Ice Lake is a small, mesotrophic lake located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Ice Lake has a surface area of 42 acres, a littoral area of 13 acres, and a maximum depth of 53 feet. The lake is clear and the Secchi depth was 10 feet during the 2014 assessment. Ice Lake has an inlet from McKinney Lake and outlets to Hale Lake before draining to the Mississippi River. The lake supports an aquatic plant community that provides important cover for fish and wildlife. Unfortunately, Ice Lake is infested with both Eurasian water milfoil and purple loosestrife, which are harmful exotic plant species.
A population assessment was conducted in July of 2014 to determine the status of the fish community. This assessment consisted of 4 gill nets and 9 trap nets.
Northern Pike were the most common fish sampled in the gill nets. The catch was within the expected range for lakes with similar habitats, but below average for Ice Lake. Pike ranged from 14.8 to 30.2 inches and averaged 20.5 inches. Age and growth analysis identified 6 year classes and growth was near the statewide average with pike exceeding 21 inches by age 4. Poor size quality may limit the popularity of the pike fishery.
Bluegills were the most common fish in the trap net sample. The catch was somewhat low compared to similar lakes and below average for Ice Lake. It should be noted that steep dropping shorelines and thick vegetation make trap net sampling difficult on Ice Lake. Size structure was poor as Bluegill ranged from 2.8 to 7.7 inches with an average of 5.8 inches. Class 20 lakes typically produce slow growing Bluegill and fish from Ice Lake grew at a typical rate for the lake class, achieving 6 inches by age 7.
Although the Bluegill size structure was poor, hybrid sunfish were common and averaged 7.5 inches, with hybrids up to 9.1 inches sampled. Most hybrid sunfish appeared to be a cross between Pumpkinseed and Green Sunfish.
Black Crappies were captured at a rate for the lake class and above average for Ice Lake. Captured crappie ranged from 5.3 to 10.4 inches with an average length of 8.1 inches. Age and growth analysis identified 6 year classes (ages 1-6) and recent recruitment appeared consistent. Growth was near the statewide average as crappie generally exceeded 8.5 inches by age 5.
Ice Lake supports a diverse fish community given its small size. Other species present include Bowfin, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, and Yellow Bullhead.
Ice Lake supports exotic Eurasian water milfoil and purple loosestrife. Anglers and boaters are reminded to help stop the spread of invasive species by removing all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, and equipment. All drain plugs must be removed and live and bait wells must be drained before leaving the access. Anglers and boaters are encouraged to power wash and thoroughly dry all equipment prior to use in another water body.
- 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.