Big Bass Lake is a 264-acre lake located near Walker, MN that has 6.1 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 33 feet. There is a US Forest Service public access on the northeast shore off of County Road 49. The DNR has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different classes based on physical, chemical and other characteristics. Big Bass Lake is in Lake Class 35; lakes in this class are shallow and irregularly shaped. This lake is primarily managed for northern pike and largemouth bass and secondarily for bluegill, black crappie, and yellow perch. Northern pike are abundant in Big Bass and the catch rate has been historically high for Big Bass Lake compared to other Lake Class 35 lakes. The mean length for northern pike was 22 inches and fish up to 37 inches were sampled. Spring electrofishing sampled many largemouth bass. The mean length for largemouth bass was 10 inches; fish up to 17 inches were sampled. Other fish species that are available to anglers to catch are black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, and yellow perch. 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-sized fish. Releasing these fish can help maintain balance in the fish community in Big Bass Lake and provide anglers the opportunity to catch more and larger fish in the future. 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 the local DNR Fisheries office.