A standard survey was conducted on Bear Lake during the summer of 2015 to update information about fish populations. Walleye is the primary management species for Bear Lake and fingerlings are stocked during even numbered years. Walleye abundance of 1.0 per gillnet lift was average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Walleye average length was large at 20.1 inches. Two year-classes were represented, and both corresponded to stocked year-classes.
Angling opportunities for Largemouth Bass are notable in Bear Lake with fish up to 20.6 inches sampled. The Largemouth Bass electrofishing catch rate was 29.0 fish per hour, which is average compared to other Duluth Area Largemouth Bass populations. Mean length of sampled bass was good at 14.6 inches.
Panfish population density was average compared to other similar Minnesota lakes. Black Crappie average length was 6.8 inches but only 10% exceeded eight inches. Bluegill averaged 6.3 inches with some quality fish available up to 8.5 inches. Yellow Perch were scarce and small.
Northern Pike abundance of 7.0 per gillnet lift was above average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Mean length was 22.8 inches and over 50% of the fish captured exceeded 24 inches long.
Eurasion water milfoil was identified in Bear Lake during this survey. The infestation was well established and was very thick in the immediate vicinity of the public access, among other areas. The lake has been designated as infested waters and signs were posted to notify those using the public water access. Designation of the lake as an infested water prohibits the transport of water and harvest of bait. Extreme care must be exercised by thoroughly cleaning boats and trailers when leaving the lake to avoid spreading the aquatic invasive species to other waterbodies.
- Eurasian Watermilfoil
Recreational activities such as recreational boating, angling, waterfowl hunting, and diving may spread aquatic invasive species. Some aquatic invasive species can attach to boats, while others can become tangled on propellers, anchor lines, or boat trailers. Many species can survive in bilge water, ballast tanks, and motors or may hide in dirt or sand that clings to nets, buckets, anchors, and waders. Fortunately, completing simple steps can prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species.