Horseshoe Lake (DOW# 11-0358; Lake Class 23) is a 260-acre lake located near of Backus, MN. There is a DNR owned public access on the south shore. Horseshoe Lake has 3.84 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 51 feet. The lake is primarily managed for Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, and Walleye and secondarily for Bluegill, Black Crappie, and Yellow Perch.
In 2005, a suite of special regulations was implemented with a mix of length and possession limit restrictions on Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Sunfish and Walleye. The DNR has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different classes based on physical, chemical and other characteristics. Horseshoe Lake is in Lake Class 23; lakes in this class are generally very clear, very deep, have a low percentage of shallow water area, and have very irregularly shaped shoreline with many bays or points.
Horseshoe Lake is unique in the fact that it for its size and simplicity it support a strong naturally reproducing Walleye population. Compared to similar lakes, Horseshoe Lake has very good numbers of Walleye. The majority are eater sized (13-17 inches), but Walleye up to 27 inches were sampled. In addition to Walleye, the lake also supports quality angling opportunities for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. The majority of bass sampled were over 15 inches and included fish up to 18 inches. Although numbers of Bluegill are relatively low, approximately 25% of fish sampled were longer than 8 inches. Other fish species that anglers can expect to encounter include Black Crappie, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, White Sucker, Yellow Bullhead, and Yellow Perch.
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 no aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been identified in Horseshoe Lake. 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.