Island Lake is located in the northeastern part of Aitkin County approximately seven miles northwest of Tamarack. The lake is 243 acres in size the majority of which is less than 15 feet deep. The lake has a maximum depth of 25 feet and a secchi disk reading of 6.5 feet. A variety of fish species are present in Island Lake including northern pike, bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and yellow bullhead, however, most of these fish are small and grow slowly. Northern pike gillnet catches reached an all time low in 2005 at 2.3 per net. Historically pike catch rates have ranged from 5 to 7 fish per net since 1975. Pike ranged in size from 15 to 26 inches total length with a mean length of 22 inches. Growth for larger pike is slow and are consequently susceptible to over harvest in this infertile lake. Bluegill catch rates were also at the lowest level ever observed on the lake at 15 fish per trap net. Trap net catches for bluegill have varied from 36 to 88 fish per net dating back to 1975. The growth of bluegill in Island Lake is quite slow, as it would take 6 to 8 years to produce a six-inch bluegill. Black crappie abundance has fluctuated greatly over time, which is normal for this species. Crappies hatched in 2001 and 2002 are 4 to 6 inches long and are the most abundant year classes in the fishery. In a couple of years these fish will grow to be an acceptable size to anglers. Other species present in low abundance include bowfin, largemouth bass, brown bullhead and yellow perch. A commercial fish distributor stocked walleyes in 1989, however, no walleye have been sampled in subsequent DNR lake surveys indicating poor survival. Low forage abundance and predation by northern pike will likely hinder survival of stocked fingerlings in Island Lake. Yellow bullheads do well in the lake and yet only a few are likely to be harvested by anglers.Island Lake is a remote, quiet lake with a limited amount of development along the eastern shoreline, which is viewed as a positive aspect for anglers and residents on the lake. The infertile water and slow growth of fish will limit the lakes potential to produce large numbers of quality fish. Catch and release of larger northern pike and panfish is encouraged to maintain a well-balanced fishery. Responsible shoreline management practices will help maintain the habitat and natural qualities of the lake.