Lake of the Woods is one of nine Minnesota lakes categorized as Large Walleye Lakes (>25,000 acres) by the Minnesota DNR, and is sampled annually in accordance with the Large Lake Sampling Guide. The guide provides a standard sampling and reporting format to allow trends to be identified, and between-lake comparisons to be made.
Water quality, biological communities, and the recreational fishery (through creel surveys) are among the components sampled regularly on these large lakes. An annual report on most of these sampling activities is compiled by a large-lake specialist assigned to the particular lake. Creel surveys are reported separately during years they are conducted.
For Lake of the Woods, the annual Large Lake Sampling Report typically catalogs results for the following biological sampling activities, in the sequence when they were collected:
-Spring spawning assessment of Walleye in the Rainy River using Electrofishing gear. This assessment is typically conducted in late April.
-Zooplankton assessment. Zooplankton are sampled throughout the open water season in the open basin of Lake of the Woods.
-Young-of-Year Percid assessment. Beach seines and bottom trawls are used to target young Walleye, Sauger, and Yellow Perch.
-Fall Gill Net assessment. During this assessment, sixteen sites on the Minnesota waters of Lake of the Woods are sampled in September using gill nets. The fall gill net assessment monitors several of the metrics that are useful in describing the status of a Walleye population. The assessment is also a helpful tool for monitoring other species of fish, such as Sauger, Yellow Perch, Cisco, and Northern Pike.
For more information on the this topic, or for a copy of the report, contact the Baudette Area Fisheries office at 218-395-6032, or email Large Lake Specialist.