Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Otter Tail River(Red Rive (Red River)

Nearest Town: Fergus Falls
Primary County: Otter Tail
Survey Date: 06/07/2010
Inventory Number: 56071100
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of County Road 3 along the north shoreline of the lake.


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 306.84
Littoral Area (acres): 138
Maximum Depth (ft): 55
Water Clarity (ft): 12.5

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 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 0.11 0.3 - 2.8 1.20 0.4 - 0.8
Black Crappie Trap net 0.44 0.7 - 3.2 0.57 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 1.00 0.5 - 2.7 0.42 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 7.78 5.6 - 42.3 0.36 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 2.00 N/A 0.23 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.56 0.4 - 1.0 4.38 3.1 - 4.8
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.33 0.3 - 1.5 1.21 0.6 - 1.0
Gill net 0.11 0.3 - 2.2 1.09 0.6 - 1.0
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.11 0.1 - 0.7 0.07 0.1 - 0.1
Greater Redhorse Trap net 0.11 N/A 7.92 N/A
Gill net 0.11 N/A 2.37 N/A
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.33 N/A 0.44 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.11 0.3 - 1.1 0.57 0.2 - 0.9
Gill net 0.67 0.3 - 1.2 1.49 0.5 - 1.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.78 N/A 0.96 N/A
Gill net 7.00 3.1 - 8.5 1.68 1.5 - 2.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 2.22 1.7 - 8.2 0.15 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.14 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.11 0.6 - 2.5 0.60 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.22 0.3 - 2.0 0.46 0.3 - 0.5
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 0.22 0.7 - 6.5 0.57 0.6 - 1.6
Walleye Trap net 0.11 0.2 - 0.7 2.87 0.9 - 2.9
Gill net 1.67 1.3 - 5.5 1.27 1.2 - 2.4
White Sucker Trap net 0.11 0.2 - 1.0 3.08 1.7 - 2.9
Gill net 1.22 0.5 - 3.5 2.36 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.33 1.5 - 7.7 0.78 0.5 - 0.8
Gill net 0.11 0.9 - 10.0 1.37 0.5 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.56 0.5 - 2.7 0.10 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 13.33 2.5 - 24.2 0.11 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 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 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
black crappie 2 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 13
bluegill 14 67 7 0 0 0 0 0 88
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 5
brown bullhead 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
golden shiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
greater redhorse 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2
hybrid sunfish 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
largemouth bass 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 7
northern pike 0 0 1 6 37 23 2 1 70
pumpkinseed 19 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 23
rock bass 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
tullibee (cisco) 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
walleye 0 1 4 5 3 3 0 0 16
white sucker 0 2 0 0 9 1 0 0 12
yellow bullhead 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4
yellow perch 72 50 2 0 0 0 0 0 125


For the record, the largest Pink Salmon taken in Minnesota weighed 4 lbs., 8 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Cascade River, Cook County
    When: 9/9/89
    Statistics: 23.5" length, 13.2" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye fry 276,000 2.3
2010 Walleye fry 276,007 2.2
2008 Lake Sturgeon fingerlings 1,800 60.0
  Walleye fry 276,000 2.3
2006 Walleye fry 276,000 2.2
2004 Walleye fry 276,000 2.2

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 06/07/2010)

Red River Lake is a 305-acre impoundment of the Otter Tail River located in west-central Otter Tail County approximately seven miles north of Fergus Falls, MN. An active hydroelectric dam owned by Otter Tail Power Company is located along the west shoreline. The Otter Tail River flows into the lake along the east shoreline and is navigable upstream to West Lost Lake. The immediate watershed is composed primarily of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. The maximum depth of Red River Lake is 55 feet; however, 45% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The secchi disk reading during the 2010 lake survey was 12.5 feet. Previous secchi disk readings ranged from 9.6 to 10.2 feet. The majority of the shoreline of Red River Lake is undeveloped. A DNR owned public water access is located off of County Road 3 along the north shoreline of the lake. Shoal water substrates consist primarily of sand and gravel. Emergent aquatic macrophytes such as hardstem bulrush and common cattail are rare; however, wild rice is very abundant around the entire shoreline of the lake. Emergent aquatic plants such as wild rice provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and are critical for maintaining good water quality. They protect shorelines and lake bottoms, and can actually absorb and break down polluting chemicals. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as an important nursery area for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. Red River Lake can be ecologically classified as a bass-panfish type of lake and this is reflected in the assemblage of the fish community. Northern pike, largemouth bass, black crappie, and bluegill are the dominant species in the fish community of Red River Lake. The northern pike population is abundant. Age data from recent surveys indicate that northern pike reproduction is consistently good. Upstream marshy areas provide an abundance of suitable spawning habitat for northern pike. Pike ranged in length from 13.7 to 31.6 inches with an average length and weight of 19.6 inches and 1.7 pounds. Northern pike attain an average length of 22.5 inches at four years of age. Data from a spring trapnetting assessment indicate that the black crappie population exhibits consistently good reproduction. Crappies ranged in length from 4.9 to 12.2 inches with an average length of 9.1 inches. Twenty-nine percent of the crappies were 10.0 inches or greater in length. Black crappies attain an average length of 10.4 inches at five years of age. Bluegill abundance tends to fluctuate depending upon year class strength. Age data from recent surveys indicate that bluegill reproduction is inconsistent and that one year class generally dominates the fishery. Sixty-six percent of the bluegills were at least 7.0 inches in length. Bluegills attain an average length of 7.4 inches at age-V. Data collected from a spring electrofishing assessment indicate that Red River Lake has a balanced largemouth bass population. Age data indicate that largemouth bass reproduction is consistently good. Bass ranged in length from 7.5 to 18.3 inches with an average length and weight of 15.1 inches and 2.0 pounds. Bass attain an average length of 13.4 inches at four years of age. 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 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 B0114 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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