Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: McQuade

Nearest Town: Hibbing
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 07/22/2013
Inventory Number: 69077500
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Earthen Access on northwest shore
DNR Earthen Access on southwest shore.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 173.2
Littoral Area (acres): 157
Maximum Depth (ft): 21
Water Clarity (ft): 4

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

Did you know? The state operates 17 hatcheries: 5 for trout and salmon and 12 for coolwater species.

Fish Sampled for the 2013 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 0.56 0.8 - 3.5 0.21 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 6.60 0.5 - 5.5 0.30 0.1 - 0.3
Bluegill Trap net 0.78 2.3 - 7.8 0.25 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 0.60 N/A 0.44 N/A
Brown Bullhead Gill net 0.20 0.5 - 20.0 1.50 0.3 - 0.7
Golden Shiner Gill net 0.60 0.3 - 1.7 0.11 0.1 - 0.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.67 N/A 1.92 N/A
Gill net 7.80 3.0 - 8.3 2.52 1.4 - 3.0
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.33 0.7 - 3.4 0.24 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.60 N/A 0.27 N/A
Rock Bass Gill net 0.20 0.2 - 1.5 0.03 0.2 - 0.5
Shorthead Redhorse Trap net 0.44 0.7 - 2.3 1.64 2.0 - 2.5
Gill net 3.00 1.1 - 4.0 1.53 1.3 - 2.2
Walleye Gill net 1.40 1.3 - 4.8 5.17 0.9 - 2.5
White Sucker Trap net 1.67 0.8 - 4.4 2.53 1.5 - 2.3
Gill net 9.60 2.0 - 11.5 2.13 1.1 - 2.1
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.56 0.4 - 2.8 0.10 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 4.00 4.5 - 19.0 0.12 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 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
black crappie 4 25 9 0 0 0 0 0 38
bluegill 2 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
brown bullhead 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
golden shiner 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
northern pike 0 0 0 0 11 27 5 2 45
pumpkinseed 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
rock bass 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 5 13 0 0 0 19
walleye 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 7
white sucker 0 0 3 16 37 2 0 0 63
yellow perch 13 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 25

For the record, the largest Yellow Perch taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lbs., 4 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Plantaganette, Hubbard County
    When: 1945

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2015 Walleye fry 157,000 1.5

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 07/22/2013)

McQuade Lake is a small lake located about eight miles east of Hibbing, MN off County Road #592. The lake is included in ecological lake class 19. Lakes in this class are small and shallow with moderately hard water. McQuade Lake is 164 acres with a littoral area of 157 acres (96%) and a maximum depth of 21 feet. It has very hard water (alkalinity=148) and high phosphorus fertility (0.071 ppm). The water has a slight bog stain and Secchi disk readings of four to five feet. The lake receives water from a creek flowing from Buhl, MN and outlets to the St. Louis River.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has calculated a Carlson Trophic Status Index of 59 from data collected from 2003 to 2012, indicating a eutrophic state ( Eutrophic lakes often produce algae blooms that may be a nuisance for land owners and recreators. MPCA listed the overall condition as "Not always suitable for swimming and wading due to low clarity or excessive algae caused by the presence of nutrients such as phosphorus in the water".

The fisheries lake management plan (LMP) was last revised in 2002. The goals of the LMP were to maintain a black crappie catch of 3.0/trap net, a northern pike catch of 3.0/gill net, and a bluegill catch of 5.0/trap net.

A lake population assessment was conducted in July of 2013 to evaluate the status of the fish community. This assessment consisted of 5 gill net sets and 9 trap net sets.


White sucker have been common in past assessments and were the most common fish present in the gill net catch in 2013. The catch compared to similar lakes. White sucker and shorthead redhorse appear to be important prey species in McQuade Lake.

Northern pike abundance appears to have increased in McQuade Lake over time. Northern pike were generally sampled in low numbers prior to a 2000 assessment, but increased in the past two assessments. The catch 2013 was typical compared to similar lakes but above average for McQuade Lake. Size structure was moderate, as lengths ranged from 18.4 to 36.6 inches with an average of 22.5 inches. Age and growth analysis identified 6 year classes (ages 1-6) and growth was relatively fast with pike exceeding 21 inches by age 4 and 26 inches by age 5. Good angling opportunities appear to exist for pike, given the catch rate and size structure. Anglers are encouraged to help maintain quality pike fishing by releasing pike over 24 inches.

Walleye were initially stocked in McQuade Lake in the 1980s in an effort to produce a self-sustaining population. Walleye have occurred in low numbers since that time. It should be noted that lakes with habitats similar to McQuade do not typically produce large walleye populations. The catch in 2013 was typical for similar lakes and above average for McQuade Lake. Captured walleye were generally large, ranging from 21.4 to 28.4 inches with an average length of 24.5 inches. Captured walleye were older than age 8, indicating good adult survival, but poor recruitment in recent years. McQuade Lake appears to provide a bonus fishery for large walleye.

Yellow perch have declined over time and have been at or below the lake class first quartile value in the last three assessments. The catch in 2013 was somewhat low compared to similar lakes and below average for McQuade. Perch were generally too small to interest anglers, but are a valuable prey species for predators. Low perch abundance is likely a limiting factor of walleye in McQuade Lake.

Black crappie catches have varied over time, a typical trait for the species. Inconsistent recruitment often results in variable year classes and boom and bust angling cycles. The black crappie trap net catch failed to reach the LMP goal of 3.0/ trap net in 2013. The trap net may be a poor indicator of crappie abundance in McQuade Lake during summer surveys, however. The gill net catch was high compared to lakes with similar habitats, suggesting high abundance. Size structure was moderate, as gill net caught crappie ranged from 4.5 to 11.7 inches with an average size of 7.8 inches. Eight year classes were identified, but recruitment was inconsistent as 58% of the sample belonged to the 2010 year class. Growth was somewhat slow, with individuals typically exceeding 8 inches by age 5.

Bluegills have typically occurred in low numbers in McQuade Lake. The catch in 2013 remained quite low, was below average for McQuade Lake, and failed to meet the 2002 LMP goal. Trap net caught bluegill ranged from 3.2 to 8.5 inches with an average length of 6.4 inches. Bluegill typically grow well in class 19 lakes, and growth from McQuade was near the lake class average, as bluegill typically exceeded 6 inches by age 5. The popularity of the bluegill fishery is likely limited by low abundance.

Exotic Chinese mystery snails exist in McQuade Lake. Snails can form dense aggregations and disrupt native populations. Snail die offs are often considered a nuisance by landowners as dead snails litter the lakeshore. Anglers and boaters are reminded to help stop the spread of invasive species by removing all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, and equipment. All drain plugs must be removed and live and bait wells must be drained before leaving the access. Anglers and boaters are encouraged to power wash and thoroughly dry all equipment prior to use in another water body.

Landowners should follow best management practices to help improve or at least maintain water quality. These practices include allowing vegetated buffer strips along shorelines, maintaining shoreline and near shore vegetation, and avoiding the use of lawn fertilizers. Additional best use practices can be found at

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
1201 East Hwy 2
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 327-4430
Internet: Grand Rapids 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 D0196 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

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