South Center Lake is an 835 acre lake managed primarily for Walleye and Northern Pike. The lake's stocking plan was amended in 2010. Five hundred-sixty one pounds of Walleye fingerlings are now stocked annually. The shoreline is predominately sand while the water clarity is generally low due to algae growth. The lake is a popular fishing and boating destination and receives high user pressure. The public access, though large, can be filled to capacity at times. Three hundred-thirty two lake homes make for a highly developed shoreline. During the summer of 2005, the culvert connecting North and South Center lakes was replaced with a more navigation friendly bridge, which should provide easier travel between the lakes when the water level returns to normal. In stride with the lake management plan, a standard survey was conducted utilizing night electrofishing in June and gill nets and trap nets in August of 2015.
The lake currently supports a fishable population of quality size Walleye. Walleye sampled during the assessment averaged 1.6 pounds and 16.3 inches with lengths ranging from 7.9 to 23.1 inches. One-third of the Walleye catch was 17 inches or larger.
Northern Pike were more abundant than Walleye and were also of quality size. Sampled Northern Pike averaged 5.4 pounds in weight and 28.5 inches in length. The largest pike caught was 38.9 inches. In 2003, a special Northern Pike regulation was implemented following a public input meeting. Northerns between 24 and 36 inches are protected from harvest. The regulation goal is to allow continued harvest of smaller pike while increasing the lake's potential to produce trophy-sized fish.
Largemouth Bass were very abundant and, with an 11.3 inch and 0.9 pound average, larger than in all prior assessments. Twenty seven percent of the adult bass caught exceeded 14 inches in length.
Both Bluegill and Black Crappie numbers are high for the lake type. Panfish anglers should find plenty of action but those looking for a meal may have to sort through some smaller fish. In the trap nets, both Black Crappie and Bluegill displayed gains in size compared to the previous assessment. Forty-five percent of the crappies sampled were over 8 inches while 20% of Bluegill were 7 inches or longer, harvest sizes acceptable to some anglers.
- 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.