Windom area fisheries

The Windom fisheries work area

175 County Road 26
Windom 56101
[email protected]

A Windom area fisheries crew sets a trap net.

A Windom area fisheries crew sets a trap net.

Anglers who fish in Pipestone, Murray, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Martin, southern Lincoln and southern Lyon counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Windom area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Ryan Doorenbos and a staff of four full-time employees manage 80 fishing lakes and 2,000 miles of rivers and streams.

These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Lake Benton, Lake Sarah, Lake Shaokotan and Lake Shetek as well as several other smaller prairie pothole lakes with remarkable productivity for walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, panfish and numerous other fish species as well as the relatively new muskellunge fisheries of Fox Lake and the Fairmont Chain of Lakes.


General Information

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  • The Windom fisheries management area includes a 10-county area of southwestern Minnesota. Clientele in the Windom area include sporting clubs, lake associations and thousands of anglers who fish in the management area annually. The work of area staff influences aquatic resources that include 80 lakes totaling 35,304 acres, numerous warmwater stream/river miles and two coldwater streams managed for trout. The area also includes numerous aquatic management areas, three state-owned northern pike rearing ponds, 15 natural walleye rearing ponds, numerous rough fish barriers and a state-owned drainable walleye rearing pond.
  • The Windom area staff conduct walleye and northern pike fingerling production operations and coldwater stocking operations so that numerous individual lake and stream stocking objectives are met annually according to specific management objectives.
  • Windom fisheries staff conduct lake and stream survey and fish population assessments on area lakes according to management objectives.  Specific lake and stream survey assessments include analysis of watershed summarization, fish collection, vegetation collection identification and enumeration, substrate identification, water sample collection and laboratory analysis. The results of these surveys and assessments are incorporated into state survey reports and fisheries management plans/recommendations.

Reports & information

Check out the dissolved oxygen content in area lakes.
Our work
  • License Dollars At Work logo and link to pageContinuing to identify opportunities to rehabilitate and enhance some of the more degraded shallow lakes in southwestern Minnesota to create unique angling opportunities for walleye, northern pike, muskellunge and panfish.
  • Enhancing walleye genetics and walleye populations on multiple area lakes by conducting a walleye spawning operation on Murray County's Lake Sarah each spring.
  • Utilizing four drainable ponds to raise and stock northern pike fingerlings each year to increase northern pike populations and offset the spawning habitat loss in southern Minnesota.
  • Annually evaluate and survey 20-25 lakes to provide and improve gamefish populations in these highly productive prairie pothole lakes.
  • Utilize 12-17 fertile walleye rearing ponds that contribute to statewide walleye stocking quotas to improve walleye populations.
  • Successfully implementing eight projects to stop the spread of invasive carp from the Little Sioux River watershed and continually provide information to the public about invasive fish species.
  • Maximizing our education and outreach time to engage the public through a weekly radio show, lake association/sportsmen?s club meetings, school or youth programs and providing fish for county fairs.

Windom staff

Slide text left for phones & emails

Ryan DoorenbosArea supervisor507-832-6013[email protected]
Nate HodginsAssistant area supervisor507-832-6015[email protected]
Jonah DagelFisheries specialist507-832-6014[email protected]
Luke RossowFisheries technician507-832-6012[email protected]
Autumn BezdicekOffice Administrative Assistant507-832-6011[email protected]