Dark Lake is located about 1 mile southeast of Gemmel. The lake is 120 acres and over 50 percent is less than 15 feet deep. Aquatic plants are abundant. Walleyes are the primary focus of management and have been stocked since 1948. However, several species of sportfish were present in 2014 and have been stocked in the past.
Bluegill abundance has fluctuated greatly since 1972 when they were first documented in Dark Lake. In 2014, bluegill abundance was within the expected range for this lake type. The largest captured in 2014 was 9.6 inches. Age in trap nets ranged from 2-8 with several strong year classes; age-3 was most numerous and represented 27% of the sample. Growth was well above the area and statewide means.
Largemouth bass were stocked in 1946 and low numbers have been occasionally captured in the past. In 2014, two largemouth bass were captured during night electrofishing. The mean length for the two was 15.3 inches
Northern pike abundance was within the expected range for this lake type, but well below the level observed in the previous investigation. Pike were generally small; the mean weight was 1.56 pounds, which was slightly below the expected range for this lake type. Age-3 fish represented almost half of the sample and will grow into more attractive sizes in the future. In the 2014 assessment the largest fish captured was 32 inches and found in a trap net.
Walleye abundance was above what was found during the previous investigation and also above the expected range for this lake type. Length ranged from 7.6-23.0 inches with a mean of 16.8. Growth was much greater than the statewide average and six year-classes were present, which should help continue the positive trend for those targeting walleye.
Yellow perch abundance has varied greatly over time, but record lows have occurred in Dark Lake in the past 3 assessments. In 2014, abundance of yellow perch remained low and was tied the second lowest abundance ever documented in Dark Lake.