Fisheries Lake Survey

printer friendly version

Name: St James Pit (St James Pit East)

Nearest Town: Aurora
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 06/10/2013
Inventory Number: 69042800

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
City Carry-In West end of pit, walk-in, limited parking, primarily winter use.
City Concrete Southeast shore - Concrete ramp.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 104.54
Littoral Area (acres): 8.4
Maximum Depth (ft): 381
Water Clarity (ft): 33

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

Did you know? MinnAqua Fishing: Get in the Habitat! has a Minnesota-base activity guide for teachers, scout and 4-H leaders, youth leaders, outdoor sports groups, or anyone interested in teaching others about habitat, stewardship and fishing.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Rainbow Trout Gill net 1.17 N/A 0.78 N/A
White Sucker Gill net 1.83 1.7 - 5.0 1.14 1.6 - 2.4
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2013 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
rainbow trout 0 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 7
white sucker 0 2 2 2 5 0 0 0 11

For the record, the largest Northern Hogsucker taken in Minnesota weighed 1 lb., 15 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Sunrise River near Sunrise, Chisago County
    When: 8/16/82
    Statistics: 14.25" length, 7.1" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Rainbow Trout yearlings 1,500 500.0
2014 rainbow trout2 yearlings 900 300.0
  rainbow trout2 yearlings 1,080 360.0
2012 Rainbow Trout1 yearlings 990 330.0
2011 Rainbow Trout1 yearlings 1,050 350.0
2010 Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,100 700.0
2009 Rainbow Trout yearlings 1,050 350.0
2008 Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,100 700.0
2007 Rainbow Trout yearlings 2,100 700.0
2006 Rainbow Trout yearlings 1,500 500.0

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

No fish consumption guidelines are available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Status of the Fishery (as of 06/10/2013)

St. James Pit is a former mine pit now managed for stream trout; however it is not a designated trout lake. Its main access is a concrete ramp along the southeast shore just north of the town of Aurora. This 100 acre lake has a maximum depth of 381 feet and the water is very clear.

On June 10, 2013 the water temperature ranged from 60 F at the surface to 39 F at 100 feet. Oxygen levels were adequate for trout throughout this range. This population assessment consisted of 6 gillnets which captured two fish species, rainbow trout and white sucker.

Stocking of trout on St. James Pit began in 1984 when lake trout and rainbow trout were introduced. From 1986 to 1996 rainbows and brookies were the only species being stocked. No trout were introduced from 1997 to 2002. Since 2003, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) has taken over the stocking by providing funds and arranging to privately stock rainbows. This has freed up fish in the DNR quota, so another local designated stream trout lake can be stocked. Typically, the IRRRB has stocked the pit twice every year in the spring and fall.

The rainbow trout gill net catch rate in 2013 was 1.2 fish/net or 0.9 pounds of fish/net. Lengths ranged from 7 to 18 inches with an average of 10 inches. The average length is also slightly lower than the historical average (11 inches) and the lowest on record for the pit. Fish weights averaged 0.8 pounds/fish.

Eleven white suckers were sampled for a catch rate of 1.8 fish/net. Lengths ranged from 6 to 18 inches with an average of 13 inches which is similar to historical averages. No other fish species were surveyed.

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
650 Hwy 169
Tower, MN 55790
Phone: (218) 753-2580
Internet: Tower Fisheries

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 C2902 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

Tip Logo    Turn in Poachers (TIP):

    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093