A resurvey was conducted on George Lake in late June of 2013. George is a small (231 acres), moderately deep (34 feet maximum), and low to moderately productive lake located in Kandiyohi County. The shoreline is composed of primarily residential homes (99 homes), in addition to hardwood trees, a bible camp and adjacent wetland areas. Agricultural row crop inputs into George Lake are minimal. There are three small inlets that drain into George and an outlet that connects to Nest Lake during high water. The Nest Lake connection may flow either way depending upon water levels in both lakes. Water levels were normal during the survey. The water clarity was good on June 25, 2013 (secchi=15.4 feet). Dissolved oxygen levels were above 5.0 ppm from the surface down to 27 feet deep. Total phosphorus was low (0.013 ppm) in early June of 2013. Submergent vegetation species (muskgrass, various pondweeds, water moss, northern milfoil, bladderwort, and filamentous algae) were moderately abundant within the lake. Emergent vegetation is limited to small stands of hardstem bulrush along the northeast and southeast areas. Shoalwater substrates consist mostly of sand, gravel, and rubble. George is a popular fishing lake for bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, walleye and northern pike.
Black crappie numbers were moderately abundant in 2013 (4.11 fish/trapnet). The black crappie trapnet historical average catch rate is 1.53 fish/trapnet. The black crappie historical average size was moderate (0.29 pounds, 7.90 inches) from trapnets. The 2013 catch rate of moderately large (>8.00 inches) black crappie was fair (1.44 fish/trapnet). Black crappie growth rates were below the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-4, but above the normal range for age 5. The 2010 year class comprised 60% of the 2013 black crappie catch. Black crappie adults (1,344 fish, 336 pounds) were last stocked into George during 2010.
Northern pike numbers were abundant in 2013 (15.00 fish/gillnet). The northern pike historical average catch rate is 5.07 fish/gillnet. The 2013 northern pike average size was small (2.45 pounds and 21.06 inches) from gillnets. The northern pike historical average weight is 2.86 pounds from gillnets. The 2013 catch rate of larger (>28 inches) northern pike was high (3.00 fish/gillnet). Northern pike growth rates in George were below the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-3 and within the normal ranges for ages 4-8. The 2011 and 2010 northern pike year classes comprised 35% and 33% of the 2013 northern pike catch.
Yellow perch numbers were low in 2013 (3.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes. The yellow perch historical average catch rate is 6.41 fish/gillnet for George. The 2013 yellow perch average size was small to moderate (0.15 pounds and 6.54 inches) from gillnets. The yellow perch historical average weight is 0.14 pounds from gillnets. Yellow perch growth rates were near or below the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-6.
Walleye numbers were moderately abundant (5.50 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range for similar lakes in 2013. The walleye historical catch rate is 5.21 fish/gillnet for George. The 2013 walleye average size was moderate (1.47 pounds and 14.83 inches) and similar to the historical average (1.54 pounds and 14.73 inches) from gillnets. The 2013 catch rate of moderate sized (>15 inches) walleye was adequate (2.50 fish/gillnet). Walleye growth rates were within the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-7. The 2010 and 2011 year classes comprised 43% and 29% respectively of the 2013 walleye catch. Walleye (yearlings, adults, fingerlings) were stocked recently in 2013 (221 yearlings, 96 pounds), 2012 (1,629 yearlings, 435 pounds), and 2010(3,704 fingerlings, 347 pounds; 61 adult/yearlings, 58 pounds).
Largemouth bass numbers were abundant (132.00 fish/hour) in the 2013 spring electrofishing survey. The largemouth bass historical average catch rate is 77.14 fish/hour for George. The 2013 largemouth bass average size was small (0.70 pounds and 10.73 inches), but similar to the historical average (0.70 pounds and 10.55 inches) from spring electrofishing. The 2013 catch rates of both moderately sized (16.76 fish/hour >12 inches) and larger (1.57 fish/hour >15 inches) largemouth bass were similar to historical averages. Largemouth bass growth rates were below the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-8. The 2009 largemouth bass year class accounted for 32% of the 2013 spring electrofishing catch.
Bluegill numbers were low (3.33 fish/trapnet), but the average size was large (0.29 pounds and 7.00 inches) in 2013 trapnets. The bluegill historical average catch rate is 50.32 fish/trapnet for George Lake. However, bluegill catch rates were more typical in deeper water gear sets (9.50 fish/gillnet) in 2013 compared to the historical average (9.26 fish/gillnet). Adult bluegills were not actively spawning or concentrated near shore as expected when the 2013 survey was conducted on George. The late/cold 2013 spring probably delayed or hindered spawning behavior/activity of adult bluegill, which resulted in poor catches from the near shore gear (trapnets). The bluegill historical average weights are 0.17 and 0.13 pounds from gillnets and trapnets respectively. Bluegill growth rates in George Lake were generally below the Spicer Area normal ranges for ages 1-8. The 2005 year class comprised 38% of the 2013 bluegill catch.
Other sunfish species were present in moderate numbers (3.00 pumpkinseed sunfish/trapnet, 7.33 hybrid sunfish/trapnet) in 2013. The 2013 pumpkinseed sunfish (0.26 pounds) and hybrid sunfish (0.36 pounds) average weights were both large in George.
Black bullhead numbers were moderate in 2013 (2.50 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes. The black bullhead historical average catch rate is 1.96 fish/gillnet. The 2013 black bullhead average size was large (1.05 pounds and 11.35 inches) from gillnets.
Yellow bullhead numbers were also moderate in 2013 (7.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range of similar lakes. The yellow bullhead historical average catch rate is 2.79 fish/gillnet. The 2013 yellow bullhead average weight was moderate (0.62 pounds) from gillnets.
Current fish management activities on George include monitoring the fish population on a periodic basis, protecting native 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 George Lake fishery is scheduled for sampling in the 2018 spring and summer for all fish species.