East Goose, near the town of Lynd, is a 139 acre lake located in western Lyon County. It is a typical prairie pothole basin with minimal shoreline development and a maximum depth of 9 feet. There is a MNDNR owned public access on the East shore with a concrete plank boat ramp and handicapped accessible dock. The lake has not had a significant history of winterkills, as it has only been opened to "liberalized" fishing three times from 1952 to 1986. A winter aeration system was installed on the Northeast side in 1986, and only one minor winterkill occurred since in 2006-07. Because Goose Lake is relatively close to Marshall, this small lake has a history of heavy angling pressure at times (up to .3 boats per acre). To help "spread" out the angling pressure and harvest of walleyes a more frequent (3 of 4 years in a row), but lower density (300 per acre), fry stocking regime has been adapted with great success. Goose is managed primarily for walleye and secondarily for yellow perch. A population assessment was conducted during the week of July 20, 2015 using 3 gill nets and 9 trap nets to evaluate fish abundance and species presence. This lake would be considered a "simple" system dominated by only four species, Black Crappie, Black Bullhead, Common Carp, and Walleye.
Even though walleye catch rates are at a historical low for this lake (2.3 per gill net), the majority of the fish sampled were 15 to 24 inches long. In comparison to prior surveys the catch rate for walleye has ranged from 5 to 57 per gill net with a long term average of 22 per set. Goose was stocked with "Lower Mississippi" strain (Lake Sarah) fry in the spring of 2015. The outlook for future numbers of walleye appears excellent based on fall electrofishing for these young of the year fish, with 450 per hour sampled.
Yellow perch populations have steadily declined since the 1991 survey. The catch rate for perch was 0.0 for both gill nets and trap nets. This decline may have been caused by predation from previously high walleye populations, or competition for forage from the current abundant black crappie numbers. To help re-establish this managed species it will be necessary to stock pre-spawn adults in the spring of 2016.
Black crappie numbers remain very even though they have not been stocked by the DNR since 1988 and are not a managed species. The trap net catch rate of 33.8 per net was more than double the long term average for this lake of 14.5 per net. At least three year classes are present with some 4-5 inchers, many 6-8.5 inchers, and several 9.5-13 inchers. These fish should provide excellent crappie angling action for the future.
The common carp abundance was the highest it's ever been with a catch rate of 36.7 per gill net. This lake should be kept in mind as a possible site to do some "bowfishing" for these carp. It will also be recommended to improve water quality and reduce carp biomass by commercial seining.
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.