Barnum Lake has an area of 134 acres and a maximum depth of 30 feet. About two-thirds of Barnum Lake is 15 feet or less in depth. Barnum Lake is located about nine miles east and three miles north of Hackensack, MN. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different lake classes based on physical, chemical and other characteristics. Barnum Lake is in lake class 32. Lakes in this class generally have hard water, a large percentage of area 15 feet or less in depth and an irregular shoreline. Barnum Lake has no designated public access. Though most of the Barnum Lake shoreline is in private ownership, some of the shoreline is under Cass County or US Forest Service administration. Barnum Lake is managed primarily for largemouth and smallmouth bass and secondarily for northern pike, bluegill and black crappie. There is an abundant largemouth bass population present in a wide range of sizes of largemouth bass present in Barnum Lake, with fish up to 21.5 inches sampled. Smallmouth bass were not as abundant as largemouth, however fish up to 18 inches were found. Black crappie were abundant in the 2001 DNR sampling, and fish from 5 to11 inches were found. Northern pike were also abundant and the population had a good size structure. Numbers of bluegill present compares favorably with other lakes of this type. Though most bluegill sampled were small, there was a respectable number of fish 6 inches or greater. Pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, and yellow perch can provide action for panfish anglers on Barnum Lake as well. Anglers can help maintain or improve the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest allows for the harvest of smaller fish for table fare, but encourages release of medium- to large-size fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Barnum Lake and provide anglers with opportunities to catch more and larger fish in the future. Most of the land around Barnum Lake is privately owned. In 1988, a lake survey crew counted 28 lake homes around the shoreline, and by 2001 this number had increased to 40 homes. With increasing use of lakeshore areas by people, it is essential that shoreline areas be protected from degradation. Shoreline areas - on the land and into the shallow water - provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota's lakes. Overdeveloped shorelines can't support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are associated with natural undeveloped lakes. The combined effects of all lakeshore owners fixing up their property can destroy a lake's valuable natural shorelines. Shoreline habitat consists of aquatic plants, woody plants and natural lake bottom soils. Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. Natural lake bottom materials like silt or gravel are more ecologically productive than pure sand trucked in for a swimming beach. A tidy lawn and a sandy beach make great spots for sunbathing and swimming but do little to provide habitat for fish and wildlife. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife. Only if more lakeshore owners manage their shoreline in a natural condition can fish and wildlife populations on Minnesota lakes remain healthy and abundant. More specific information on protecting or restoring shorelines and watersheds is available through DNR Fisheries offices.