Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Pelican

Nearest Town: Pelican Rapids
Primary County: Otter Tail
Survey Date: 08/02/2011
Inventory Number: 56078600
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of County Road 9 along the southwest shoreline of the lake.
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of County Road 31 along the east shoreline of the lake.


Fish Health:

Disease:Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)Date Tested:4/20/2010Result:Negative
Source: UMN

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 3962.88
Littoral Area (acres): 1625
Maximum Depth (ft): 55
Water Clarity (ft): 9.7 (9.4-10)

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


Did you know? The DNR Section of Fisheries has a full-time staff of 285. There are 4 regional and 28 area fisheries offices.

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 0.27 0.3 - 2.6 1.04 0.5 - 0.9
Gill net 0.07 0.6 - 6.8 0.41 0.5 - 1.0
Black Crappie Trap net 0.20 0.4 - 2.3 0.32 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.27 0.4 - 2.7 0.06 0.3 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 21.00 4.4 - 49.0 0.29 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 15.93 N/A 0.26 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 1.47 0.3 - 1.1 5.86 3.7 - 5.1
Brown Bullhead Trap net 1.00 0.3 - 1.6 0.98 0.7 - 1.1
Gill net 0.33 0.3 - 1.8 1.35 0.7 - 1.2
Common Carp Trap net 0.13 0.2 - 1.0 12.07 3.8 - 8.7
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 1.20 N/A 0.31 N/A
Gill net 0.53 N/A 0.40 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 1.07 0.3 - 1.3 0.39 0.2 - 0.8
Gill net 0.67 0.3 - 1.4 0.67 0.5 - 1.2
Muskellunge Gill net 0.27 0.1 - 0.2 5.22 2.5 - 7.5
Northern Pike Trap net 0.47 N/A 1.63 N/A
Gill net 5.60 2.8 - 9.0 2.01 1.6 - 2.8
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.53 1.8 - 7.8 0.30 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 2.60 N/A 0.20 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 2.33 0.5 - 2.5 0.41 0.3 - 0.5
Gill net 4.20 0.6 - 3.9 0.37 0.3 - 0.5
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.07 0.1 - 0.9 2.05 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.07 0.1 - 0.9 1.71 0.9 - 2.0
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 1.27 0.8 - 6.2 0.69 0.6 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 0.73 0.2 - 0.8 1.93 1.0 - 2.7
Gill net 12.33 3.3 - 8.8 0.95 1.2 - 2.1
White Sucker Trap net 0.07 0.2 - 1.1 1.85 1.8 - 3.0
Gill net 1.33 0.9 - 4.0 1.19 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.80 1.2 - 5.2 1.24 0.6 - 0.9
Gill net 0.27 1.2 - 10.9 1.14 0.6 - 0.9
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.33 0.6 - 3.5 0.16 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 10.80 7.0 - 46.3 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 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 1 4 0 0 0 0 5
black crappie 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7
bluegill 113 427 7 0 0 0 0 0 554
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 1 10 11 0 22
brown bullhead 0 3 3 13 1 0 0 0 20
common carp 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
hybrid sunfish 3 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 26
largemouth bass 4 10 8 4 0 0 0 0 26
muskellunge 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 4
northern pike 0 0 1 8 35 29 17 1 91
pumpkinseed 17 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 47
rock bass 18 57 23 0 0 0 0 0 98
smallmouth bass 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2
tullibee (cisco) 0 0 10 9 0 0 0 0 19
walleye 0 9 83 35 55 10 4 0 196
white sucker 0 2 5 6 8 0 0 0 21
yellow bullhead 0 0 4 11 1 0 0 0 16
yellow perch 65 102 0 0 0 0 0 0 167


For the record, the largest Freshwater Drum (Sheepshead) taken in Minnesota weighed 35 lbs., 3.2 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Mississippi River near Winona
    When: 10/5/99
    Statistics: 36" length, 31" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Muskellunge fingerlings 435 87.0
  Muskellunge fingerlings 508 97.0
2012 Walleye fry 1,625,000 13.6
2011 Muskellunge fingerlings 184 36.8
  Muskellunge fingerlings 1,000 178.6
  Walleye* fingerlings 60,000 4,000.0
2010 Muskellunge fingerlings 441 131.6
  Walleye fry 1,625,871 13.2
2009 Muskellunge* fingerlings 1,625 373.0
2008 Walleye fry 1,625,000 14.8
2007 Muskellunge* fingerlings 1,625 579.3
2006 Walleye fry 1,625,000 13.0
2005 Muskellunge fingerlings 1,000 222.2
  Walleye* fingerlings 4,000 200.0
2004 Walleye fry 1,625,000 13.1
  Walleye* fingerlings 1,700 85.0

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

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
PELICAN
Otter Tail Co., 56078600
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Cisco   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
PELICAN
Otter Tail Co., 56078600
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Cisco All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

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 08/02/2011)

Pelican Lake is located in northwestern Otter Tail County approximately seven miles north of Pelican Rapids, MN. Pelican Lake is a 3,986-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake that is located within the Otter Tail River Watershed. The southern portion of the lake (309 acres) is referred to as Fish Lake. Pelican Lake is connected to Little Pelican Lake and Lake Lizzie via the Pelican River. The Pelican River inlet is located along the east shoreline of the lake while the outlet is located along the south shoreline of Fish Lake. The Pelican River is navigable by boat upstream to Little Pelican Lake. A dam at the outlet impedes navigability downstream to Lake Lizzie. The maximum depth of Pelican Lake is 55 feet; however, 41% of the lake is less than 15 feet in depth. The secchi disk reading during the 2011 lake survey was 10.0 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 5.4 to 13.0 feet. The shoreline of Pelican Lake has been extensively developed. Homes, cottages, and resorts compose the majority of the development. DNR owned concrete public water accesses are located along the east and southwest shorelines of the lake. Remnant stands of hardstem bulrush and wild rice are scattered along various shorelines of the lake. A large stand of hardstem bulrush is located along the north shoreline of the entrance into Fish Lake. Emergent aquatic plants such as bulrush 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 water quality and angling that this lake has to offer, it is imperative to preserve the quality of the aquatic habitat. Pelican Lake is a popular angling lake during both the open water and ice fishing seasons. The lake is best known for its excellent walleye, northern pike, and bluegill fishing. Data from the population assessment indicate that these species are abundant. Pelican Lake is also becoming renowned as a trophy muskellunge lake. Walleye is a primary management specie in this lake. The test-net catch rate of walleye was the third highest recorded in any survey on this lake. Walleye ranged in length from 7.9 to 26.1 inches with an average length and weight of 13.4 inches and 1.0 pound. The 2008 and 2009 year classes appear to be strong and should provide consistently good walleye angling for several years. Walleyes attain an average length of 14.2 inches at four years of age. Northern pike population characteristics have demonstrated stability over the recent series of assessments. The pike population has remained at a moderate density since the 1983 survey and natural reproduction has continued to be consistently good. Northern pike ranged in length from 11.3 to 30.3 inches with an average length and weight of 20.5 inches and 1.6 pounds. Pike exhibit moderate growth rates with an average length of 22.6 inches at four years of age. The muskellunge population can be characterized as a trophy fishery; a low-density population with fish of quality size. Muskellunge up to 46.0 inches in length have been sampled in recent assessments. The DNR will continue to manage Pelican Lake as a trophy muskellunge fishery. Bluegill test-net catch rates have fluctuated over the recent series of assessments with the general trend being a decline in the catch rate. The decline in bluegill abundance has led to a corresponding increase in bluegill size distribution. Fifty-three percent of the bluegills were 7.0 inches or greater in length. Bluegills attain an average length of 6.7 inches at six years of age. A low-density smallmouth bass population exists in Pelican Lake. Smallmouth bass test-net catch rates have historically been low. Suitable spawning habitat and/or juvenile nursery areas may be factors limiting smallmouth bass abundance. Anglers can maintain the quality of fishing 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 C1847 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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