Bad Axe Lake is located in central Hubbard County, north of the town of Emmaville. Bad Axe has a surface area of 271 acres and a maximum depth of 39 feet. There is no public access. Bad Axe provides angling opportunities for northern pike, black crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different types based on physical, chemical, and other characteristics. Bad Axe is in lake class 25. Other area lakes in this same class include Big Mantrap, Little Mantrap, Eagle, Island, Belle Taine, and Spider.
Present and past surveys have shown that the northern pike population in Bad Axe fluctuates from low to moderate numbers. Northern pike abundance (2.0 pike/gillnet) was below the range "typical" for this lake class. Surveys from 1982 to 2000 had higher northern pike abundance, with gillnet catch rates fluctuating within the range "typical" for this lake class. Anglers will find that the proportion of large northern pike (> 28.0 inches) is high when compared to other area lakes. Northern pike exhibited fast growth rates when compared to other class 25 lakes. Muskellunge are present in Bad Axe and have been sampled in past surveys in low numbers. Bad Axe was stocked with muskellunge by the DNR from 1950 to 1969. Private, permitted stockings of muskellunge were done in 2002, 2005, and 2007 by the lake association. Success of these muskellunge stockings is unknown, as angler reports have been very limited.
Bad Axe has an abundant panfish population of black crappie, bluegill, and pumpkinseed. Present and past surveys have shown black crappie and bluegill abundance to be above the range "typical" for this lake class. Anglers will find a healthy black crappie population with fish in the 9-12 inch size range. Bluegill and pumpkinseed tend to run smaller, with fish in the 6-8 inch size range. Yellow perch are also abundant in Bad Axe; however, average size is small (7.2 inches). A few larger yellow perch are present with perch measured up to 11.3 inches.
Both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are present in Bad Axe, with largemouth bass being the more abundant of the two species. No specialized sampling for bass such as spring electrofishing has been conducted on Bad Axe. Largemouth bass catch rates with gillnets and trapnets are above the range "typical" for this lake class, similar to past surveys. Smallmouth bass were not sampled in 2010, but have been sampled in past surveys in low numbers. Bad Axe has good water quality, submerged and emergent vegetation that provides excellent habitat for bass.
Other species sampled included high numbers of white sucker, and moderate numbers of rock bass and yellow bullhead. Brown bullhead were sampled in low numbers.
- 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.