|Nearest Town: Tower
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 04/23/2012
Inventory Number: 69037800
|City||Concrete||Located in Tower off U.S. 169 on the East Two River.|
|DNR||Concrete||Located 7 miles north of Cook on St. Louis Co. 24 on the west shore of Head of the Lakes Bay.|
|County||Concrete||Located 10 miles northeast of Cook at the end of St. Louis Co. 596 on the north shore of Norwegian Bay.|
|DNR||Concrete||Located 6 miles northeast of Cook on St. Louis Co. 478 on the southeast shore of Wakemup Bay.|
|County||Concrete||Located 7 miles northeast of Cook at the end of Polley Rd. off St. Louis Co. 540 on the south shore of Wakemup Narrows.|
|County||Concrete||Located 11 miles northeast of Cook at the end of St. Louis Co. 540 on the west shore of Oak Narrows.|
|DNR||Concrete||Located 10 miles east of Cook on St. Louis Co. 418 on the south shore of Frazer Bay.|
|DNR||Concrete||Located 8 miles northwest of Tower on St. Louis Co. 949 on the south shore of Black Duck Bay.|
|County||Concrete||Located 7 miles northwest of Tower at the end of St. Louis Co. 929 at Mocassin Pt.|
|County||Concrete||Located 6 miles northwest of Tower at the end of St. Louis Co. 651 on the north side of Birch Pt.|
|County||Concrete||Located 4 miles northwest of Tower at the end of St. Louis Co. 414 on the north shore of Everett Bay.|
|US Forest Service||Concrete||Located 7 miles northeast of Tower on St. Louis Co. 408 on the north shore of Rice Bay.|
|DNR||Concrete||Located 1 mile north of Soudan on Twp. Rd. 4598 in Soudan State Park on the south shore of Stuntz Bay.|
|City||Concrete||Located 2 miles north of Tower on Twp. Rd. 4596 on the south shore of McKinley Bay.|
|City||Concrete||Located 1 mile northwest of Tower on St. Louis Co. 697 on the north side of Hoodoo Pt.|
|City||Concrete||Located 1 mile northwest of Tower on St. Louis Co. 697 on the south side of Hoodoo Pt.|
|Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.|
|Disease:||Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)||Date Tested:||4/7/2010||Result:||Negative|
|Disease:||Heterosporis sp.||Date Tested:||12/29/2005||Result:||Positive|
|Did you know? Lake rehabilitation projects reclaim waters suffering from habitat degradation and overpopulation of some fish species.|
|Species||Number of fish per net||
Average Fish Weight (lbs)
Normal Range (lbs)
|Black Crappie||Trap net||1.00||1.3 - 2.6||0.24||0.3 - 0.6|
|Gill net||1.30||0.2 - 0.8||0.14||0.2 - 0.6|
|Bluegill||Trap net||19.10||6.8 - 33.1||0.15||0.2 - 0.5|
|Brown Bullhead||Trap net||0.28||N/A||1.29||N/A|
|Golden Shiner||Trap net||0.21||N/A||0.08||N/A|
|Hybrid Sunfish||Trap net||0.07||N/A||0.25||N/A|
|Largemouth Bass||Trap net||0.17||0.0 - 1.3||0.61||0.2 - 0.4|
|Northern Pike||Trap net||0.69||N/A||3.21||N/A|
|Gill net||0.70||1.1 - 2.4||6.60||2.8 - 4.3|
|Rock Bass||Trap net||1.21||1.2 - 4.0||0.28||0.2 - 0.4|
|Gill net||0.55||0.6 - 1.6||0.37||0.2 - 0.3|
|Smallmouth Bass||Trap net||0.03||0.1 - 0.3||0.27||0.5 - 0.8|
|Gill net||0.30||0.2 - 0.6||1.51||0.7 - 1.2|
|Tullibee (cisco)||Gill net||6.65||1.1 - 10.1||0.73||0.3 - 0.9|
|Walleye||Trap net||1.31||0.9 - 1.9||1.75||0.9 - 1.3|
|Gill net||15.40||3.6 - 10.8||1.28||0.8 - 1.3|
|White Sucker||Trap net||0.17||0.1 - 0.7||1.70||1.4 - 3.8|
|Gill net||2.85||1.4 - 3.0||1.59||1.7 - 2.2|
|Yellow Perch||Trap net||4.14||2.2 - 8.5||0.16||0.2 - 0.2|
|Gill net||23.15||1.4 - 6.8||0.20||0.1 - 0.2|
|Species||Number of fish caught in each category (inches)|
|For the record, the largest Black Bullhead taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lb., 13.12 oz. and was caught: |
Statistics: 17.17" length, 14.96" girth
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., 69037800
|Bluegill Sunfish||All sizes||Mercury|
|Northern Pike||All sizes||Mercury|
|Walleye||shorter than 19"||19" or longer||Mercury|
|White Sucker||All sizes||Mercury|
|Unrestricted||1 meal/week||1 meal/month||Do not eat|
St. Louis Co., 69037800
|Bluegill Sunfish||All sizes|
|Northern Pike||All sizes||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.
Lake Vermilion is part of the statewide Large Lake Program, an intensive fisheries management program on the 10 largest lakes in Minnesota. The Large Lake Program includes annual population assessments, annual water quality monitoring, and regularly scheduled creel surveys. A variety of sampling gear is used during population assessments to collect the various fish species and life stages. These gear types include gill nets, trap nets, beach seines, and an electrofishing boat. Sampling for each gear type is conducted at the same time and place each year in order to determine population trends for the major species. Data is also collected on length, weight, age, and growth for each of the major species.
The walleye gill net catch in 2012 was 15.4 fish/net, slightly less than the 2011 catch but still above the long-term average for Lake Vermilion. Walleye gill net catches had been below average from 2008 to 2010, due to poor reproduction in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. Improved walleye catches in 2011 and 2012 were due primarily to strong year classes produced in 2007 and 2010. Gillnetted walleye had a mean length of 14.9 inches, the largest average size ever observed on Lake Vermilion. The large average size was due primarily to high numbers of older fish in the gill net catch from strong year classes produced in 2002, 2003, and 2007. The gill net catch of walleye less than 15 inches long was slightly below average, reflecting poor reproduction in 2008 and 2009. The walleye gill net catch was dominated by age 2 fish (2010 year class) and age 5 fish (2007 year class), which composed 27% and 18% of the catch; respectively. Strong year classes of walleye were produced in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2010. One year of netting indicates the 2011 year class will also be stronger than average. Weak to fair year classes were produced in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. The special walleye regulation on Lake Vermilion was modified in 2012 to an 18-26 inch protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches, and a four-fish bag limit. The previous regulation was a 17-26 inch protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches, and a four-fish bag limit. The regulation was modified to allow anglers to harvest some larger fish, while keeping harvest at a safe level.
The gill net catch of northern pike was 0.7 fish/net, slightly below the historic average. Gill net catches of northern pike have historically been fairly stable at a relatively low level. Northern pike are more abundant in some of the shallow bays, however those areas are not sampled during annual assessments. The mean length of northern pike sampled by gill nets was 29.6 inches, well above the historic average. It was the fourth consecutive year pike lengths were above average, reflecting an improved size structure in recent years. The sample size of northern pike in the gill nets was too small (14 fish) for meaningful age and growth analysis. Northern pike reproduction has historically been relatively consistent from year to year without exceptionally weak or strong year classes. A special regulation for northern pike has been in effect since 2003: a 24-36 inch protected slot, with one fish allowed over 36 inches. This regulation is part of a statewide initiative to improve the size structure of pike populations in a number of lakes across the state.
The gill net catch of yellow perch was 23.2 fish/net, slightly below the historic average. Perch gill net catches have been below average since 2007, due to poor reproduction and survival from 2003 to 2009. Gillnetted perch had a mean length of 7.3 inches, which is near the historic average. The gill net catch of perch over 9 inches long was well below average. Perch sampled on East Vermilion were considerably larger than those sampled on West Vermilion, which is consistent with past sampling. The perch catch was dominated by age 2 fish (2010 year class), which composed 59.0% of the catch. The catch of age 2 perch was much higher than average, suggesting 2010 will be a strong year class. The catch of age 1 perch (2011 year class) was also higher than average, while catches of other age classes were all below average. Prior to 2010, the last strong year class of perch was produced in 2002.
The black crappie trap net catch was 1.0 fish/net, slightly below the historic average. Crappie numbers have historically been relatively low on Lake Vermilion, although some areas of West Vermilion have higher numbers of fish. Trapnetted crappie had a mean length of 6.6 inches, well below the historic average. The small average size was due to an unusually high catch of small fish. The trap net catch of crappie over 10 inches long was about average. The crappie catch was dominated by age 1 fish (2011 year class), which composed 48.3% of the catch. It was the highest catch of age 1 crappie since 2006, suggesting 2011 will be strong year class. Other strong year classes of crappie were produced in 2005 and 2006, while weak year classes were produced in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The trap net catch of bluegill was 19.1 fish/net, well below the historic average. The bluegill catch was much higher on West Vermilion than East Vermilion, reflecting higher bluegill abundance in that lake basin. Trapnetted bluegill had a mean length of 5.7 inches, slightly below the historic average. Bluegill trap net catches have been dominated by smaller fish for several years, with relative low numbers of large fish. The bluegill trap net catch was dominated by age 6 fish (2006 year class), which composed 37.7% of the catch. Strong year classes of bluegill were produced in 2005, 2006, and 2010, while weak year classes were produced in 2004, 2007, and 2008.
Muskellunge population assessments are done every four to six years on Lake Vermilion. Due to the large size of the lake, East Vermilion and West Vermilion are done in different years. A muskie assessment was done on East Vermilion in 2011 and an assessment was done on West Vermilion in 2012. The East Vermilion muskie catch in 2011 was 2.8 fish/net, while the West Vermilion catch in 2012 was 1.1 fish/net. Muskie trap net catches have been gradually increasing since they were introduced as more year classes recruit to the spawning stock. To date, muskie trap net catches have been higher on East Vermilion, while the average size has been larger on West Vermilion. The mean length of trapnetted muskie was 44.9 inches on East Vermilion and 46.2 inches on West Vermilion. About 14% of the muskie sampled on East Vermilion were over 50 inches long, while 30% of the muskie sampled on West Vermilion were over 50 inches long. The largest muskie sampled was 55.6 inches long.
An electrofishing boat is used as the standard sampling gear for smallmouth bass because they are not often caught in standard assessment nets. The smallmouth bass electrofishing catch in 2012 was 36.5 fish/hour, which is near the historic average. Smallmouth bass sampled by electrofishing had a mean length of 11.1 inches, well above the historic average. The large average size was due to good numbers of 12-18 inch bass in the catch. The smallmouth bass catch was dominated by age 2 fish (2010 year class) and age 5 fish (2007 year class), with each year class composing 19.2% of the catch. Strong year classes were produced in 2005 and 2006, while weak year classes were produced in 2008 and 2009. One year of sampling indicates the 2010 year class will likely be stronger than average.
An electrofishing boat is used to sample young-of-the-year walleye in the fall to monitor reproductive success for the year. The fall electrofishing catch of young-of-the-year walleye in 2012 was 216.3 fish/hour, well above the historic average. It was the second consecutive year of high walleye electrofishing catches. The walleye catch was much higher on East Vermilion than West Vermilion. The mean length of young-of-the-year walleye sampled by electrofishing was 5.9 inches, well above the historic average. Growth of young-of-the-year walleye has proven to be a useful indicator of eventual year class strength. Past sampling has shown that large, fast growing young-of-the-year walleye generally produce strong year classes, while small slow growing fish produce poor year classes. Taken together, the 2012 electrofishing catch and growth rate indicate the 2012 year class will likely be stronger than average on East Vermilion and near average on West Vermilion.
There are several invasive species known to be present in Lake Vermilion. Rusty crayfish are very abundant in East Vermilion and are expanding into West Vermilion. Curly-leaf pondweed is now present in Everett's Bay and Stuntz Bay in East Vermilion. Chinese mystery snails were discovered in 2011 in Spring Bay at the far west end of the lake. Purple loosestrife has been found at several sites on the lake, usually in wetland areas adjacent to lake. Heterosporis, a microsporidean fish parasite, has been identified in several walleye and yellow perch from Lake Vermilion, mostly from the west end of the lake. Anglers and boaters should always take preventative measures to avoid moving invasive species to other lakes. For more information on invasive species and other DNR programs, go to the DNR website at mndnr.gov.
|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