Freeborn County - Minnesota
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bear Lake, MN
- How big is Bear Lake?
- How deep is Bear Lake?
- What kind of fish can you catch in Bear Lake?
- What are the closest cities to Bear Lake?
- Are there places to stay in the Bear Lake area?
- Are there boat launches on Bear Lake?
- Are there places to eat and drink near Bear Lake?
- What is the average air temp for Bear Lake?
- Are there any state parks near Bear Lake?
How big is Bear Lake?
How deep is Bear Lake?
What kind of fish can you catch in Bear Lake?
Other fish species in the lake include Brook Stickleback, Fathead Minnow, Golden Shiner, Green Sunfish, Orangespotted Sunfish, River Carpsucker, Smallmouth Buffalo, Tadpole Madtom and White Sucker.
What are the closest cities to Bear Lake?
Are there places to stay in the Bear Lake area?
More Lodging Options
Are there boat launches on Bear Lake?
Are there places to eat and drink near Bear Lake?
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History & Status of the Fishery
Bear Lake in Freeborn County is a 1,536 acre lake north of the city of Emmons. Bear Lake is currently a wildlife management lake, one of 44 lakes statewide designated as such. A DNR-owned public access is located on northeast end of the lake.
Bear Lake was surveyed the week of July 30th, 2009, to monitor the fish community. Black bullheads were the most abundant fish sampled at 89 per gill net and 38 per trap net lift. Bullhead in both gears were small, ranging between 4.5 and 10.5 inches and averaging five to a pound. Bear Lake's poor water quality is a good fit for the greatly tolerant black bullhead.
Local interest in a recreational fishery stems from catches of northern pike. Two inlets on the north end of the lake are channelized and are the deepest points on the lake. Both sites are the best locations for darkhouse spearing and winter and summer angling. Northern pike averaged 7 fish per gill net, approaching the upper quartile for class 43 lakes. Average fish weight was 1.5 pounds. Trap netted pike were larger; average fish weight was 3.4 pounds. Local anglers report historical catches of larger fish.
Bear Lake's wider connection to the Winnebago River and immediate connection to Lime Creek may be the source of the lake's crappie populations. Resident black and white crappie populations include a handful of year classes, implying not only survival in Bear Lake's shallow waters, but reproduction as well. Black crappie were not well sampled in gillnets; black crappie in trap nets were captured at a rate of 9 fish per lift. Trap netted black crappies ranged between 4.5 to 10.9 inches, with an average of 6.8 inches. White crappie also were not well sampled in gillnet. Trap netted white crappie averaged 5 fish per lift. White crappies in trapnets ranged between 5.7 and 11.4 inches, with an average of 7.6 inches.
Common carp are prolific in Bear Lake; they may be underrepresented in this survey because of their ability to break mesh in the gill net and escape. Despite losing some fish, carp exceeded the upper quartile for abundance, averaging 24 fish per gill net lift. Carp were large, averaging 4.5 pounds per fish, again exceeding the upper quartile for average fish weight. While operating the boat on Bear Lake, carp were observed jumping in the outboard motor propeller wash.
Young bigmouth buffalo were abundant at 26 fish per gill net lift. Buffalo ranged from 8 to 11 inches. No large buffalo were caught in the gill nets, but a 20 inch fish was caught in a trap net.
Yellow perch averaged 38 fish per gill net lift. Gill net perch fit into a narrow stretch of length groupings, ranging from 5.2 to 8.1 inches. Also sampled were orange-spotted sunfish, white sucker, and golden shiner.
What is the average air temp for Bear Lake?
Are there any state parks near Bear Lake?
More Nearby Lakes To ExploreThere's more lake's to explore around Bear Lake...
|Silver Lake Marsh||5.6 mi||109|
|Silver Lake||6.2 mi||316||7 ft|
|Pickeral Lake||7.6 mi||588||6 ft|
|White Lake||9.2 mi||168||0 ft|
|Morin Lake||9.6 mi||21||7 ft|
|Fountain Lake||10.3 mi||521||14 ft|
|Rice Lake||10.9 mi||1,000||10 ft|
|Albert Lea Lake||11.1 mi||2,669||5.5 ft|
|Rice Lake||13.5 mi||266||4 ft|
|Freeborn Lake||14.1 mi||2,034||6.7 ft|