Child Lake is a 285-acre lake located near Longville, MN. The lake has 4.56 miles of shoreline with a maximum depth of 29 feet. There is a user-developed earthen access on state-owned land on the south shore off Cass County Highway 5. Child Lake is also accessible from Woman Lake through the Boy River. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) has classified Minnesota lakes into 43 different classes based on physical, chemical, and other characteristics. Child Lake is in Lake Class 31; lakes in this class are generally clear, productive, and moderate depth. Child Lake is primarily managed for Northern Pike, Bluegill, Black Crappie, and Largemouth Bass, and secondarily for Muskellunge, Walleye, Tullibee (Cisco), and Yellow Perch. A 24- to 36-inch protected slot regulation on Northern Pike was implemented in 2003 with the objective of increasing size structure.
Northern pike were highly abundant compared to other Class 31 lakes. Northern Pike mean length was 20 inches and fish up to 34 inches were sampled. A large portion of the Northern Pike population consisted of fish from the 2010 and 2011 year classes. These fish should be available for harvest the next few years. Bluegill were not abundant when compared to similar lakes. Bluegill mean length was 6 inches and fish up to 9 inches long were captured. Low densities and large size structure should present quality angling opportunities for the foreseeable future. Yellow Perch were similar in abundance to past years, but size structure was larger than past years. Fish averaged 7 inches long and individuals up to 10 inches in length were sampled. Low density populations exist for Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, and Walleye.
Other species sampled were Bowfin (dogfish), Brown Bullhead, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Tullibee (Cisco), White Sucker, And Yellow Bullhead.
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 aquatic invasive species (AIS) that have been identified in Child Lake are the rusty crayfish and purple loosestrife. 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.