A re-survey was conducted on East Solomon Lake during late June of 2014. East Solomon is a moderate sized (658 acres), multi basin, shallow (14 feet maximum depth), aerated, and productive lake located in Kandiyohi County. East Solomon is part of the Hawk Creek Watershed. East Solomon is connected to a shallow aerated lake (Long Lake) via an inlet and a non-aerated lake (West Solomon Lake) via an outlet. The immediate shoreline area is composed primarily of undeveloped hardwood trees. Submergent vegetation densities are moderate to low consisting mostly of sago pondweed, clasping-leaf pondweed, Canada waterweed, curly-leaf pondweed, water moss, filamentous algae, and coontail. Emergent vegetation densities are moderate consisting of primarily hardstem bulrush, cattail species, arrowhead group, and reed canary grass. There are two large mid-water bulrush stands. Shoalwater substrates consist mostly of sand, gravel, rubble, silt, and boulder in East Solomon. Total phosphorus levels were high (0.086 ppm) on June 9, 2014. Water clarity was excellent on June 9, 2014 (secchi=9.2 feet). Water clarity usually decreases substantially by mid summer due to frequent blue-green algae blooms. Water levels were high during June and July of 2014 from inlets due to rain events, but low by fall. A slow no-wake zone was put in place for lakes in Kandiyohi and Stearns Counties during June thru early July of 2014. An extensive fish kill of black crappie occurred during the late summer/early fall of 2012. Low water levels and hot air temperatures were the norm during late summer and early fall of 2012. The black crappie kill was probably due to a combination of factors such as a bacterial disease (i.e. Columnaris) and/or low dissolved oxygen conditions. The 2012-13 winter was harsh and protracted resulting in partial winterkills on some waters. However, this was not the case for East Solomon because adequate numbers of gamefish were captured in follow up ice out test netting during 2013. East Solomon is managed primarily for walleye, northern pike, bluegill, yellow perch, largemouth bass, and black crappie. East Solomon has been a popular fishing lake especially for black crappie, bluegill, walleye and quality largemouth bass in recent years.
Yellow perch numbers were moderate (7.50 fish/gillnet) in 2014 and similar to the historical average (8.04 fish/gillnet). The yellow perch average size was small (0.07 pounds and 5.15 inches) from gillnets. All of the yellow captured in 2014 were from the 2013 year class.
Northern pike numbers were abundant in 2014 (3.50 fish/gillnet) compared to the historical average (2.04 fish/gillnet). The northern pike average size was moderate (4.87 pounds and 27.78 inches) from gillnets. The northern pike historical average weight is 4.94 pounds from gillnets. There were abundant numbers of larger (28.00 plus inches) northern pike (1.50 fish/gillnet) in the gillnets. Northern pike growth rates are excellent. The largest northern pike captured was 35.6 inches from a gillnet in 2014.
Bluegill numbers were abundant in 2014 (5.70 fish/trapnet) compared to the historical average (3.38 fish/trapnet), but moderate compared to similar lakes. The bluegill average size was large (0.49 pounds and 7.75 inches) from trapnets. The bluegill historical average weight is 0.33 pounds from trapnets. There were abundant numbers of larger (8.00 plus inches) bluegill (3.20 fish/trapnet) in the trapnets. Bluegill growth rates are excellent. The largest bluegill captured was 10.5 inches from a trapnet in 2014.
Black crappie numbers were low in 2014 (0.50 fish/trapnet). The black crappie historical catch rate is 3.78 fish/trapnet. The black crappie average size was large (0.69 pounds and 10.43 inches) from trapnets. The black crappie historical average weight is 0.42 pounds from trapnets. Black crappie growth rates were moderate to excellent. The 2010 and 2009 year classes comprised all of the 2014 black crappie catch.
Walleye numbers were moderately abundant in 2014 (11.50 fish/gillnet) and slightly above the historical average (9.63 fish/gillnet). The 2014 walleye average size was moderate to large (2.14 pounds and 17.44 inches) from gillnets. The walleye historical average weight is 2.34 pounds from gillnets. There were abundant numbers of moderate sized and larger (15.00 plus inches) walleye (10.50 fish/gillnet). The largest walleye captured was 28.5 inches from a trapnet in 2014. Approximately 700,000 walleye fry are stocked every other year in East Solomon. A fall electrofishing survey was conducted to evaluate a 2013 spring walleye fry stocking (706,799 fry). There were abundant young of year "YOY" walleye numbers captured in 2013 (360.00 YOY/hour, 6.26 inches average length) and 2009 (102.00 YOY/hour). Approximately 65% of the walleye captured in 2014 gillnets were from the combined 2011 (15 inches) and 2009 (19 inches) walleye year classes. Walleye growth rates were moderate to excellent.
Largemouth bass abundance was low (11.47 fish/hour, 1.82 pounds average weight) in the 2014 spring electrofishing survey. The spring electrofishing historical average is 24.02 fish/hour. Previous spring electrofishing surveys were conducted in 2009 (16.00 fish/hour, 2.00 pounds average weight) and 2000 (44.58 fish/hour, 2.33 pounds average weight). Average numbers of moderate sized (12 plus inches) largemouth bass (10.59 fish/hour) were captured in the 2014 spring electrofishing survey. Largemouth bass abundance was also low in the 2014 trapnets (0.20 fish/trapnet, 4.05 pounds average weight). Largemouth bass growth rates were moderate to excellent. Local anglers often have success catching quality size largemouth bass in East Solomon.
Black bullhead numbers were low in 2014 (5.50 fish/gillnet) compared to the historical average (11.63 fish/gillnet). The 2014 black bullhead average size was large (1.42 pounds and 13.35 inches) from gillnets. The black bullhead historical average weight is 0.56 pounds from gillnets.
Carp numbers were abundant in 2014 (5.60 fish/trapnet) compared to the historical average (2.88 fish/trapnet). The 2014 carp average size was large (8.15 pounds and 25.65 inches) from trapnets. The carp historical average weight is 6.31 pounds from trapnets.
Current fish management activities on East Solomon include monitoring the fish population on a periodic basis, monitoring winter dissolved oxygen levels, assisting the county with the operation of the aeration system, protecting aquatic vegetation through the permit process, preventing and educating about the spread of invasive species, participating in local watershed initiatives, and stocking various fish species as warranted. The East Solomon fishery will be sampled in the 2015 for young of year walleye by fall electrofishing and 2019 summer for all fish species.