Fox Lake is a small, heavily-developed lake. The number of shoreline homes or cottages more than double from 24 in 1966 to 55 in 1999. Fishing pressure has likely increased, as well, and the fish community is showing signs of over fishing.With a few exceptions, fish numbers remain much as they were forty years ago. Northern pike, bluegills, and largemouth bass test net catches remained high in Fox Lake. With fingerling stocking, walleye catches are actually three times as high as they were in 1966 and much above average compared to other similar lakes.Average sizes of the more popular fish species in the community were down. Bluegills and walleyes, especially, showed evidence that larger fish are being harvested by anglers as soon as they reach "keeper" sizes. Since it takes bluegills in Fox Lake about seven years to reach seven inches in length, these fish are not quickly replaced and few (less than 1%) survive to reach eight inches. In the 1960s and 1970s, about 10% of sampled bluegills were 8.0 inches or longer. The good news is that a few larger bluegills and northern pike are still present.This phenomenon is not unique to Fox Lake but will soon require some tough choices (bigger or more fish?, more or fewer regulations?) for Minnesota's anglers. It is a testament to nature's resilience that fish populations have maintained themselves as well as they have despite increasing demand and decreasing habitat.Even though several indicators of water quality show that Fox Lake's is relatively good, there are things riparian owners and other watershed dwellers can do to help sustain quality water, fish populations, and property values. Some of these include: (1) exceeding shoreline setbacks for buildings and septic systems, (2) not fertilizing lawns or using phosphorus free fertilizers, (3) leaving wide shoreline buffer zones of unmowed, natural vegetation, (4) leaving as much aquatic vegetation (especially bulrushes and cattails) intact as possible when obtaining access to open water, (5) actively participating in the lake association, (6) following practices illustrated in the DNR document "Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality" when landscaping shoreline property, and (7) voluntarily releasing larger fish and keeping smaller ones for eating.