Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Little McDonald

Nearest Town: Perham
Primary County: Otter Tail
Survey Date: 08/20/2012
Inventory Number: 56032800
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of the township road along the north shoreline of the lake.
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of County Road 34 along the south 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): 1311.88
Littoral Area (acres): 413
Maximum Depth (ft): 109
Water Clarity (ft): 25.3 (20-30.5)

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


Did you know? Spawning habitat improvements can enhance naturally reproducing populations of fish species such as walleye and northern pike.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 5.00 0.4 - 2.3 0.35 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.58 0.4 - 2.7 0.16 0.3 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 27.10 4.4 - 49.0 0.28 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 6.67 N/A 0.19 N/A
Brown Bullhead Gill net 0.08 0.3 - 1.8 0.86 0.7 - 1.2
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 1.40 N/A 0.34 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 11.00 0.3 - 1.3 0.42 0.2 - 0.8
Gill net 1.83 0.3 - 1.4 0.92 0.5 - 1.2
Northern Pike Gill net 5.08 2.8 - 9.0 2.17 1.6 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.60 1.8 - 7.8 0.35 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.05 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 5.10 0.5 - 2.5 0.30 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 1.17 0.6 - 3.9 0.45 0.3 - 0.5
Walleye Trap net 1.10 0.2 - 0.8 3.19 1.0 - 2.7
Gill net 14.67 3.3 - 8.8 1.50 1.2 - 2.1
White Sucker Gill net 0.08 0.9 - 4.0 2.26 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 2.70 1.2 - 5.2 1.01 0.6 - 0.9
Gill net 10.67 1.2 - 10.9 0.98 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Gill net 4.75 7.0 - 46.3 0.14 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 2012 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 5 36 15 1 0 0 0 0 57
bluegill 77 264 1 0 0 0 0 0 351
brown bullhead 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 1 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 14
largemouth bass 13 72 31 10 6 0 0 0 132
northern pike 0 0 1 5 15 31 9 0 61
pumpkinseed 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 10
rock bass 22 31 12 0 0 0 0 0 65
walleye 0 8 55 34 49 32 9 0 187
white sucker 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
yellow bullhead 2 2 64 87 0 0 0 0 155
yellow perch 2 52 0 0 0 0 0 0 57


For the record, the largest Brook Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 6 lbs., 5.6 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Pigeon River, Cook County
    When: 9/2/00
    Statistics: 24" length, 14.5" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fingerlings 21,287 896.0
2011 Walleye fingerlings 14,944 985.0
  Walleye yearlings 180 60.0
2009 Walleye fingerlings 3,222 179.0
  Walleye fingerlings 6,289 345.0
  Walleye yearlings 3,302 302.0
2007 Walleye yearlings 1,222 181.0
  Walleye fingerlings 4,952 352.0
2006 Walleye adults 21 36.0
  Walleye yearlings 1,494 377.0
2004 Walleye fingerlings 6,656 416.0

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

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
LITTLE MCDONALD
Otter Tail Co., 56032800
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Northern Pike   shorter than 20" 20" or longer   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
LITTLE MCDONALD
Otter Tail Co., 56032800
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   shorter than 24" 24" or longer   Mercury
White Sucker 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 08/20/2012)

Little McDonald Lake is a 1,174-acre mestrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in north-central Otter Tail County approximately six miles west of Perham, MN. The immediate watershed is composed of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. The maximum depth is 109 feet; however, 35% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth.The secchi disk reading was 30.5 feet, indicating excellent water clarity. Secchi disk readings in previous surveys ranged from 10.0 to 20.5 feet. Heavy development (homes/cabins) exists around the entire lake. DNR owned public water accesses are located along the north and south shorelines. Shoal water substrates consist primarily of sand and gravel. Areas of hardstem bulrush and common cattail are prevalent in the western portion of the lake. Emergent plants are important because they provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat and are critical for maintaining good water quality. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish species such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They are also important nursery areas for all species of fish. Because of their ecological importance, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. Northern pike abundance has remained stable over the recent series of surveys. Age data indicate that pike reproduction is consistently good. Northern pike ranged in length from 11.8 to 29.1 inches with an average length and weight of 21.2 inches and 2.2 pounds. Northern pike attain an average length of 21.4 inches at four years of age. Bluegill size structure is excellent; 59% of the sample was 7.0 inches or greater in length. Age data indicate that bluegill reproduction is consistently good. Bluegills attain an average length of 7.6 inches at seven years of age. Black crappie and largemouth bass are abundant. Age data for these species indicate that reproduction is consistently good. Black crappies ranged in length from 4.9 to 12.0 inches and largemouth bass ranged in length from 5.5 to 19.3 inches. Walleye is a primary management specie for this lake. Walleyes ranged in length from 7.6 to 26.4 inches with an average length and weight of 15.1 inches and 1.5 pounds. Walleyes attain an average length of 16.2 inches at four years of age. There is a 17.0 to 26.0 inch protected slot limit for walleye on Little McDonald Lake. Anglers can maintain the quality of angling by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest encourages the release of medium to large-size fish while allowing the harvest of more abundant smaller fish for table fare. Releasing the medium and 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 B0298 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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