|Nearest Town: Babbitt
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 06/30/2008
Inventory Number: 69011500
|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.|
|Species||Number of fish per net||
Average Fish Weight (lbs)
Normal Range (lbs)
|Black Crappie||Trap net||1.00||1.6 - 3.3||0.20||0.2 - 0.7|
|Gill net||0.20||0.2 - 1.4||0.41||0.2 - 0.5|
|Bluegill||Trap net||35.27||0.8 - 8.7||0.25||0.1 - 0.3|
|Burbot||Gill net||0.07||0.1 - 1.3||2.87||0.5 - 1.5|
|Golden Shiner||Trap net||0.13||N/A||0.09||N/A|
|Hybrid Sunfish||Trap net||0.27||N/A||0.36||N/A|
|Largemouth Bass||Trap net||0.53||0.1 - 0.7||0.28||0.1 - 1.0|
|Northern Pike||Trap net||0.80||N/A||2.39||N/A|
|Gill net||3.40||1.2 - 3.6||2.49||1.9 - 3.6|
|Pumpkinseed||Trap net||1.47||0.5 - 3.4||0.15||0.1 - 0.3|
|Rock Bass||Trap net||7.07||0.3 - 1.0||0.26||0.2 - 0.3|
|Gill net||3.80||0.5 - 2.2||0.31||0.2 - 0.4|
|Smallmouth Bass||Trap net||0.13||0.1 - 0.4||2.25||0.2 - 0.5|
|Gill net||1.80||0.3 - 0.7||1.10||0.5 - 1.3|
|Tullibee (cisco)||Gill net||4.87||1.8 - 12.4||0.10||0.2 - 0.5|
|Walleye||Trap net||0.53||0.3 - 1.3||1.74||0.5 - 1.4|
|Gill net||5.73||3.1 - 9.8||1.16||0.7 - 1.3|
|White Sucker||Trap net||0.80||0.3 - 3.0||2.57||1.8 - 2.8|
|Gill net||2.33||2.8 - 6.7||1.45||1.3 - 2.0|
|Yellow Perch||Trap net||1.00||0.4 - 1.9||0.21||0.1 - 0.3|
|Gill net||1.87||1.9 - 7.1||0.23||0.1 - 0.3|
|Species||Number of fish caught in each category (inches)|
|For the record, the largest Coho Salmon taken in Minnesota weighed 10 lbs., 6.5 oz. and was caught: |
Statistics: 27.3" length
Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years
|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.|
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
|Unrestricted||1 meal/week||1 meal/month||Do not eat|
St. Louis Co., 69011500
|Bluegill Sunfish||All sizes||Mercury|
|Northern Pike||shorter than 35"||35" or longer||Mercury|
|White Sucker||All sizes||Mercury|
|Unrestricted||1 meal/week||1 meal/month||Do not eat|
St. Louis Co., 69011500
|Bluegill Sunfish||All sizes|
|Northern Pike||shorter than 29"||29" 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.
Bear Island Lake is in Ecological lake Class 7, which consists of 41 lakes in northeast Minnesota that are very large, have irregularly shaped shorelines, and have very soft (unmineralized) water. Bear Island Lake is mesotrophic, as are most of the lakes in this lake class.
Bear Island Lake was thermally stratified on 8/25/2008 with a surface temperature of 68 F and a bottom temperature of 52 F. Adequate oxygen for fish (more than 2 ppm) was retained to a depth of 37 ft, where the temperature was 58 F.
The major inlet, Beaver River, has a walleye spawning run in the spring and has rapids and beaver dams, which limit fish movement. The outlet, Bear Island River, has an old dam that limits fish movement at low water. Lake bottom substrates along the shoreline of Bear Island Lake are mostly rubble, boulder, and gravel. Aquatic plants grow to a depth of 7 ft and are sparse along most of the shoreline.
Fish sampling in 2008 consisted of 15 standard gillnet sets and 15 standard trapnet sets. Fourteen previous investigations, dating back to 1952, consisted of 2-15 gillnet sets. Six of these previous investigations, beginning in 1973, used 3-15 trapnet sets. Trapnetting was done late in the summer in the first four trapnettings, through 1993, but was moved to June in the 1998, 2003, and 2008 investigations because panfish populations are usually more catchable in trapnets early in the summer.
Trapnet catches in 2008 were dominated by bluegill sunfish and rock bass. Gillnet catches were dominated by walleye, northern pike, and cisco.
Bluegill sunfish were not captured in early investigations on Bear Island Lake, and were low (1-2/trapnet) in subsequent investigations through 1998 (when the trapnetting was done in June). Bluegill numbers then increased, to 17/trapnet in 2003 and to 35/trapnet in 2008, both of which were in the fourth quartile for this lake class. Bluegill sizes in 2008 averaged 6.6" (0.25 lb), which was near the median for this lake class and was larger than the average size of 6.2" in all investigations on this lake. The largest bluegill captured in 2008 was 9.1". Most of the bluegill captured in 2008 were ages 3, 5, and 6. Growth of bluegill captured in 2008 was normal by area standards.
Rock bass numbers in 2008 (7.1/trapnet) were in the fourth quartile for this lake class. Rock bass numbers were low (1-5/trapnet) through 1993, but increased to 7-14/trapnet in 1998 and subsequent investigations coincident with the change in trapnetting dates to early in the summer.
Walleye numbers in 2008 (5.7/gillnet) were near the median for this lake class and were similar to the median catch of 6.0/gillnet in all investigations on this lake. Walleye sizes in 2008 averaged 13.8" (1.2 lb), which was in the third quartile for this lake class and was similar to the average size of 14.0" in all investigations on this lake. Walleye were present from a number of year classes in 2008, but many (43%) were age 2, from the 2006 year class. Walleye growth was faster than normal by area standards.
Northern pike numbers in 2008 (3.4/ gillnet) were in the third quartile for this lake class and were similar to the median catch of 2.7/gillnet in all investigations on this lake. Pike sizes in 2008 averaged 21.5" (2.5 lb), which was near the median for this lake class and was similar to the average size of 21.8" in all investigations on this lake. Most of the pike captured in 2008 (53%) were age 2, from the 2006 year class. Pike growth appeared to be normal by area standards.
Cisco numbers in 2008 (4.9/gillnet) were near the median for this lake class and were higher than the median cisco catch of 0.7/gillnet in all investigations on this lake. Cisco sizes averaged 6.9"; the largest was 9.2"
White sucker and perch numbers in 2008 were lower than normal for this lake class and were typical for this lake. Smallmouth bass numbers were higher than normal for this lake class and for this lake. Anglers targeting bass have become more common in recent years.
Many of the game fish examined in 2003 were infected with Neascus. Some of the perch had yellow grub, and some of the smallmouth had bass tapeworm. One of the northern pike had Lymphosarcoma. Neascus (black spot), yellow grub, and bass tapeworm are common parasites that are native to the area. They cannot infect humans, are often removed by filleting, and are killed at temperatures used to cook fish. Lymphosarcoma is a virus-caused cancer of northern pike and eating fish infected with lymphosarcoma is not recommended although infection of humans by this virus has not been observed.
|For more information on this lake, contact:||Lake maps can be obtained from:|
For general DNR Information, contact:
DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR
Turn in Poachers (TIP):
Toll-free: (800) 652-9093