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
WEST GRAHAM
Nobles Co., 53002100
Carp All sizes        
Walleye All sizes        
Yellow Perch All sizes        

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
WEST GRAHAM
Nobles Co., 53002100
Carp All sizes        
Walleye All sizes        
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.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 06/14/2010)

West Graham is a 515-acre lake located approximately 8 miles southeast of the city of Fulda in Murray County. The lake has a maximum depth of 8.0 feet, has a watershed to lake ratio of 21 to 1, and is a class 43 lake. The lake is connected to several lakes including Fulda and East Graham and fish immigration can take place between the lakes. A partial winterkill may have occurred during the winter of 2000-2001 when oxygen levels dropped to 0.7 parts per million (ppm). A spring winterkill assessment in the spring of 2001 indicated that the winterkill was not severe although many dead carp, bigmouth buffalo, walleye, black crappie, and channel catfish were observed along the shoreline after the ice went out in April of 2001. It is also possible that by the time we conducted the winterkill assessment in May of 2001, fish had re-populated the lake. West Graham is managed primarily for walleye while black crappie and channel catfish are managed as secondary species. Walleye fry are stocked 2 of 3 three years at 1,000 fish per littoral acre. Channel catfish fingerlings were last stocked in 2004 in response to the partial winterkill in 2000-01.

The walleye catch rate of 4.0 fish/gill net in 2010 was within the expected range of 2.3 to 18.1 fish/gill net for lakes that are similar to West Graham but below the long term average of 10.9 fish/gill net and well below our long range goal of 15 fish/gill net. It was the second lowest catch rate ever recorded on West Graham. The catch rate was 11.7 fish/gill net in 2006 and 3.0 fish/gill net in 2002. Lengths of walleye captured in gill nets ranged from 12.6 to 21.5 inches with an average length of 17.2 inches. Five different year classes of walleye were captured during the assessment. Growth rates for walleye was good as an Age 3 fish averaged 15.8 inches in total length. A strong year class from 2006 was more than likely from natural reproduction since Fulda, West Graham, or East Graham were not stocked with walleye in 2006. Heavy rains during the fall of 2010 resulted in a large movement of largemouth bass and walleye from Fulda Lake. Based on electrofishing below the Fulda dam and reports from anglers on West Graham, it is likely many of these fish made it into West Graham.

Crappie fishing on West Graham might be slow when compared to other years. The 2010 catch rate for black crappie was the lowest ever documented. The black crappie catch rate of 0.2 fish/trap net in 2010 was below the expected range of 1.2 to 20.5 fish/trap net for lakes similar to West Graham and well below the long term average of 12.3 fish/trap net. The trap net catch rate was 31.7 fish/trap net in 2006 and 8.8 fish/trap net in 2002. Only two black crappie, 10.7 and 12.3 inches in length, were sampled during the fish survey. The majority of black crappie sampled in 2006 were age three or older and many have likely died by the time we conducted the survey in 2010. The lack of small black crappie in the 2010 assessment appears to indicate poor natural reproduction between 2006 and 2010. Another explanation; however, could be that fish did reproduce and moved downstream to East Graham and have not returned to West Graham by the time of the survey.

The channel catfish catch rate was 9.3 fish/gill net in 2010 compared to 8.0 fish/gill net in 2006 and 1.7 fish/gill net in 2002. All channel catfish aged in 2006 were the result of the yearling stocking in 2001. Lengths of channel catfish captured in our gill nets in 2010 ranged from 13.9 to 22.8 inches with an average length of 18.8 inches. This lake might be worth targeting if you are interested in catching channel catfish.

The yellow perch catch rate of 5.0 fish/gill net in 2010 was within the expected range of 2.7 to 25.0 fish/gill net for lakes similar to West Graham and above the long term average of 4.0 fish/gill net. The gill net catch rate was 3.7 fish/gill net in 2006 and 5.3 fish/gill net in 2002. Lengths of yellow perch captured in gill nets in 2010 ranged from 6.1 to 12.1 inches with an average length of 9.9 inches.

The black bullhead catch rate of 32.0 fish/gill net was substantially lower than the 2006 catch rate of 228.4 fish/gill net. The 2010 gill net catch rate was also below the 2002 catch rate of 40.7 fish/gill net and below the long term average of 64.7 fish/gill net. Lengths of black bullhead captured in gill nets in 2010 ranged from 5.3 to 11.3 inches with an average length of 8.9 inches.

The common carp catch rate of 0.6 was below the expected range of 1.0 to 5.5 fish/trap net for lakes similar to West Graham and below the long term average of 5.4 fish/trap net. The trap net CPUE was 3.56 in 2006 and 8.88 in 2002. Lengths of common carp sampled in trap nets ranged from 5.55 to 25.67 inches with a mean length of 19.13 inches.

West Graham is not managed for northern pike and has not been stocked with northern pike since 1988. East Graham; however, is managed for northern pike and the fish that are found in West Graham have likely moved in from East Graham. The northern pike catch rate of 0.7 fish/gill net in 2010 was below the expected range of 1.1 to 8.0 for lakes similar to West Graham. The catch rate was 0.3 fish/gill net in 2006 and 36.0 fish/gill net in 2002. High catch rates in 2002 were likely the result of high water levels during the spring of 2001 which allowed movement into West Graham.

Other fish captured during the 2010 population assessment included green sunfish and white sucker.

To maintain a healthy fishery in West Graham Lake; we need to promote Best Management Practices (BMP's) within the watershed to help reduce nutrients entering the lake. High nutrients and sediments in a lake can cause algae blooms and reduce water clarity.


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
E-Mail: Windom.Fisheries@state.mn.us

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 C2744 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
Internet: www.dnr.state.mn.us
E-Mail: info.dnr@state.mn.us

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