Lake information report

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Name: Elbow

Nearest Town: Gheen
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 08/11/2008
Inventory Number: 69074400
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Concrete Located on SW end of lake off County Road #426. Limited parking.
DNR Gravel Located at the end of the Elbow Lake State Forest Road. Limited


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 1695.08
Littoral Area (acres): 664
Maximum Depth (ft): 60
Water Clarity (ft): 6.5

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


Did you know? Minnesota waters support 153 species of fish.

Fish Sampled for the 2008 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 0.87 1.6 - 3.3 0.51 0.2 - 0.7
Bluegill Trap net 9.67 0.8 - 8.7 0.26 0.1 - 0.3
Lake Whitefish Gill net 3.73 0.2 - 3.0 3.73 0.9 - 3.0
Northern Pike Trap net 0.47 N/A 1.79 N/A
Gill net 0.53 1.2 - 3.6 2.80 1.9 - 3.6
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.93 0.5 - 3.4 0.26 0.1 - 0.3
Rock Bass Trap net 0.20 0.3 - 1.0 0.43 0.2 - 0.3
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.07 0.1 - 0.4 0.27 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.33 0.3 - 0.7 0.25 0.5 - 1.3
Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 1.07 1.8 - 12.4 0.14 0.2 - 0.5
Walleye Trap net 0.67 0.3 - 1.3 3.51 0.5 - 1.4
Gill net 2.53 3.1 - 9.8 0.93 0.7 - 1.3
White Sucker Trap net 0.13 0.3 - 3.0 3.20 1.8 - 2.8
Gill net 1.47 2.8 - 6.7 2.45 1.3 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Gill net 2.67 1.9 - 7.1 0.15 0.1 - 0.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2008 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 crappie 0 4 8 1 0 0 0 0 13
bluegill 16 129 0 0 0 0 0 0 145
lake whitefish 0 0 1 2 9 44 0 0 56
northern pike 0 0 1 1 5 4 4 0 15
pumpkinseed 3 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 14
rock bass 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
smallmouth bass 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 6
tullibee (cisco) 0 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 16
walleye 0 6 21 0 14 3 4 0 48
white sucker 0 0 2 2 19 1 0 0 24
yellow perch 12 25 3 0 0 0 0 0 40


For the record, the largest Splake taken in Minnesota weighed 13 lbs., 5.44 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Larson Lake, Itasca County
    When: 2/11/01
    Statistics: 33.5" length, 19" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2012 Walleye fingerlings 16,095 996.0
2010 Walleye* fingerlings 15,723 995.8
2008 Walleye fingerlings 34,857 995.9
2006 Walleye* fingerlings 26,960 999.9
2004 Walleye fingerlings 13,352 667.6

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
ELBOW
St. Louis Co., 69074400
Northern Pike     shorter than 29" 29" or longer Mercury
Walleye     All sizes   Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
ELBOW
St. Louis Co., 69074400
Northern Pike   shorter than 24" 24" or longer   Mercury
Walleye   shorter than 19" 19" or longer   Mercury
White Sucker   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 08/11/2008)

Elbow Lake is a 1,659 acre, 60-foot deep lake, located 7 miles southeast of Orr, MN. The lake has a rocky irregular shoreline and numerous islands. Elbow contains tannin stained water with low fertility typical of the Canadian Shield. Development has steadily increased on the lake since the initial survey was conducted in 1954.

Twelve fish species were caught during the 2008 fisheries assessment on Elbow Lake. Lake whitefish was the most common species in the gill-net catch making up 30% by number and 63% by weight. Walleye accounted for an additional 21% of the catch by number. Smallmouth bass and bluegill were also commonly sampled during this assessment.

Walleye abundance in 2008 (2.53/net) was comparable to the median for Elbow Lake but ranked within the bottom 25% for lakes of the same classification. Gill-net abundance has increased since the mid-1980's, apparently due to fingerling stocking that was initiated in 1982. The walleye stocking quota was increased by 50% in 2006, however, no change in abundance was apparent. Few walleye are from natural reproduction.

A broad range of sizes were present in the walleye catch. Lengths ranged from 7.8 to 26.6 inches and averaged 12.5 inches. The abundance of walleye over 17 inches in 2008 (0.47/net) was comparable to the average of the previous 14 investigations. Seven year-classes were present in the catch with most walleye being from the 2006 year-class (63% of captured walleye). Few individuals from the 2004 stocking were captured during this investigation and their absence was obvious in the length distribution; no walleye between 12 and 15 inches were caught. Growth of Elbow Lake walleye was above average for the Area.

Lake whitefish abundance (3.73/net) was the third highest on record for Elbow Lake. Abundance was high, not only for Elbow Lake but also for other lakes in the same classification. Whitefish caught averaged 3.73 pounds. Lengths ranged upto 23.8 inches with an average of 20.3 inches. Ninety-one percent of the whitefish in the catch were over 18 inches. Elbow Lake was opened to lake whitefish sport-netting for the first time during the fall of 2008.

Northern pike abundance (0.53/net) was near the median for Elbow Lake but was below average for lakes in the same classification. The average weight was 2.80 pounds and lengths ranged from 17.6 to 28.7 inches.

Bluegill trap-net abundance (12.08/net) in 2008 was four times higher than ever recorded for Elbow Lake. Bluegill abundance has increased dramatically in Elbow Lake since the mid-1990's. Lengths ranged from 3.4 to 8.5 inches with but averaged 6.8 inches. Eight-nine percent of the catch was over six inches in length while only six percent were over eight inches in length. Growth of Elbow Lake bluegill was well below the Area average.

Smallmouth bass electrofishing abundance (125.4/hour) was the highest of the previous four investigations that used this gear. The size distribution of smallmouth was also the most favorable observed. Lengths ranged upto 15.0 inches with an average of 8.0 inches, the highest recorded. Growth of bass was very slow.

Other species present in the 2008 catch include black crappie, yellow perch, largemouth bass, cisco, white sucker, rock bass and pumpkinseed.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
392 Hwy 11 E
International Falls, MN 56649
Phone: (218) 286-5220
Internet: International Falls Fisheries
E-Mail: InternationalFalls.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 B0425 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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