Lake Julia is a 450 acre lake with a maximum depth of 43 feet and water clarity around 6.5 feet. The public access has a dock and concrete ramp and is on the north side of the lake off of County Road 26. There is room for about 8 trucks with trailers; however, the state of the ramp makes launching a large boat challenging but still possible. The nearest town is Puposky which is about 10 miles north of Bemidji just west of County Hwy 15. Shoreline development primarily consists of a moderate number of private homes and lake cabins. The Mud River flows in from Crane Lake and exits on the north side into Puposky Lake and eventually makes its way north to Lower Red Lake. Historically, minor algal blooms are common in the summer giving the water a light green color; however, healthy oxygen levels are generally only reduced beyond depths of 18 feet by the end of summer. Lake Julia is primarily managed for Walleye and secondarily managed for Northern Pike and Yellow Perch.
Stocking records for Lake Julia go back to 1908 when Brown Trout, Black Crappie, Lake Trout, Sunfish, and Walleye were introduced to enhance the resident fish community. Northern Pike were stocked sporadically from the 1950's through the late 1970's alongside Walleye. However, since 1982 only Walleye fry have been stocked at a frequency of 2 out of 3 years and most recently at a rate of 1,500 fry/littoral-acre. Currently, the fish community in Lake Julia consists of Black and Brown Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Rock Bass, Yellow Perch, and most notably Walleye. Lake Julia is becoming an ever more popular Walleye lake because of the abundance of "eater" sized fish with plenty of opportunity to catch one much larger.
The Walleye population is doing well with the average fish weighing about 2.2 lbs at a length of 17.7 inches. Gillnet catch rates were down from 11.9 fish/net in 2003 to 9.9 fish/net in 2013 but average size has increased. It appears that the majority of the Walleye population is dependent on supplemental stocking but the presence of year classes from non-stocked years indicate a notable amount of natural reproduction is occurring. In fact, the most recent strong year classes observed were 2009, 2010, and 2011(2010 was not a stocking year).
The Northern Pike population in Lake Julia is expanding. In 2013, gillnets caught 13.7 fish/net, the highest catch rate since 1983. Even though catch rate is up, average size has remained at 21.3 inches in length and 2.1 lbs with the majority of pike falling in the 18-24 inch range. Successful spawning is attributed to Mud Creek connecting to Crane and Puposky, shallow lakes with dense aquatic vegetation and abundant prey species, ideal for Northern Pike recruitment. The small size structure is likely attributed to harvest since comparable lakes with protective size regulations have measurably better size distributions.
Yellow Perch are very abundant with over 600 captured during the 2013 assessment and sizes ranging from 5 to 12.5 inches. Average length is around 7.25 inches but larger fish are abundant and easily targeted.
Bluegills are also noteworthy with over 65 captured and sizes reaching 8.5 inches. They were first recorded in Lake Julia in 2003 so it is believed that both their abundance and size structure are still expanding. Black Crappies were also first discovered in the early 2000's and were captured with lengths recorded over 11 inches in 2013. While these new arrivals may add diversity to the fishery, new species introductions may have unintended consequences. The simple fish community dominated by Walleye, Yellow Perch and Northern Pike has responded exceptionally well to Walleye fry stocking for decades. As these new species continue to expand they may alter the conditions that made that management action so effective. Hopefully Walleye will remain as the primary managed species as long as fry stocking continues to produce a healthy, fast growing, and well-structured population.