Bass Lake is a 294 acre lake located seven miles northeast of Merrifield in Crow Wing County. The maximum depth is 24', with 63% of the lake 15' deep or less. Water clarity is good with a secchi disk reading of 14'. A public access is located on the east side of the lake. Bulrush and water lilies surround much of the lake. Protection of aquatic vegetation, especially emergent vegetation, is important for maintaining good water quality. Aquatic vegetation is critical for fish spawning areas, providing habitat for fish and other aquatic life, and decreasing shoreline erosion, lake sedimentation, and nutrient uptake.
The northern pike catch of 20.0/gillnet was high when compared to similar lakes, and the highest catch to date. Average length was 23.0", with 42% at least 24" in length. Voluntary release of these larger pike will help maintain a balanced population.
Bass lake is appropriately named since it contains an abundance of largemouth bass. Largemouth bass were sampled by a spring electrofishing survey at a rate of 139.4/hr. Average length was 11.9", with 44% measuring at least 12" in length. Largemouth were sampled in high numbers in gillnets at 2.8/net, with an average length of 13.2".
The black crappie catch of 0.5/gillnet was low compared to similar lakes. Average length was 6.1". The trapnet black crappie catch was average at 1.3/net. Average length was 8.3". For both gears combined 60% were at least 8" in length. It takes 4 years for crappies to reach 8" in Bass Lake. Bluegills were abundant at 57.7/ trapnets, but run on the small side with an average length of 5.9". Only 3% of the catch was at least 7" in length and it takes roughly 8 years to reach that size.
Yellow perch are an important forage species and were sampled in average numbers at 16.0/gillnet. Some were big enough to be of interest to anglers with an average length of 7.9". Yellow perch at least 8" in length made up 65% of the catch.
No invasive species have been discovered in Bass Lake, but they are located in the area. Before and after launching lake users are required to inspect and remove any aquatic plants and animals from their watercraft and trailers as well as pull the plug and drain all water from the watercraft, including bilges, livewells and baitwells.