East Toqua Lake is located adjacent to Graceville in west central Minnesota. It measures 428 acres and has a maximum depth of 6 feet. The lake is highly productive and often quite turbid. Toqua County Park is located along the south shoreline and it offers convenient shore angling locations, boat launching, picnicking, and camping. The lake is managed primarily for northern pike and walleye, with secondary emphasis on black crappie and yellow perch.
Walleye were abundant in 2014 and most measured 15-19 inches. Comments from anglers suggest that recent walleye fishing has been poor. A fair number of fathead minnows were caught in small mesh trap nets and adequate forage abundance may have been the cause of decreased angling success. Fisheries assessments have indicated that the vast majority of walleye have resulted from stocking. However, a moderate 2014 walleye year class was present which likely resulted from natural reproduction.
Northern pike were moderately abundant in 2014 and most fish were 16-26 inches. Three year classes were present and all were the result of natural reproduction. Northern pike have been stocked in the past and have also contributed to the fishery at times. Northern pike typically grow fast and die young in East Toqua Lake. Few pike older than age four have been sampled. Adequate forage is typically available to allow pike to grow fast, however cool water refuge areas do not exist and pike likely experience mortality due to high water temperatures during the heat of the summer.
Yellow perch abundance was high in 2014 and the gill net catch was the highest that has occurred in the twelve fisheries investigations that have been conducted since 1984. The increase of yellow perch resulted from a 2014 spring stocking of 5,100 yearlings and adults. Perch up to 10 inches were sampled, but most fish measured 5-7 inches and should reach sizes desired by anglers by the fall of 2015.
Black crappie were in low abundance and measured from 4-12 inches. A moderate number of young-of-year crappie were also sampled, indicating good reproduction occurred in 2014.
Black bullheads were abundant in 2014. Some bullheads measured up to 11 inches, but most were less than seven inches and wouldn't have drawn much angler interest.
Other fish species sampled in low to moderate abundance included bluegill, common carp, white sucker, and yellow bullhead. Bluegill have been stocked in the past and have been shown to readily reproduce in the lake. However, little nursery habitat in the form of submergent vegetation is available for young bluegills and their survival has been poor.
Fisheries management activities scheduled for East Toqua Lake include annual fish assessments, monitoring of winter dissolved oxygen and ice-fishing pressure, and stocking various fish species as appropriate.