Ada Lake is a 974-acre lake located east of Backus, Minnesota that has 7.21 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 60 ft. There is a state owned public access on the north shore. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) has classified Minnesota lakes into 43 different classes based on physical, chemical and other characteristics. Ada Lake is in Lake Class 27; lakes in this class are generally large, deep, regularly shaped lakes. This lake is primarily managed for northern pike, largemouth bass, and walleye, and secondarily for bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch, and cisco (tullibee).
Northern pike are abundant in Ada Lake and a 24 to 36 inch protected slot limit was implemented in 2003 to increase the proportion of larger pike in the population. The average length of northern pike sampled in 2012 was 18 inches, and fish sampled ranged from 10 to 40 inches. The abundance of northern pike compared favorably to other lakes in this class. The proportion of northern pike 24 inches or longer has increased steadily since 2004. The largemouth bass population was the highest observed since the lake was first sampled in 1958. The longest bass sampled in 2012 was 14 inches long. Ada Lake has been heavily stocked with varying combinations of walleye fry, fingerlings and adults since 1971 yet walleye abundance is relatively low when compared to similar lakes. While walleye numbers are low, the average length was 18 inches and fish up to 27 inches were sampled in 2012. Yellow perch and cisco (tullibee) numbers are also at very low levels, as only seven yellow perch and one cisco were sampled in 2012. The abundance of black crappie appears to be slightly above average when compared to similar lakes. Black crappie sampled in 2012 averaged about 8 inches, with fish up to 12 inches being found. Bluegill abundance was similar to other Class 27 lakes. Average length of bluegill was about 6 inches and fish up to about 8 inches were sampled. Other species available for anglers include bowfin (dogfish), brown bullhead, rock bass, yellow bullhead, and pumpkinseed sunfish.
People can have significant impacts on lakes and the fish populations they support. Harvest, lakeshore development, removal of shoreline vegetation, and introductions of invasive species can all adversely affect fish populations. Currently the only aquatic invasive species (AIS) that have been identified in Ada Lake are the rusty crayfish and the banded mystery snail. AIS are moved from infested to non-infested waters by anglers, boaters, and lake shore owners and can adversely impact lakes and fish populations. To avoid spreading AIS, lake users are required to remove all aquatic plants or animals from their watercraft and drain all water from their boat before leaving the access. If you suspect an infestation of an invasive species in this lake, save a specimen and report it to a local natural resource office. Additional information on all of these topics can be found on the DNR website (www.dnr.state.mn.us) or by contacting the Walker Area Fisheries office.