Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Island Lake Reservoir (Orchard Res. (Island))

Nearest Town: Duluth
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 07/09/2012
Inventory Number: 69037200

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
Private Property Earthen United Northern Sportsmen
Private Property Concrete Hideaway
Private Property Concrete Island Dam Road
Private Property Concrete Abbott Road


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 8000.51
Littoral Area (acres): 3260
Maximum Depth (ft): 94
Water Clarity (ft): 4.3 (4-4.5)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): 4.3 (0-10)


Did you know? Fishing piers are installed on lakes to provide opportunities for shore fishing.

Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Bullhead Trap net 0.10 N/A 0.55 N/A
Gill net 0.09 0.1 - 4.7 0.74 0.1 - 0.2
Black Crappie Trap net 0.70 1.3 - 2.6 0.66 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.61 0.2 - 0.8 0.23 0.2 - 0.6
Bluegill Trap net 3.25 6.8 - 33.1 0.37 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.09 N/A 0.16 N/A
Burbot Gill net 0.09 0.1 - 0.3 0.13 0.7 - 2.1
Channel Catfish Trap net 0.15 N/A 3.55 N/A
Gill net 0.09 N/A 7.33 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.05 0.0 - 1.3 1.32 0.2 - 0.4
Northern Pike Trap net 1.80 N/A 2.05 N/A
Gill net 1.26 1.1 - 2.4 2.41 2.8 - 4.3
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.55 N/A 0.30 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 2.40 1.2 - 4.0 0.60 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 1.74 0.6 - 1.6 0.65 0.2 - 0.3
Shorthead Redhorse Trap net 0.50 N/A 3.19 N/A
Gill net 0.09 0.1 - 1.0 3.58 1.6 - 2.9
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.70 0.1 - 0.3 1.51 0.5 - 0.8
Gill net 1.30 0.2 - 0.6 1.94 0.7 - 1.2
Walleye Trap net 2.35 0.9 - 1.9 1.01 0.9 - 1.3
Gill net 8.96 3.6 - 10.8 0.58 0.8 - 1.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.05 0.1 - 0.7 1.18 1.4 - 3.8
Gill net 2.43 1.4 - 3.0 1.26 1.7 - 2.2
Yellow Perch Trap net 1.35 2.2 - 8.5 0.23 0.2 - 0.2
Gill net 8.09 1.4 - 6.8 0.33 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 2012 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 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
black crappie 7 12 6 3 0 0 0 0 28
bluegill 21 39 7 0 0 0 0 0 67
burbot 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 5
largemouth bass 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
northern pike 0 0 0 3 16 38 4 2 65
pumpkinseed 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 11
rock bass 13 26 49 0 0 0 0 0 88
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 0 9 3 0 0 12
smallmouth bass 1 4 4 12 23 0 0 0 44
walleye 1 64 89 52 39 4 1 0 253
white sucker 0 7 22 9 19 0 0 0 57
yellow perch 41 101 66 1 0 0 0 0 213


For the record, the largest Smallmouth Buffalo taken in Minnesota weighed 20 lbs., 0 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Big Sandy Lake, Aitkin County
    When: 9/20/03
    Statistics: 32" length, 23-3/4" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Muskellunge fingerlings 3,195 363.0
2012 Muskellunge fingerlings 2,343 363.2
2010 Muskellunge fingerlings 2,020 450.2
2009 Muskellunge fingerlings 475 91.3
2008 Muskellunge fingerlings 2,546 387.7
2007 Muskellunge adults 66 217.8
  Muskellunge fingerlings 1,848 331.8
2006 Muskellunge fingerlings 741 258.0
2004 Muskellunge fingerlings 2,500 711.8

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
ISLAND LAKE RES.
St. Louis Co., 69037200
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Rock Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   shorter than 11" 11" or longer   Mercury
Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Sucker   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
ISLAND LAKE RES.
St. Louis Co., 69037200
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Rock Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Sunfish All sizes        
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch   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 07/09/2012)

Island is an 8,000 acre reservoir with 3,260 (41%) acres of littoral area and a maximum depth of 94 feet. The reservoir is located 10 miles north of Duluth, Minnesota off Highway #4 and has three concrete, back-in public access points administered by Minnesota Power. Island has been actively managed for muskellunge by annually stocking approximately 2,500 fingerlings from 1992 through 1998 and biennial stocking through 2012. Since 1970, walleye have only been stocked into Island Reservoir in 1985. Island was last surveyed in 2006. Island was assessed during the summer of 2012 to update information on fish populations. Fish samples from this assessment were submitted for contaminant analysis.

Water quality observations during this assessment were likely impacted by warm weather conditions and the historic flood from a couple weeks prior to when the measurements were taken. The secchi disk reading of 4.0 feet was the lowest recorded observation since readings were first taken in 1942 (range; 4.3 in 1993 to 7.5 in 1990). In addition, dissolved oxygen concentrations in the upper level of the water column from previous assessments have generally been higher than what was observed during this assessment.

Walleye abundance of 9.0 per gillnet lift was up from 2006 (7.0) and average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Walleye gillnet catch rates from six investigations since 1989 have ranged from 5.7 to 10.9 per lift. Average length of 11.1 inches was small and growth was the slowest in the Duluth Fisheries Management Area. Over 88% of the walleyes captured were less than 15 inches long. All year-classes from 1998 through 2011 were represented, except 1999-2000 and 2002.

All walleye greater than 12 inches were sexed and stomach contents were identified. Male to female ratio was 0.8:1. Two percent of the specimens were an unknown sex. Of the 73 walleye examined, 78% had empty stomachs. Of the 22% that contained stomach contents (16 specimens) 75% contained fish, 19% contained crayfish and 13% contained aquatic insects. Percentages do not total 100 because some fish contained multiple prey types. One fish contained a lead-head jig. Fish prey species was primarily yellow perch (67%). Two specimens contained bluegill and one contained a sculpin. Two other specimens contained unidentifiable fish species.

Northern pike abundance of 1.3 per gillnet lift was up from 2006 (0.7) and was average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Northern pike abundance has historically been relatively low in Island Reservoir with gillnet catches ranging from 0.7 in 2006 to 3.5 in 2003 in twelve investigations dating back to 1942. Average length was 21.8 inches and growth was average. All year-classes from 2005 through 2011 were represented.

Smallmouth bass abundance of 1.3 per gillnet lift was up from 2006 (0.5) average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. This sample represents the highest smallmouth abundance in twelve investigations dating back to 1942. Average length of 14.8 inches was large and growth was average compared to other Duluth Area smallmouth populations. All year-classes from 2003 through 2011 were represented, with a strong 2006 year-class. Smallmouth bass captured in gillnets were examined for stomach contents. Of the 30 smallmouth bass examined, 57% had empty stomachs. Of the 43% that contained stomach contents (13 specimens), 62% contained crayfish and 46% contained fish. Percentages do not total 100 because some fish contained multiple prey types. Fish prey species were almost all unidentifiable. However, one trout-perch was identified.

Yellow perch abundance of 8.1 per gillnet lift was down from 2006 (8.9) and above average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Average length of 8.2 inches was moderate and growth was fast compared to other Duluth Area yellow perch populations. Over 22% of the perch captured were greater than 10 inches long. All year-classes from 2004 through 2010 were represented.

Black crappie abundance of 0.7 per trapnet lift was down from 2006 (1.6) and was below average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Average length of 9.5 inches was large and growth was average compared to other Duluth Area black crappie populations. All year-classes from 2004 through 2010 were represented.

Bluegill abundance of 3.3 per trapnet lift was up from 2006 (0.7) but was still below average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. The 2012 sample represents the highest bluegill abundance in twelve investigations dating back to 1942. Average length was 6.8 inches and growth was average compared to other Duluth Area bluegill populations. Age analysis revealed a relatively strong 2006 year-class and all year-classes present from 2003-2011, except 2008.

White sucker abundance of 2.4 per gillnet lift was up from 2006 (1.7) and average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Average length of white suckers was 13.1 inches.

Other fish species sampled include black bullhead, burbot, channel catfish, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass and shorthead redhorse.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
5351 North Shore Dr
Duluth, MN 55804
Phone: (218) 525-0853
Internet: Duluth Fisheries
E-Mail: Duluth.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 B0124 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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