Carrie Lake is part of a statewide, long-term monitoring program (SLICE) to document effects of climate change and other stressors on 25 lakes. A standard survey of Carrie was conducted on June 20, 2016 to evaluate Bluegill, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike and Walleye populations with gillnet and trapnets. Spring night electrofishing was conducted on May 31, 2016 to evaluate the Largemouth Bass population. A fall night electrofishing survey was conducted on September 8, 2016 to evaluate young of year "YOY" (fingerling sized) Walleye numbers due to a fryling stocking.
Carrie is a small (89 acres), moderately deep (26 feet maximum), and moderately productive lake located in Kandiyohi County. Water clarity was 5.5 feet on June 20, 2016. Carrie is connected via the outlet to a large productive and shallow lake (Elizabeth) during high water levels. Fish movement between the two lakes is possible via the outlet channel during high flows. High water levels occurred during June-July of 2014 and fall of 2016. Submergent vegetation species and densities have been generally limited (water moss, coontail, sago pondweed) during past surveys in Carrie. Curly-leaf pondweed was present in numerous scattered stands and 10 of 60 points along near shore areas of the lake, especially along the north end of the lake in June of 2013. Curly-leaf pondweed was never sampled in lake surveys prior to 2010; however it was present at one point site during the June 2010 vegetation survey. Curly-leaf pondweed densities have been abundant in nearby Elizabeth and Ella during past years. Emergent vegetation consists of moderate sized stands of hardstem bulrush (east and north shore areas) and cattail species (south shore area). Shoreland development is limited along Carrie. Moderate agricultural row crop runoff flows into Carrie via several small inlets. The primary species managed in Carrie include Walleye, Largemouth Bass, and Black Crappie.
Northern Pike numbers were low in the 2016 summer gillnet (4.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes. Northern Pike numbers were abundant in the previous 2011 (13.00 fish/gillnet) and 2013 (14.00 fish/gillnet) summer gillnet surveys. The Northern Pike historical average catch rate is 7.78 fish/gillnet for Carrie. The 2016 Northern Pike average size was small (2.78 pounds and 22.5 inches). The Northern Pike historical average weight is 2.73 pounds from gillnets. Growth rates were variable for ages 1-5. The 2013 year class comprised 80% of the 2016 Northern Pike survey catch. The largest Northern Pike sampled was 30.4 inches in the 2016 nets.
Bluegill numbers were low (7.80 fish/trapnet) in the 2016 summer trapnets compared to the normal range for similar lakes and the historical average (14.22 fish/trapnet). The 2016 Bluegill average size was moderate to large (0.25 pounds and 6.5 inches) from trapnets. The Bluegill historical average weight and length were 0.16 pounds and 5.4 inches from trapnets. Growth rates were excellent for ages 1-6. The 2013 year class comprised 55% of the 2016 Bluegill survey catch.
Black Crappie were abundant (25.00 fish/trapnet) in the 2016 summer trapnets compared to the normal range for similar lakes and the historical average (18.80 fish/trapnet). The 2016 Black Crappie average size was moderate (0.46 pounds and 9.3 inches) from trapnets. The Black Crappie historical average weight is 0.23 pounds from trapnets. Growth rates were moderate for ages 1-5. The 2013 and 2012 year classes comprised 67% and 20% respectively of the 2016 Black Crappie survey catch.
Black Bullhead numbers were low in the 2016 summer trapnets (1.00 fish/trapnet). The Black Bullhead average weight was large (0.97 pounds) in the 2016 trapnets. Brown and Yellow Bullhead were absent in the 2016 summer nets. The Black Bullhead historical average catch rate was 15.18 fish/trapnet for Carrie. The highest Black Bullhead catch rate was 147.40 fish/trapnet in 2002.
Common Carp numbers were moderate in 2016 summer trapnets (1.40 fish/trapnet). The Common Carp average size was moderate (4.86 pounds, 21.3 inches) in the 2016 summer trapnets.
Largemouth Bass numbers were low for Carrie (10.63 fish/hour) in the 2016 spring electrofishing survey. The Carrie historical average catch rate is 17.34 fish/hour. The 2016 average size was large (14.0 inches, 1.65 pounds) from spring electrofishing. The Largemouth Bass historical average weight and length are 1.06 pounds and 11.2 inches. The 2016 Largemouth Bass catch rate of 15.0 inches and larger fish was high (6.07 fish/hour) compared to the historical average (3.53 fish/hour). Largemouth Bass growth rates were excellent for ages 1-6.
Yellow Perch numbers were low in the 2016 gillnets (7.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range for similar lakes and the historical average (11.28 fish/gillnet). The 2016 Yellow Perch average size was moderate to large (7.72 inches and 0.24 pounds). The Yellow Perch historical average weight is 0.14 pounds from gillnets. Growth rates generally good for age 2 and older. The 2013 year class comprised 71% of the 2016 Yellow Perch survey catch.
Walleye were abundant (11.00 fish/gillnet) in the 2016 summer gillnets compared to the normal range for similar lakes and the historical average (4.44 fish/gillnet). The 2016 Walleye average size was moderate (1.28 pounds and 15.1 inches). The 2016 Walleye catch rate of 15.0 inches and larger fish was moderate (5.00 fish/gillnet). Growth rates were generally good for Walleye in Carrie. The 2014 year class comprised 57% of the 2016 Walleye gillnet and trapnet catch.
Walleye yearlings and adults were stocked in 2004 (1,440 fish), 2006 (97 fish), 2007 (125 fish) and 2008 (448 fish). Walleye oxytetracycline "OTC" marked fry were stocked as frylings (8,496 fish) during early July of 2009 (8,496 fish), 2011 (13,040 fish), 2013 (3,518 fish) and 2016 (15,220 fish) in Carrie. Walleye fry (47,541 fish) were stocked in 2014.
A fall night electrofishing survey for YOY Walleye on Carrie Lake was conducted during September 8, 2016. Abundant YOY Walleye numbers (62.2 YOY/hour, 5.5 inches) were captured in 2016. OTC marked fish accounted for 90% of the 2016 fall YOY Walleye electrofishing catch. No yearling Walleye were captured in the 2016 fall electrofishing survey. Abundant YOY Walleye numbers (98.0 YOY/hour, 5.4 inches average length) were also captured in the 2014 fall electrofishing survey. Good Walleye spawning habitat (wind-swept areas of rubble bars and points) is not present in Carrie. Walleye spawning in the outlet adjacent to Lake Elizabeth has been noted in the past. The Walleye population present in Carrie had been primarily the result of fish movement from Elizabeth into Carrie during high water prior to 2009.
Current fish management activities on Carrie include continued participation in the Sentinel Lakes Project, protecting the important aquatic habitats such as emergent and submergent vegetation through the permit process, assisting aquatic plant management and enforcement personnel in educating boaters and monitoring access sites for potential invasive species introductions, encouraging land owners to implement best management practices in the watershed, and stocking various fish species as warranted. All fish species will be sampled in 2021. Fall night electrofishing will be conducted during Walleye fryling/fry stocked years to assess the success or failure of the stockings.