Browns Lake is a 205-acre lake with a maximum depth of 19 feet located three miles north of Winton in Lake County. There is no public access on the lake. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different types based on physical and chemical characteristics. Browns Lake is in lake class 13. Lakes in this lake class are small in size (mean: 83 acres), shallow (mean maximum depth: 30 feet), and have high amounts of area that are 15 feet or less in depth (mean: 84%). Browns Lake has a simple fish community composed of walleye, northern pike, white sucker, and yellow perch. In addition, minnow species sampled were blacknose shiner, golden shiner, northern redbelly dace, and johnny darter.
Walleye abundance was above the range of what you would typically find in this lake class and was typical of past assessments. Browns Lake is not stocked and all walleye present are the result of natural reproduction. Walleye ranged in length from 9.8 inches to 23.6 inches with a mean length and weight of 16.1 inches and 1.5 pounds. Eleven year classes were identified with no particularly strong year class. Walleye grew slowly in Browns Lake. At age four, a typical Browns Lake walleye was 13 inches long. Other lakes in the same lake class would have walleye three inches longer at that age.
Northern pike is another species that anglers can have success catching in Browns Lake. Abundance is in the high end of the range of what you would typically find in this lake class. Pike sampled ranged in length from 14.7 inches to 35.3 inches with a mean length and weight of 21.1 inches and 1.4 pounds. The largest pike of any assessment of 35.3 inches was sampled in 2011. Eight different year classes were identified indicating consistent natural reproduction.
In 2011, white sucker abundance was the highest of any assessment conducted on Browns Lake and was typical of other lakes in the same class. Yellow perch abundance was down slightly from the previous two assessments but was still typical of other lakes in the same class. Yellow perch mean length and maximum length (9.3 inches and 12.1 inches) were the best of any assessment.
Browns Lake was selected for fish index of biotic integrity (IBI) sampling. This index is designed to help determine the overall health of the biological fish community of the lake. This type of sampling will typically capture the non-game species and young-of-year game species. Eight different species were identified. Blacknose shiner made up 71% of what was captured in IBI sampling.