Bouder and Crescent Lakes are connected by a navigable channel 2-4 feet deep. Boat and motor access to Bouder Lake is most often and most easily accomplished from an access ramp on Crescent Lake. Boaters should be alert for boulders in the channel, and in Bouder Lake, and proceed with caution. Both lakes have similar and self-sustained fish communities, and fish are able to move freely between the lakes. These lakes have not been stocked since the 1970s.
Walleye were fairly abundant in Bouder Lake in 2014, but most were small. The walleye catch was higher in 2014 than it had been in 2005, but was similar to earlier catches and met the long range management goal for the lake. Natural reproduction had occurred over several years, based on the age of fish caught. Walleye from a strong 2012 year class (two-year-old fish) were most abundant, and could be expected to sustain the fishery for the next few years. Growth rates of walleye had been about average for this class of lake and this area.
Bouder Lake is one of just three Cook County lakes supporting significant numbers of muskellunge. Muskellunge were more abundant than in the previous three assessments, and the population was relatively strong for this type of lake. The number and size of musky caught met the long range goal for the lake. The three largest fish caught were 36-39 inches long. These musky are descended from Shoepack strain fish introduced in the 1970s; fish of that strain seldom exceed 40 inches. Minimum legal length will become 54 inches in 2015, so the musky fishery will essentially be catch and release only. Seven year classes contributed to the 2014 catch, with fish as old as nine years taken. Growth of three-to-five year old musky had been about average for the area. Five-year-old musky averaged 26 inches long when captured.
Smallmouth bass have been present in Bouder Lake since at least 2002. Only a few were caught in the 2014 survey, but none of the sampling gears used were intended for sampling smallmouth bass, so that catch may not reflect their true abundance. Smallmouth growth rates had been average, or slightly below average, for the lake class.
Yellow perch provided forage for walleye and muskellunge, and a limited fishery. The largest perch taken in the 2014 survey was 8.4 inches long. Both perch and white sucker numbers have generally been lower since muskellunge were introduced.