Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Lower Sakatah

Nearest Town: Morristown
Primary County: Rice
Survey Date: 07/27/2009
Inventory Number: 66004400
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
Unknown Other


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 372.2
Littoral Area (acres): 310
Maximum Depth (ft): 7
Water Clarity (ft): 3.2

Dominant Bottom Substrate: Sand (Abundant)
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: 10 Varieties Sampled
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 2.6 (1.1-4.7)


Did you know? Habitat acquisition of lands next to lakes and streams protects spawning areas and shoreline vegetation, and it increases access to fishing waters.

Fish Sampled for the 2009 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 11.5 - 132.6 1.25 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 13.33 30.3 - 150.6 0.91 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 0.78 1.2 - 20.5 0.10 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 10.50 1.4 - 13.8 0.10 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 9.56 1.2 - 20.0 0.08 0.1 - 0.4
Gill net 3.17 N/A 0.21 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 2.78 0.3 - 0.9 4.86 2.7 - 3.8
Gill net 2.67 0.2 - 0.5 4.23 1.8 - 3.1
Channel Catfish Gill net 0.67 N/A 5.89 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 0.78 1.0 - 5.5 6.14 1.4 - 4.6
Gill net 4.83 1.0 - 13.8 4.22 0.8 - 3.7
Common Shiner Gill net 0.17 N/A 0.10 N/A
Freshwater Drum Trap net 11.00 0.2 - 3.3 2.01 0.3 - 1.0
Gill net 11.50 0.5 - 8.3 1.55 0.4 - 1.7
Golden Shiner Gill net 0.17 0.5 - 2.6 0.07 0.1 - 0.1
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.11 N/A 0.04 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.67 0.2 - 0.7 0.10 0.3 - 1.5
Gill net 2.17 0.2 - 1.5 1.50 0.6 - 1.4
Northern Pike Trap net 0.33 N/A 3.13 N/A
Gill net 3.00 1.1 - 8.0 4.13 1.8 - 3.4
Walleye Gill net 0.67 2.3 - 18.1 1.57 1.0 - 2.3
White Bass Gill net 7.17 0.3 - 9.9 1.32 N/A
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.89 0.5 - 2.5 1.36 0.3 - 0.7
Gill net 3.00 0.5 - 3.5 1.21 0.3 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.22 0.3 - 3.8 0.37 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 6.17 2.7 - 25.0 0.43 0.1 - 0.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2009 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 1 3 51 24 2 0 0 0 81
black crappie 52 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 70
bluegill 88 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 105
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 1 28 12 0 41
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 4
common carp 0 0 2 5 11 12 4 2 36
common shiner 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
freshwater drum 0 0 12 22 131 1 0 0 168
golden shiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
largemouth bass 3 6 1 3 4 0 0 0 19
northern pike 0 0 0 0 3 6 9 1 21
walleye 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 4
white bass 0 3 0 32 8 0 0 0 43
yellow bullhead 0 0 6 18 2 0 0 0 26
yellow perch 0 15 18 1 0 0 0 0 39


For the record, the largest Hybrid Sunfish taken in Minnesota weighed 1 lb., 12 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Middle Branch of the Zumbro River, Olmsted County
    When: 7/9/94
    Statistics: 11.5" length, 12" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 464,126 4.0
2012 Walleye fry 463,050 4.5
2010 Walleye fry 463,829 4.0
2009 Walleye fry 477,114 4.8
2008 Walleye fry 461,250 4.5
2006 Walleye fry 468,445 4.8
2005 Walleye fry 460,215 4.5

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
LOWER SAKATAH
Rice Co., 66004400
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Yellow Perch   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
LOWER SAKATAH
Rice Co., 66004400
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Bass   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 07/27/2009)

Lower Sakatah in Rice County is a 310 acre lake east of Waterville. The lake is accessible from the bridge between Upper and Lower Sakatah on Leroy Avenue, as well as from the access on Upper Sakatah Lake. The Cannon River flows through Lower Sakatah Lake, from upstream Upper Sakatah and Tetonka Lake, and continues on through the city of Morristown and further east to Cannon Lake. Sakatah State Park is located on the south shoreline of Lower Sakatah Lake. With purchase of a state park pass, a resident may take fish by angling (in open water) without an angling license when shore fishing or wading on state-owned land within a state park. Because Sakatah State Park does not encompass the entire shoreline of Upper or Lower Sakatah State Park, the angling license exemption does not extend to residents angling from a boat or float; those anglers must still purchase an angling license.

Lower Sakatah was surveyed the week of July 27th, 2009 to monitor the fish community and aquatic habitat. A variety of fish species were observed at low and moderate abundance. Black crappies were captured in gill nets at a rate of 11 fish per lift. Size was poor, ranging between 5 and 7 inches.

Bluegills were trap netted at a rate of 10 fish per lift. Like black crappies, bluegill size was poor, with fish concentrated in the 3 to 5 inch range. Mean length was 4.6 inches.

Northern pike averaged 3 fish per gill net lift. Pike ranged from 19 to 31 inches. Walleye averaged less than one fish per gill net lift. 450,000 walleye fry are stocked three out of four years.

Yellow perch averaged 6 fish per gill net lift. Perch ranged from 6 to 12.5 inches, with a mean size of 9 inches. Yellow perch have historically been available in quality (larger than 8 inches) and preferred (larger than 10 inches) size ranges in Tetonka and Upper and Lower Sakatah Lakes.

Four channel catfish were caught during the survey. Channel catfish were previously stocked in alternating years through 2009 on Tetonka lake and fish have been found throughout the Cannon River chain. Channel catfish are not well sampled with nets.

Largemouth bass were well represented in spring electrofishing. Bass averaged 105 fish per hour of on time. Length ranged from 3.5 to 18.7 inches with a mean length of 12 inches and a mean weight of 1.5 pounds. 55 percent of fish were at RSD-P(15), so better than half of the fish sampled were larger than 15 inches. Largemouth bass do well in Upper and Lower Sakatah, in part because of the minimal shoreline development and fair amount of coarse woody debris in the water. On Lower Sakatah, Sakatah State Park and the Sakatah W.M.A. have put much of the lake's shoreline into protected state ownership.

Freshwater drum (sheephead) were the most abundant fish in all gears, with 12 fish per gill net lift and 11 fish per trap net lift. The most abundant fish in gillnets were black bullhead, at 13 fish per gill net lift. Black bullhead averaged 11.5 inches in length. Other fish observed in the survey include bowfin (dogfish), common carp, common shiner, golden shiner, hybrid sunfish, and yellow bullhead.

Anglers can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium- to large-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Lower Sakatah Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future.

Shoreline areas on the land and into the shallow water provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota s lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines cannot support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants, and natural lake bottom soils.

Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion, and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 86
50317 Fish Hatchery Rd
Waterville, MN 56096-0086
Phone: (507) 362-4223
Internet: Waterville Fisheries
E-Mail: Waterville.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
No depth map available.


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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