Walleye numbers sampled in Dumbbell Lake in 2009 were well above average for the lake class, similar to results in previous investigations. The average length was 11.1 inches with 14% of the catch greater than 14 inches. A large sample of young (ages 2 and 3) walleyes reduced the average length calculated from the total catch. Since changing the walleye fry stocking regimen in 1999, two consecutive years out of four years, the stocking blanks have indicated significant natural reproduction supporting the adult walleye population. Dumbbell Lake is a structure anglers dream with many offshore reefs and humps dropping sharply into deep water.
Muskellunge numbers were above average for the lake class with an average length of 30.1 inches. The largest musky sampled was 37.5 inches in this assessment, although two 40+ inch muskellunge were measured in the spring 2009 trap net assessment. Population assessment data indicated natural reproduction was sufficient to maintain the musky fishery. Dumbbell Lake is known as a good musky fishing lake with many fish in the 4 to 8 pound range available for fast action, although legal length muskellunge are rare.
Average numbers of small (average length of 6.7 inches) smallmouth bass were present in the 2009 population assessment. However, bass populations are difficult to assess in standard survey nets and anglers using live bait (especially crawlers and leeches) will find there are ample smallmouth bass in Dumbbell Lake.
Above average numbers of small sized (average length of 6.2 inches) yellow perch were also sampled with rock bass, white sucker and four minnow species completing the species list sampled in the 2009 assessment.
The primary public access to Dumbbell Lake is a concrete ramp on the west side of the lake, off of USFS Road #172, with parking for eight vehicles. A second access site on the south shore, along USFS #172, is a loop road with a USFS airplane dock and accessible fishing pier; there is parking for a few vehicles. There are a couple of unmarked boulders, offshore just below the lake surface, in both basins of Dumbbell Lake that should be avoided by watercraft. A contour map of the lake bottom would benefit the angler and navigator on Dumbbell Lake.