Busties Lake is a 237-acre lake located 7 miles east of Effie, MN in the Big Fork River watershed. The lake has a maximum depth of 44 feet and 71 littoral acres. There is an earthen ramp public access on the north side of the lake. Busties Lake is in Ecological Lake Class 31. Other area lakes in this class include Little Bowstring, Maple and Little Turtle Lakes.
The Northern Pike gill-net catch was well above the lake class expected range at 16.3/net. This is a higher catch rate than in any previous assessments. As typically occurs with high densities, Northern Pike size structure was poor. Sampled fish ranged from 15.1 to 30.9 inches with a mean length of 20.1 inches. Only three fish were over 28 inches. Recruitment appeared consistent with ages 1 thru 7 represented in the sample. Growth was similar to the statewide average with Northern Pike reaching 21.0 inches at age 4.
The Yellow Perch gill-net catch was near the lake class median at 14.7/net. This catch rate is substantially lower than previous assessments and is likely a result of the high numbers of Northern Pike. Sampled Yellow Perch ranged from 5.2 to 8.4 inches with a mean length of 6.1 inches.
Spring night electrofishing was conducted on Busties Lake for the first time in June 2013 to sample Largemouth Bass, since standard test netting typically does not sample this species effectively. Largemouth Bass were captured at a rate of 25.8/hour. This is a moderately low catch rate compared to other lakes in the area. Largemouth Bass size structure was good; sampled fish ranged from 7.1 to 19.4 inches with a mean length of 14.8 inches. Fish 15 inches and longer made up 64% of the sample. Recruitment appeared consistent, with ages 2 thru 10 represented in the sample. Growth was similar to the statewide average with fish reaching 14.4 inches at age 5.
The gill-net catch rate for Black Crappie was 2.5/net. This is higher than previous assessments but within the lake class expected range. Black Crappie were also sampled with night electrofishing at a catch rate of 58.6/hour. This is a moderately high catch rate and provided a better sample than standard test-netting. Size structure was fairly good; Black Crappie from the electrofishing sample ranged from 5.0 to 11.7 inches with a mean length of 9.0 inches. Fish 10 inches and over made up 49% of the sample. Scale analysis indicated ages 1 thru 8 were represented, with 2010 (age 3) and 2006 (age 7) the dominant year classes. Growth was similar to the lake class average with Black Crappie reaching 9.8 inches at age 6.
The trap-net catch for Bluegill was within the expected range and similar to the previous assessment at 8.7/net, while the gill-net catch rate was much higher than previous surveys at 19.0/net. Bluegill size structure was modest; sampled fish ranged from 3.5 to 9.2 inches with a mean length of 7.0 inches. Fish exceeding 8 inches made up 13% of the sample. Scale analysis indicated ages 3 thru 11 were present, but age 6 and older fish made up a majority of the sample. Growth was similar to the lake class average, with fish reaching 6.2 inches at age 6.
The Walleye gill-net catch has varied from 1.0 to 3.8/net in previous surveys. Gill-nets sampled only one Walleye in 2013 for a catch rate of 0.2/net. Walleye have not been stocked since 1988 and natural reproduction appears to be maintaining a limited population.
Smallmouth Bass were sampled in low numbers, two by electrofishing and two in gill nets. These fish ranged from 13.8 to 17.5 inches. The origin of these fish is unclear since Smallmouth Bass have never been sampled in any previous assessment.
Other species sampled in test nets included Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Hybrid Sunfish and Yellow Bullhead.