Brawner Lake is located within Camden State Park in Lyon County. The reservoir was constructed in 1952 from an abandoned gravel pit. In 1996 Brawner Lake was drained in order to make repairs to the outlet structure. Largemouth bass, bluegill, and some black crappie were stocked after refilling. The reservoir is managed primarily for largemouth bass and bluegill. The lake typically has abundant vegetation and is a destination for park users. A population assessment was conducted during the week of July 5, 2007 using 9 trap nets and one hour of electrofishing in May to assess the largemouth bass population.
The catch rate for bluegill was 20.7 fish/trap net, which was much lower than the previous 2000 resurvey (152.3 fish/trap net). Total lengths ranged from 3.0 to 8.0 inches, but averaged only 4.9 inches. Despite the fact that the average length fish was about 5 inches, there were more "keepers" than in the 2000 survey. Bluegill often over-populate lakes when aquatic vegetation is very abundant. Often times Brawner Lake has a high density of submergent vegetation and better water clarity than we find in most other Windom Area lakes. Despite the fact that bluegill numbers are down from the previous survey, there were more different sizes, which suggests some "keepers" can be caught. All of the lakeshore on Brawner can be accessed by the public, which provides a great opportunity for introducing young anglers to fishing. This is definitely a fishery worth trying if you are looking for some bluegill action for kids.
The largemouth bass numbers are higher than the 2000 survey and good numbers of all sized fish. The electrofishing catch rate for largemouth bass was 103 fish/hour, which is quite good. Total lengths for largemouth ranged from 6.0 to 20.7 inches and averaged 11.6 inches. Length at age information revealed consistent natural reproduction as 9 year classes of largemouth were sampled. Often times when a lake has good numbers of largemouth bass, the fish are quite aggressive and can be easy to catch at times. This fishery provides a great opportunity to teach anglers how to fish for largemouth bass because of the likelihood of catching good numbers of bass. Many times top water fishing for bass can get anglers passionate about fishing. Due to the high density of aquatic vegetation, aggressive nature of largemouth bass at times, and the ease of fishing access, Brawner Lake should be a destination for the family or just to find a few fish and peace and quiet.
Efforts to improve the health of the lake should focus on best management practices within the watershed. Improvements and education in land stewardship will often have secondary benefits to the lake in the way of quality and quantity of habitat. Generally, improvements in the quality and quantity of lake habitat will mean direct improvements of the fishery.