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Ball Bluff

Aitkin County, MN
Aitkin County, MN
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Ball Bluff is located in Aitkin County, Minnesota. This lake is 168 acres in size. It is approximately 78 feet deep at its deepest point. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Black Bullhead, Bluegill, Brown Bullhead, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Walleye, Yellow Bullhead, Yellow Perch, Pumpkinseed and.
168 acres
LAKE SIZE
78 feet
MAX DEPTH
25 feet
AVG DEPTH
2.8 miles
SHORELINE
ACCESS
Boat Ramp
FISH TO CATCH
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Bluegill
Brown Bullhead
Largemouth Bass
Northern Pike
Rock Bass
Walleye
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch
Bigmouth Buffalo
Blackchin Shiner
Blacknose Shiner
Blackside Darter
Bluntnose Minnow
Bowfin
Brook Silverside
Central Mudminnow
Cisco (Tullibee)
Hybrid Sunfish
Iowa Darter
Johnny Darter
Pumpkinseed
White Sucker
NOTE: This list may not be all inclusive of all speices present in Ball Bluff.
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PLACES TO SAY
STAY 22: Ball Bluff
HISTORY AND STATUS OF FISHERY

Ball Bluff Lake is located in northern Aitkin County, just south of Jacobson. Although the lake is within Savanna State Forest, riparian ownership is private except for a small public water access on the west side of the lake. The shoreline consists mainly of gently sloping mixed forests. Residential development is light with about 10 dwellings per mile of shore, ranging from seasonal recreational properties to permanent homes.

Although the lake is only 159 acres, it has steep drop-offs and reaches a maximum depth of 78 feet. Temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles are collected regularly to monitor the amount of habitat available for cold water species such as tullibee (northern cisco). The tullibee catch was the highest since 1977 at 1.8 per gill net, but survey data suggest just three year-classes have been produced over the last decade.

Walleye stocking was discontinued after 2000 due to lack of success, but anglers may still hook into an occasional fish. The walleye catch of 0.8 fish per gill net was similar to the six previous surveys dating back to 1952. Interestingly, eight of the ten walleye collected were from stocked year classes, while two fish were the result of natural reproduction.

Spring night electrofishing was conducted in June to survey the abundance and size structure of the largemouth bass population. The catch rate of 18 fish per hour of sampling, the highest of the three surveys since 1991, suggests anglers targeting this popular and sometimes acrobatic species should have plenty of opportunities. Size ranged from 5.3 to 16.9 inches and averaged 11.6 inches.

Northern pike in Ball Bluff Lake were near average for the type of lake, and although some larger fish were present, the number over 24 inches was only about 7% of our catch. Recycling of large pike is the best way to maximize enjoyment of a limited resource of quality individuals.

Panfish anglers visiting the lake will discover an abundant bluegill population. Fish caught during the 2011 survey averaged 5.5 inches, but fish up to 8.6 inches were sampled. While bluegills greater than 7 inches, accounted for 14% of the catch, the slow growth rate in Ball Bluff suggests anglers should use restraint when harvesting this species. Black crappie might be harder to locate, but the small population that persists in the lake provides some opportunity for this popular species.

In addition to the standard survey work, IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity) sampling was also conducted in 2011. IBI sampling included backpack electrofishing and seining to more broadly sample the general fish community and develop a fish-based index of overall lake health. Combining all sampling gear, eighteen species of fish were collected during the 2011 survey.

NOTICE: Lake-Link Inc assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information for Ball Bluff. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.
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