Goose Lake has an area of 754 acres divided into two basins. Goose Lake is assigned to lake class 24. Lakes grouped in class 24 are typically deep with hard water. The walleye population is maintained through annual fingerling stocking. Special regulations inn effect on Goose Lake include a 17 inch minimum length for walleye and a 5 fish bag limit for crappie. In order to assess the current fishery, lake management goals, walleye stocking success, and special regulations Goose Lake was netted in May and July of 2012.
The walleye gillnet catch (5.2/set) fell just below the lake's historic mean but met the management goal and exceeded the 50th percentile for lake class 24. Walleye ranged in length from 10 to 25.5 inches with a 17.2 inch, 1.9 pound mean. Age analysis found fairly typical growth rates. Six year classes of walleye were present, each from a year in which stocking occurred. This regular recruitment yielded an even length frequency. Although walleye size decreased compared to the prior assessment, when averages were 19.5 inches and 2.7 pounds, only a couple of year classes were represented in the 2007 catch.
After dipping some in 2007, northern pike abundance, based on gillnet catch rates, was at a historic high in 2012. Pike catch rate (10.8 per gillnet) exceeded both the lake management goal and the 75th percentile for the lake type. Despite these high numbers, pike size structure is good. Northern pike averaged 23.9 inches and 3.2 pounds with fish over 34 inches present. Northern pike exhibited faster than normal growth. Two thirds of the catch was between 3 and 5 years old.
Despite providing the primary forage of these strong walleye and northern pike populations, yellow perch were present at levels above the lake's historic mean and the lake class norm. With relatively few perch exceeding 7 inches, the current perch size structure provides little angler harvest opportunity.
The black crappie catch rate, at 15.8/gillnet, was near the 75th percentile and near the historic means observed before 1997. Overall crappies ranged from 4.2 to 11.0 inches with adult fish averaging 8.8 inches.
Based on electrofishing catch rates, largemouth bass abundance has increased with each assessment since the initial one in 1995. Forty three largemouth were captured in the 2012 sample, yielding a moderate catch rate of 37.9 bass per hour. Similar to 2002, most bass sampled in 2012 exceeded 12 inches with 28% of adults 15 inches or longer. Bass grew well in Goose Lake reaching 12 inches by the end of their fourth summer.
- 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.