Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Elephant

Nearest Town: Ash Lake
Primary County: St. Louis
Survey Date: 08/03/2009
Inventory Number: 69081000

Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Carry-In
DNR Concrete


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): 723.64
Littoral Area (acres): 331
Maximum Depth (ft): 30
Water Clarity (ft): 8.3 (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? Ongoing habitat improvement and maintenance work is conducted on trout streams that have publicly owned land or easements.

Fish Sampled for the 2009 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 2.92 0.8 - 4.5 0.33 0.2 - 0.6
Gill net 0.22 0.4 - 3.3 0.58 0.2 - 0.5
Bluegill Trap net 4.50 3.2 - 21.2 0.12 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 0.78 N/A 0.19 N/A
Golden Shiner Trap net 0.17 0.2 - 0.9 0.12 0.1 - 0.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.25 N/A 4.82 N/A
Gill net 1.33 1.8 - 5.5 4.63 1.9 - 3.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.67 1.0 - 5.2 0.13 0.1 - 0.2
Smallmouth Bass Trap net 0.08 0.2 - 0.7 0.10 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 0.22 0.5 - 2.1 1.89 0.5 - 1.4
Walleye Trap net 0.08 0.3 - 1.1 3.33 0.8 - 2.5
Gill net 6.11 2.0 - 9.7 1.04 0.8 - 2.0
White Sucker Trap net 0.67 0.2 - 0.9 3.06 1.4 - 3.0
Gill net 2.33 2.3 - 8.7 2.64 1.5 - 2.2
Yellow Perch Trap net 2.83 0.3 - 2.5 0.14 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 7.78 1.7 - 14.1 0.13 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 2009 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 9 9 19 0 0 0 0 0 37
bluegill 47 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 61
golden shiner 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
northern pike 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 5 15
pumpkinseed 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
smallmouth bass 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 3
walleye 0 2 4 35 10 5 0 0 56
white sucker 0 0 0 0 23 6 0 0 29
yellow perch 16 87 1 0 0 0 0 0 104


For the record, the largest Smallmouth Buffalo taken in Minnesota weighed 20 lbs., 0 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Big Sandy Lake, Aitkin County
    When: 9/20/03
    Statistics: 32" length, 23-3/4" 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 08/03/2009)

Elephant Lake is a 742 acre, located approximately 10 miles northeast of Orr, Minnesota. Approximately 45 percent of the lake is less than 15 feet deep. Bass, 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. However, black crappie was a notable exception; abundance was above what is typically found in most lakes of this type and size reached 10.8 inches. Strong 2005 and 2007 year-classes were found, which 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 2009, northern pike abundance was below the typical range for this lake type. However, growth was fast and individuals were large; the average weight was 4.6 pounds, which is well above the typical range for this lake type. Size in the sample ranged from 18.4-31.3 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 40 years. In 2009, abundance was below the level found in the previous investigation (2006), but still remained above the level observed in most lakes of this type. Six year-classes were present and age ranged from 2-12 years. Walleye fishing in the near future looks bright; the 2006 year-class represented 62 percent of the sample and the 2002 year-class remained strong. Size in the sample ranged from 8.8-23.1 inches and the average was 14.2.

Yellow perch are present but are likely more important as forage for predators than as a recreational fish for anglers. Less than 1 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: 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 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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