Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Prairie

Nearest Town: Pelican Rapids
Primary County: Otter Tail
Survey Date: 08/12/2013
Inventory Number: 56091500
Buy your walleye stamp todayPurchase a walleye stamp. Your voluntary contribution will be used to support walleye stocking.

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete A state owned public access is located off of State Highway 59 along the southeast shoreline of the lake.


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1002.66
Littoral Area (acres): 801
Maximum Depth (ft): 22
Water Clarity (ft): 9.8 (9.5-10)

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


Did you know? Ongoing habitat improvement and maintenance work is conducted on trout streams that have publicly owned land or easements.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Gill net 1.33 7.7 - 104.7 0.78 0.2 - 0.5
Black Crappie Trap net 0.22 2.1 - 24.1 0.58 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 0.22 1.7 - 17.5 0.20 0.1 - 0.3
Bluegill Trap net 48.78 3.5 - 57.1 0.25 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 7.89 N/A 0.23 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.44 0.3 - 1.3 5.51 2.5 - 4.2
Gill net 0.11 0.3 - 1.3 3.11 2.0 - 4.4
Brown Bullhead Trap net 0.11 0.4 - 5.1 0.52 0.4 - 0.9
Gill net 2.67 0.8 - 7.0 0.76 0.3 - 0.8
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 3.44 N/A 0.29 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 1.33 0.2 - 0.8 1.24 0.3 - 1.5
Gill net 3.00 0.3 - 0.6 0.58 0.5 - 1.5
Northern Pike Trap net 0.44 N/A 1.40 N/A
Gill net 7.00 2.0 - 10.8 1.64 1.7 - 3.1
Pumpkinseed Trap net 2.22 0.7 - 6.5 0.22 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 3.44 N/A 0.26 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 0.9 0.24 0.3 - 0.6
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.44 N/A 0.70 N/A
Walleye Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 0.8 0.96 0.9 - 3.5
Gill net 4.78 0.8 - 3.8 1.45 1.4 - 3.0
White Sucker Trap net 0.22 0.2 - 1.2 2.45 1.3 - 2.5
Gill net 3.67 0.5 - 2.3 1.29 1.6 - 2.5
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 2.56 1.0 - 7.1 0.69 0.4 - 0.8
Gill net 6.11 0.5 - 5.0 0.62 0.4 - 0.8
Yellow Perch Gill net 0.11 2.0 - 22.3 0.18 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 2013 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 9 3 0 0 0 0 12
black crappie 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 4
bluegill 91 414 0 0 0 0 0 0 510
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 5
brown bullhead 0 0 18 7 0 0 0 0 25
hybrid sunfish 8 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 31
largemouth bass 0 2 32 2 3 0 0 0 39
northern pike 0 0 1 15 31 9 9 2 67
pumpkinseed 11 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 51
rock bass 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
smallmouth bass 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 4
walleye 0 0 1 29 7 8 0 0 45
white sucker 0 3 15 4 11 2 0 0 35
yellow bullhead 0 14 55 9 0 0 0 0 78
yellow perch 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1


For the record, the largest Rock Bass (tie) taken in Minnesota weighed 2 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Winnibigoshish, Cass County
    When: 5/10/98
    Statistics: 12.6" length, 12.4" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye fry 801,000 6.7
2010 Walleye fry 801,061 6.5
2008 Walleye fry 801,000 7.3
2006 Walleye fry 801,000 6.4
2004 Walleye fry 801,000 6.5

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
PRAIRIE
Otter Tail Co., 56091500
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike     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
PRAIRIE
Otter Tail Co., 56091500
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Northern Pike   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 08/12/2013)

Prairie Lake is a 1,016-acre eutrophic (fertile) lake located in northwestern Otter Tail County. The southern shoreline abuts the city of Pelican Rapids, MN. Prairie Lake is part of the Otter Tail River Watershed. The Pelican River inlet is located along the northeast shoreline while the outlet is located along the south shoreline. The immediate watershed is composed primarily of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. The maximum depth of Prairie Lake is 22 feet; however, 79% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The secchi disk reading during the 2013 lake survey was 9.5 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 4.0 to 11.9 feet. Water clarity in this lake sometimes diminishes during the summer months due to plankton/algae blooms. The north and east shorelines of Prairie Lake have been extensively developed. Homes and cottages compose the majority of the development. A DNR owned public water access is located along the southeast shoreline of the lake. The shoal water substrates consist primarily of sand and gravel. Large stands of hardstem bulrush and common cattail are located along the south, west, and north shorelines. Emergent aquatic plants such as hardstem bulrush and cattail 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. Prairie 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, Walleye, Largemouth bass, and Bluegill are the dominant gamefish species in Prairie Lake. The prolificacy of these species can be attributed to the abundance of suitable spawning habitat that is available. Northern Pike abundance has historically been stable. The test-net catch rate has exceeded or been within the normal range in every survey conducted. Age data indicate that Northern Pike reproduction is consistently good. Northern Pike ranged in length from 11.7 to 34.6 inches with an average length and weight of 18.8 inches and 1.6 pounds. Pike attain an average length of 23.3 inches at five years of age. Walleye abundance has also remained stable. Walleyes ranged in length from 11.4 to 24.5 inches with an average length and weight of 15.9 inches and 1.5 pounds. Walleyes attain an average length of 15.3 inches at four years of age. Prairie Lake is a popular lake for Largemouth Bass fishing. Data from recent lake surveys and an electrofishing assessment indicate that a balanced Largemouth Bass population exists. Bass sampled in this assessment ranged in length from 8.1 to 19.3 inches. Bluegill abundance has historically been within the normal range for this type of lake. Age data indicate that Bluegill reproduction is consistently good. Fifty-six percent of the bluegill sample was 7.0 inches or greater in length. Bluegills attain an average length of 7.3 inches at seven years of age. Anglers can maintain the quality of fishing in Prairie Lake 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 C1816 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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