Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Elephant

Nearest Town: Ash Lake
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 07/21/2014
Inventory Number: 69081000

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Carry-In
DNR Concrete At the outlet on SE side of the lake.


Fishing Regulations:

Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 728.06
Littoral Area (acres): 331
Maximum Depth (ft): 30
Water Clarity (ft): 7.6 (4.5-12)

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


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.

Fish Sampled for the 2014 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 2.58 0.8 - 4.5 0.29 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 11.00 0.4 - 3.3 0.36 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 17.42 3.2 - 21.2 0.17 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 14.44 N/A 0.23 N/A
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.33 0.2 - 0.9 0.08 0.1 - 0.1
Gill net 0.44 0.2 - 0.8 0.09 0.1 - 0.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.08 N/A 3.67 N/A
Gill net 3.00 1.8 - 5.5 3.94 1.9 - 3.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 1.33 1.0 - 5.2 0.11 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.33 N/A 0.15 N/A
Smallmouth Bass Gill net 0.44 0.5 - 2.1 1.80 0.5 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 0.17 0.3 - 1.1 3.59 0.8 - 2.5
Gill net 3.11 2.0 - 9.7 2.88 0.8 - 2.0
White Sucker Trap net 0.08 0.2 - 0.9 2.25 1.4 - 3.0
Gill net 3.11 2.3 - 8.7 2.10 1.5 - 2.2
Yellow Perch Trap net 2.75 0.3 - 2.5 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 77.00 1.7 - 14.1 0.17 0.1 - 0.2
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2014 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 8 92 28 1 0 0 0 0 129
bluegill 110 227 0 0 0 0 0 0 337
golden shiner 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
northern pike 0 0 0 0 1 7 18 2 28
pumpkinseed 18 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 19
smallmouth bass 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 4
walleye 0 0 1 2 11 13 3 0 30
white sucker 0 0 1 5 22 1 0 0 29
yellow perch 132 571 13 0 0 0 0 0 716


For the record, the largest Golden Redhorse taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lb., 15.5 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Root River, Fillmore County
    When: 4/30/07
    Statistics: 20.125" length, 12.375" girth

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
ELEPHANT
St. Louis Co., 69081000
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Smallmouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Walleye   shorter than 16" 16" or longer   Mercury
White Sucker   All sizes     Mercury
Yellow Perch   All sizes     Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
ELEPHANT
St. Louis Co., 69081000
Crappie All sizes        
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Smallmouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury
White Sucker All sizes        
Yellow Perch 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.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 07/21/2014)

Elephant Lake is 728 acres and located approximately 10 miles northeast of Orr, Minnesota. Approximately 45 percent of the lake is less than 15 feet deep. Bass, northern pike, panfish, walleye, and yellow perch dominate the sport-fish community. Elephant Lake is a Minnesota Sentinel Lake; thus, investigations will be used to determine how the lake is responding to factors such as climate change, watershed development, invasive species, and runoff.

Several species of panfish were caught, including bluegill, black crappie, and pumpkinseed. Generally, numbers were low and sizes were small in the past. However, recently black crappie and bluegill have been notable exceptions.

Black crappie abundance was above what is typically found in most lakes of this type and size reached 12.2 inches. A strong year-class in 2011 should continue to keep numbers and size above average.

Bluegill abundance was near the high end of what is typically found in most lakes of this type and the highest level ever recorded in Elephant Lake. Size reached 8.2 inches. The 2011 year-class was outstanding and should continue to keep numbers and size above average.

In an attempt to improve the size structure of the northern pike population, an experimental regulation requiring the release of all pike under 40 inches was enacted on May 10, 2003. In 2014, northern pike abundance was within the typical range for this lake type. Growth was fast and individuals were large; the average weight was 3.9 pounds, which was slightly above the typical range for this lake type. Size in the sample ranged from 20.0-31.8 inches.

Smallmouth bass are abundant in Elephant Lake. Fish up to 18.5 inches were captured during this investigation and should provide those seeking smallmouth bass with good fishing.

Walleye abundance has fluctuated greatly throughout the past 45 years. Stocking has occurred numerous times up until 1996 and no difference was detected in the strength of walleye year-classes between stocked and un-stocked years. In 2014, abundance was within the expected range for lakes of this type, but it was the lowest abundance ever recorded on Elephant Lake. A healthy number of year-classes were present and age ranged from 3-17 years. Size in the sample ranged from 8.8-23.1 inches and the average was 14.2. Walleye fishing in the near future should be similar to recent years.

Yellow perch are present but are likely more important as forage for predators than as a recreational fish for anglers. Only about 5 percent were above 9 inches.


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: InterFalls.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 B0367 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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