|Nearest Town: Tower
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 06/10/2014
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.|
|Did you know? The annual budget for the Section of Fisheries is approximately $17 million, which is funded primarily by fishing license and stamp fees and by a federal excise tax on fishing and boating equipment.|
|Species||Number of fish per net||
Average Fish Weight (lbs)
Normal Range (lbs)
|Black Crappie||Trap net||2.38||1.3 - 2.6||0.38||0.3 - 0.6|
|Gill net||0.50||0.2 - 0.8||0.35||0.2 - 0.6|
|Bluegill||Trap net||30.38||6.8 - 33.1||0.15||0.2 - 0.5|
|Brown Bullhead||Trap net||0.15||N/A||0.67||N/A|
|Golden Shiner||Trap net||0.85||N/A||0.11||N/A|
|Largemouth Bass||Trap net||0.19||0.0 - 1.3||0.54||0.2 - 0.4|
|Northern Pike||Trap net||0.77||N/A||2.81||N/A|
|Gill net||0.45||1.1 - 2.4||4.01||2.8 - 4.3|
|Rock Bass||Trap net||0.73||1.2 - 4.0||0.25||0.2 - 0.4|
|Gill net||0.30||0.6 - 1.6||0.23||0.2 - 0.3|
|Smallmouth Bass||Gill net||0.40||0.2 - 0.6||1.07||0.7 - 1.2|
|Tullibee (cisco)||Gill net||8.05||1.1 - 10.1||0.72||0.3 - 0.9|
|Walleye||Trap net||1.69||0.9 - 1.9||2.08||0.9 - 1.3|
|Gill net||10.80||3.6 - 10.8||1.31||0.8 - 1.3|
|White Sucker||Trap net||0.12||0.1 - 0.7||1.95||1.4 - 3.8|
|Gill net||2.50||1.4 - 3.0||1.59||1.7 - 2.2|
|Yellow Perch||Trap net||7.15||2.2 - 8.5||0.23||0.2 - 0.2|
|Gill net||32.50||1.4 - 6.8||0.17||0.1 - 0.2|
|Species||Number of fish caught in each category (inches)|
|For the record, the largest Lake Trout taken in Minnesota weighed 43 lbs., 8 oz. and was caught: |
Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years
|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.|
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 gillnet catch in 2014 was 10.8 fish/net, well below the historic average for Lake Vermilion. Walleye gillnet catches had been above average for several years prior to 2014. The decline in the walleye catch was due in part to poor reproduction in 2009 and 2013. Gillnetted walleye had a mean length of 14.3 inches, well above the historic average. The walleye gillnet catch was dominated by age 2 fish (2012 year class), which composed 36.1% of the catch. The gillnet catch of the 2012 year class was near average for age 2 fish. Gillnet catches of other age classes were generally below average. Strong year classes of walleye were produced in 2006, 2007, and 2012. Weak year classes were produced in 2008 and 2009. One year of netting indicates the 2013 year class will also be weaker than average. There is a special regulation for walleye on Lake Vermilion: an 18-26 inch protected slot, with one fish allowed over 26 inches, and a four-fish bag limit. The goal of the regulation is to keep harvest at a safe level and maintain adequate spawning stock.
The gillnet catch of northern pike was 0.5 fish/net, slightly below the historic average. Gillnet 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 26.1 inches, slightly above the historic average. Northern pike lengths have been above average for several years. 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 gillnet catch of yellow perch was 32.5 fish/net, slightly above the historic average. Gillnetted perch had a mean length of 7.2 inches, slightly below the historic average. Perch sampled on East Vermilion were considerably larger than those sampled on West Vermilion, which is consistent with past sampling. The perch gillnet catch was dominated by age 2 fish (2012 year class), which composed 44.6% of the catch. The gillnet catch of the 2012 year class was well above average for age 2 fish. Strong year classes of perch were produced in 2010, 2011, and 2012; while weak year classes were produced in 2008 and 2009.
The black crappie trapnet catch was 2.4 fish/net, slightly above 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 8.3 inches, which is near the historic average. The catch of 8-9 inch crappie was well above average, while the catch of crappie over 10 inches was slightly below average. The crappie catch was dominated by age 4 fish (2010 year class) and age 2 fish (2012 year class), which composed 37.1% and 32.3% of the catch, respectively. Catches of both age classes were well above average, suggesting 2010 and 2012 will be strong year classes. It appears the 2011 year class is also stronger than average. Weak year classes were produced in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The trapnet catch of bluegill was 30.4 fish/net, slightly above 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 5.8 inches, which is near the historic average. Trapnet catches have been dominated by small fish for several years, with relatively low numbers of large fish. The bluegill trapnet catch was dominated by age 4 fish (2010 year class), which composed 37.7% of the catch. The trapnet catch of the 2010 year class was well above average for age 4 fish. Trapnet catches were also above average for age 2 fish (2012 year class) and age 3 fish (2011 year class). Strong year classes of bluegill were produced in 2010, 2011, and 2012, while weak year classes were produced in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
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 2014 was 57.0 fish/hour, well above the historic average. Smallmouth bass electrofishing catches are usually higher on West Vermilion, while the average size is larger on East Vermilion. The mean length of smallmouth bass sampled by electrofishing was 10.3 inches, slightly above the historic average. The smallmouth bass catch was dominated by age 3 fish (2011 year class), which composed 33.3% of the catch. The trapnet catch of the 2011 year class was well above average for age 3 fish. Trapnet catches were also above average for age 2 fish (2012 year class) and age 4 fish (2010 year class). Strong year classes of smallmouth bass were produced in 2010, 2011, and 2012, while weak year classes were produced in 2008 and 2009.
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 2014 was 81.3 fish/hour, well below the historic average. The mean length of young-of-the-year walleye sampled by electrofishing was 5.0 inches, slightly below 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 2014 electrofishing catch and growth rate indicate the 2014 year class will likely be weaker than average.
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