East Rush Lake is a large (1480 acre) lake in northern Chisago County. It is connected by a navigable channel to West Rush Lake, but the two lakes are very different in structure. East Rush is shallower, with a maximum depth of 24 feet, and more windswept. Algae blooms can result in low water clarity in late summer. The two lakes are managed primarily for Walleye, Muskellunge, and Northern Pike, with Black Crappie, Bluegill, and Largemouth Bass as the secondary management species. A standard survey was conducted in 2015 using trap nets, electrofishing, and gill nets. Overall, the fishing on East Rush Lake for many species should be quite good. There are good numbers of Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Bluegill, and Northern Pike.
Walleyes were sampled at their lowest rate since 1992 and slightly below their historic average, but numbers were still within the normal range for this lake type. A variety of sizes are present, with fish in excess of 28 inches present. Although some natural reproduction takes place, the Walleye population is primarily a result of stocking efforts.
A 24-36 inch protected slot regulation for Northern Pike has been in place since 2005 on East Rush Lake, and was changed to a 26-40 inch protected slot in July of 2015. These regulations are intended to increase the numbers of larger pike. Numbers of Northern Pike in the 2015 survey were normal for the lake type and higher than the historic average. Northerns averaged 27.8 inches and 5 pounds, their highest since 1985. It is hoped that the new, shifted protected slot limit will further improve the Northern Pike size structure while allowing anglers the expanded opportunity to harvest fish up to 26 inches in length.
Largemouth Bass, sampled by night electrofishing on June 9, were less abundant than the 2011 sample and some other Chisago County lakes. However, size was good with the majority of bass 12 inches in length or larger.
Black Crappies were again abundant with the gill net catch exceeding the norm for the lake class. While roughly 10% of the catch approached 9 inches or better in length, crappies between 6.5 and 7.5 inches accounted for one-third of the catch. This year class should provide good angling for the next several years. Bluegill numbers were typical of the lake type. Bluegill size was the largest recorded since the1985 assessment with 37% of the catch surpassing 7 inches. Yellow Perch were abundant in both net types and provide a good food supply for larger predator fish as well as additional angler harvest opportunity.
- Eurasian Watermilfoil
Recreational activities such as recreational boating, angling, waterfowl hunting, and diving may spread aquatic invasive species. Some aquatic invasive species can attach to boats, while others can become tangled on propellers, anchor lines, or boat trailers. Many species can survive in bilge water, ballast tanks, and motors or may hide in dirt or sand that clings to nets, buckets, anchors, and waders. Fortunately, completing simple steps can prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species.