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Cypress Lake (Ottertrack)

Lake County, MN
Lake County, MN
Cypress Lake (Ottertrack) is located in Lake County, Minnesota. This lake is 1,104 acres in size. It is approximately 116 feet deep at its deepest point. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Northern Pike and Walleye.
1,103 acres
116 feet
No ramp
Brook Trout
Northern Pike
NOTE: This list may not be all inclusive of all speices present in Cypress Lake (Ottertrack).
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STAY 22: Cypress Lake (Ottertrack)
Ottertrack Lake is in Ecological Lake Class 1, which consists of 34 lakes in northeast Minnesota that are large, very deep, have little biologically productive shallow area along the shoreline, and have very clear and soft (unmineralized) water. Ottertrack Lake is shallower and has a more irregular shoreline shape than most of the lakes in this lake class. Ottertrack Lake is on the Canadian border, and most of the lake (72 percent) is in Ontario. The deepest water is also in Ontario. The oxygen/temperature meter was not working during the 2006 fisheries assessment, but previous investigations showed that Ottertrack Lake thermally stratifies in midsummer with surface temperatures of 70-75 F and bottom temperatures about 40 F. Adequate oxygen for lake trout (more than 5 ppm) was retained to a depth of 65 feet (where the temperature was 48 F) on the Ontario portion of the lake, but only to a depth of 45-50 feet (where the temperature was 40-42 F) on the Minnesota portion of the lake. Ottertrack Lake is near the top of its watershed, with only a few small lakes (Gijikiki, Jasper) draining into it. The outlet to Little Knife Lake has a small falls that must be portaged and that limits upstream fish movement. The shoreline of Ottertrack Lake is very rocky, with few aquatic plants. The 2006 fish population assessment consisted of four shallow gillnets and six deep gillnets. The shallow gillnets were set in depths of 8-28 feet, in temperatures generally above 55 F. The deep gillnets were set in depths of 30-70 feet, in temperatures below 55 F. Previous shallow and deep gillnetting was conducted in 1983 and 1993, in the same locations and depths as in 2006. Deep gillnetting in 1980 was conducted in Ontario waters (14 nets) and Minnesota waters (4 nets). The total catch of fish (all species combined) in the shallow gillnets in 2006 of 34 fish/net (47 lb/net) was much higher than in Little Knife Lake and Knife Lake, downstream of Ottertrack Lake. Ottertrack Lake is shallower (mean depth = 35 feet) than Little Knife (mean depth = 71 feet) and Knife Lake (mean depth = 52 feet), which likely accounts for its higher populations of warmwater fish. Shallow water fish populations in Ottertrack Lake were dominated by walleye and northern pike. Walleye numbers in 2006 (11.5/shallow gillnet) were higher than in 1993 (8.0/shallow gillnet) or in 1983 (3.3/shallow gillnet). Walleye sizes in 2006 averaged 15.9 inches (1.5 lb). The largest walleye was 25.5 inches. Walleye growth was somewhat slower than normal (in the second quartile) by area standards. Northern pike numbers in 2006 (3.5/shallow gillnet) were the same as in 1993 (3.5/shallow gillnet), but were higher than in 1983 (1.8/shallow gillnet). Pike sizes in 2006 averaged 28.8 inches (5.4 lb). The largest pike, caught in a deep gillnet, was 39.8 inches. Pike growth was faster than normal (in the third or fourth quartile, depending on the age) by area standards. Smallmouth bass are likely more abundant in Ottertrack Lake than indicated by the low numbers caught in 2006 and in previous investigations. Bass are "net shy" and tend to avoid capture in standard sampling nets. The largest smallmouth caught in 2006 was 13.9 inches. Bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish and yellow perch were captured for the first time in Ottertrack Lake in 2006. Rock bass were fairly abundant in 2006 (7.8/shallow gillnet), although similar numbers were present in previous investigations. Deepwater fish populations in Ottertrack Lake in 2006 consisted of high numbers of cisco and lake whitefish and low numbers of lake trout and burbot. A few northern pike and walleye were caught in the shallow ends of the deep gillnets. Cisco numbers in 2006 (24.7/deep gillnet) were lower than in previous investigations on this lake (range: 29.3 - 72.3/deep gillnet). Cisco sizes in 2006 averaged 8.0 inches (0.17 lb). The largest cisco was 12.3 inches. Whitefish numbers in 2006 (7.8/deep gillnet) were lower than in previous investigations on this lake (range: 8.7 - 11.3/deep gillnet). Whitefish sizes in 2006 averaged 16.5 inches (1.7 lb). The largest whitefish was 23.7 inches. Lake trout numbers in 2006 (0.5/deep gillnet) were similar to previous investigations on this lake (range: 0.2 - 0.6/deep gillnet). Only three lake trout were caught, with lengths of 28.4 inches, 30.5 inches, and 32.3 inches. Otoliths (ear bones) taken from the two smaller trout revealed ages of 12 years and 16 years. Examination of fish in 2006 showed that some of the warmwater fish were infected with neascus (black spot), and one of the smallmouth bass had bass tapeworm larvae encysted in its viscera. Many of the cisco (and a few of the whitefish) had roundworms in their air bladders and triaenophorus cysts in their muscle tissue. All of these parasites are common and are native to the area. They cannot infect humans, are often removed by filleting fish, and are killed at temperatures used to cook fish.

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