A resurvey of Bass Lake was conducted in early July of 2013. Bass is a small (52 acres) and moderately productive lake located in Kandiyohi County. The maximum depth is 31 feet. A township public access with limited parking and turn around is located along the north shore. Residential development (11 homes) has occurred primarily along the north and west shoreline areas. Hardwoods dominate the east and south shorelines. Agricultural row crop drainage into the lake occurs via 3 inlets/tiles located along the west and north shores. Water clarity was excellent (secchi=17.5 feet) and the total phosphorus level relatively low (0.026 ppm) on June 10, 2013. Dissolved oxygen was low (< 1 ppm) in water depths greater than 18 feet during a 2013 mid-summer profile. Algae blooms often occur during the late summer months on Bass. A moderate algae bloom was present during the 2013 survey. Submergent vegetation densities (pondweed species) have been historically variable in the lake. The most frequently occurring submergent vegetation species during 2013 included water moss, filamentous algae, clasping-leaf pondweed and sago pondweed. Emergent vegetation consists of yellow waterlily (southwest corner), reed canary grass (scattered stands around the lake), cattails (north and east shoreline) and hardstem bulrush (east shoreline). Hardstem bulrush plants were transplanted into Bass Lake along the northeast and southwest corners of the lake in June of 1994. Shoalwater substrates consist mostly of sand, gravel and silt. A severe winterkill occurred during the 1996-97 winter due in part to heavy snow accumulations. Anglers target primarily northern pike, bluegill, black crappie and largemouth bass in Bass Lake.
Largemouth bass numbers were abundant (74.77 fish/hour) in the 2013 spring electrofishing survey and above the Bass Lake historical average (53.33 fish/hour). The 2013 largemouth bass average size was moderate (0.99 pounds and 11.09 inches) from spring electrofishing. The Bass Lake historical average weight and length are 1.54 pounds and 12.68 inches. The 2013 catch rate of larger (>15 inches) largemouth bass was moderate (6.46 fish/hour). Largemouth bass growth rates were within the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-8. The 2010 year class comprised 50% of the 2013 total largemouth bass spring electrofishing catch. Largemouth bass adults were stocked (22 fish) in Bass Lake during the spring of 1997 following the 1996-97 winterkill.
Black crappie numbers were moderately abundant in 2013 (13.67 fish/trapnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes and the Bass Lake historical average (8.35 fish/trapnet). The 2013 black crappie average size was moderate (0.36 pounds and 8.72 inches) from trapnets. The black crappie historical average weight and length are 0.24 pounds 7.29 inches respectively from trapnets. The 2013 catch rate of moderate sized (>8 inches) black crappie was excellent (13.33 fish/trapnet). Black crappie growth rates were above the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 2-5. The 2010 black crappie year class comprised 96% of the 2013 black crappie catch. Black crappie adults were stocked into Bass during the spring of 1997 (121 fish) and 2000 (532 fish) following the 1996-97 winterkill.
Northern pike numbers were moderate in 2013 (4.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes and the Bass Lake historical average (5.76 fish/gillnet). The 2013 northern pike average size was moderately large (4.60 pounds and 27.03 inches) from the gillnet. The northern pike historical average weight is 3.25 pounds from gillnets. The 2013 catch rate of larger (>28 inches) northern pike was high (2.00 fish/gillnet). Northern pike growth rates were above the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 2-5. Approximately 40% of the northern pike captured in the 2013 gillnet were from the 2008 year class. Northern pike adults (48 fish) were stocked into Bass Lake during 1998.
Yellow perch were absent in 2013 gillnet and trapnets. The yellow perch historical average catch rate is 23.17 fish/gillnet. Walleye were also absent in 2013 gillnet and trapnets. The walleye historical catch rate is 1.56 fish/gillnet. The walleye historical average weight is 2.35 pounds from gillnets.
Bluegill numbers were abundant (70.00 fish/trapnet) and the average size was large (0.31 pounds and 7.28 inches) in 2013. The bluegill historical average catch rate is 38.66 fish/trapnet. The bluegill historical average weight is 0.17 pounds from trapnets. The 2013 catch rate of moderate sized (>6 inches) bluegill was high (68.50 fish/trapnet). The 2013 catch rate of larger (> 8 inches) bluegill was also high (9.83 fish/trapnet). Bluegill growth rates were above the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-8. The 2010 year class comprised 86% of the 2013 total bluegill catch. Bluegill adults (2,415 fish) were stocked into Bass Lake during the spring of 1997 following the 1996-97 winterkill.
Black bullhead numbers were low in 2013 (0.17 fish/trapnet). Black bullhead were absent from the 2013 gillnet. Yellow bullhead numbers were also low in the 2013 trapnets (0.50 fish/trapnet). There were no carp captured in the 2013 survey nets. The historical average catch rates are 15.65 black bullhead/trapnet, 1.44 yellow bullhead/trapnet and 0.63 carp/gillnet.
Current fish management activities on Bass Lake include monitoring the fish population on a periodic basis, periodic winter oxygen testing, participating in local watershed initiatives, protecting native aquatic vegetation through the permit process, preventing and educating about the spread of invasive species, and stocking various fish species as warranted. The Bass Lake fishery will be resurveyed in the 2018 for all fish species.