Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Big Pine

Nearest Town: Perham
Primary County: Otter Tail
Survey Date: 07/25/2011
Inventory Number: 56013000

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of County Road 53 along the southeast shoreline of the lake.
DNR Earthen A state owned public access is located off of County Road 8 along the north shoreline of the lake.
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of a township road along the northwest shoreline of the 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): 4725.64
Littoral Area (acres): 2386
Maximum Depth (ft): 76
Water Clarity (ft): 5.1

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


Did you know? Lake rehabilitation projects reclaim waters suffering from habitat degradation and overpopulation of some fish species.

Fish Sampled for the 2011 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 0.07 0.3 - 2.6 0.98 0.5 - 0.9
Black Crappie Trap net 0.33 0.4 - 2.3 0.38 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 2.10 0.4 - 2.7 0.27 0.3 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 1.00 4.4 - 49.0 0.43 0.1 - 0.2
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 1.07 0.3 - 1.1 5.10 3.7 - 5.1
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.20 0.3 - 1.6 1.30 0.7 - 1.1
Gill net 0.30 0.3 - 1.8 1.55 0.7 - 1.2
Burbot Trap net 0.67 0.1 - 0.5 0.98 1.7 - 3.1
Gill net 0.30 0.1 - 0.3 1.53 1.2 - 3.0
Common Carp Trap net 0.53 0.2 - 1.0 8.58 3.8 - 8.7
Freshwater Drum Trap net 0.13 0.3 - 2.4 10.63 1.1 - 3.9
Gill net 0.60 2.0 - 9.4 0.13 0.2 - 0.8
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.27 N/A 0.28 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.07 0.3 - 1.3 0.13 0.2 - 0.8
Northern Pike Trap net 0.60 N/A 1.75 N/A
Gill net 6.40 2.8 - 9.0 2.29 1.6 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 3.87 1.8 - 7.8 0.25 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.10 N/A 0.41 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 2.47 0.5 - 2.5 0.60 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 0.10 0.6 - 3.9 0.62 0.3 - 0.5
Shorthead Redhorse Trap net 0.60 0.1 - 1.2 1.83 1.6 - 3.0
Gill net 0.60 0.2 - 0.9 1.83 1.1 - 2.2
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 1.90 0.8 - 6.2 0.74 0.6 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 1.60 0.2 - 0.8 1.53 1.0 - 2.7
Gill net 33.70 3.3 - 8.8 0.93 1.2 - 2.1
White Sucker Trap net 4.33 0.2 - 1.1 1.89 1.8 - 3.0
Gill net 18.70 0.9 - 4.0 0.98 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 4.13 1.2 - 5.2 1.24 0.6 - 0.9
Gill net 1.80 1.2 - 10.9 1.06 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 2.60 0.6 - 3.5 0.11 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 32.60 7.0 - 46.3 0.17 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 2011 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 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
black crappie 18 0 6 2 0 0 0 0 26
bluegill 2 8 5 0 0 0 0 0 15
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 2 7 7 0 16
brown bullhead 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 6
burbot 0 0 1 5 6 1 0 0 13
common carp 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 2 8
freshwater drum 0 6 0 0 0 0 2 0 8
hybrid sunfish 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
largemouth bass 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 0 6 30 22 12 3 73
pumpkinseed 14 45 0 0 0 0 0 0 59
rock bass 3 11 24 0 0 0 0 0 38
shorthead redhorse 0 0 1 1 13 0 0 0 15
tullibee (cisco) 0 9 2 7 1 0 0 0 19
walleye 0 50 100 110 74 25 2 0 361
white sucker 1 22 74 65 90 0 0 0 252
yellow bullhead 0 1 10 67 0 0 0 0 80
yellow perch 97 243 14 0 0 0 0 0 365


For the record, the largest Silver Redhorse taken in Minnesota weighed 9 lbs., 15 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Big Fork River, Koochiching County
    When: 4/16/04
    Statistics: 26.6" length, 16 7/8" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Lake Sturgeon fingerlings 4,943 41.6

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
BIG PINE
Otter Tail Co., 56013000
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Cisco   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch All sizes        

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
BIG PINE
Otter Tail Co., 56013000
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Cisco All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
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 07/25/2011)

Big Pine Lake is a 4,730-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in northeastern Otter Tail County approximately three miles east of Perham, MN. Big Pine Lake is part of the Otter Tail River Watershed and is connected to Little Pine and Rush Lakes via the Otter Tail River. The Otter Tail River inlet is located along the northwest shoreline while the outlet is located along the west shoreline of the lake. Minnesota DNR controlled dams at the outlets of Little Pine and Big Pine Lakes impede navigability between this chain of lakes. The immediate watershed is composed primarily of mixed hardwoods. The maximum depth of Big Pine Lake is 76 feet; however, fifty percent of the lake is less than 15 feet in depth. The secchi disk reading during the 2011 lake survey was 5.1 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 4.5 to 8.5 feet. The shoreline of Big Pine Lake has been extensively developed. Homes, cottages, and resorts compose the majority of the development. The 1992 lake resurvey referenced nine resorts and approximately 202 homes/cottages. DNR owned concrete public water accesses are located along the northwest and southeast shorelines of the lake. A DNR owned earthen public water access is located along the north shoreline. The shoal water substrates consist primarily of sand and rubble. Stands of hardstem bulrush, common cattail, and wild rice are scattered along the entire shoreline of the lake; however, the largest stands are along areas that haven't been highly developed and are located on the east, west and south shorelines. Emergent aquatic plants such as bulrush, cattail, and wild rice provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and are critical for maintaining good water quality. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as important nursery areas for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. To maintain the excellent angling that this lake has to offer, it is imperative to preserve the quality of the aquatic habitat. Big Pine Lake is a popular angling lake. The lake has a reputation as one of the premier walleye angling lakes in Otter Tail County. Black crappie, northern pike, and yellow perch are also abundant. The prolificacy of these species can be attributed to the abundance of suitable spawning habitat that is available. Walleye is a primary management specie in Big Pine Lake. Walleye abundance has historically been high in Big Pine Lake. Walleyes ranged in length from 6.8 to 25.5 inches with an average length and weight of 13.1 inches and 0.9 pounds. Age and catch data indicate that the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 year classes are strong. These strong year classes should provide excellent walleye angling for several years. Age and catch data from recent lake surveys indicate that walleye natural reproduction and recruitment is substantial enough to consistently sustain the walleye population at or above DNR long range management goals. Walleyes attain an average length of 14.7 inches at four years of age. An experimental walleye regulation was implemented on May 10, 2003. The regulation is an 18.0 to 26.0 protected slot limit with one walleye over 26.0 inches allowed in possession. The intent of this regulation is to improve the size structure of the walleye population in Big Pine Lake. The regulation will be in effect for ten years during which time its effectiveness will be evaluated. Northern pike population characteristics have demonstrated stability over the recent series of lake surveys. The pike population has remained at a moderate density and natural reproduction has continued to be consistently good. Northern pike ranged in length from 12.9 to 34.6 inches with an average length and weight of 21.1 inches and 2.3 pounds. Pike exhibit fast growth rates with an average length of 25.8 inches at four years of age. Historical catch and length data indicate that yellow perch size structure fluctuates. Eighteen percent of the perch in this assessment were 8.0 inches or greater in length. Anglers can also maintain the quality of angling in Big Pine Lake by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest encourages the release of medium to large-size fish while allowing the harvest of the more abundant smaller fish for table fare. Releasing the medium to large fish will ensure that the lake will have enough spawning age fish on an annual basis and will provide anglers with more opportunities to catch large fish in the future.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
1509 1st Ave N
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone: (218) 739-7576
Internet: Fergus Falls Fisheries
E-Mail: FergusFalls.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 B0227 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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