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Currently 64° FAIR
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Fox Lake

Martin County - Minnesota
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Each week we're giving away a $25 Kiwk Trip gift card to one lucky angler. All you need to do is upload a pic of your catch for a chance to win! Click here to see last week's winner.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Fox Lake, MN


How big is Fox Lake?
Fox Lake is approximately 951 sq acres (3.8 sq km) in size with 11 miles (17.7 km) of shoreline.

How deep is Fox Lake?
Fox Lake is approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) at its deepest point.

What kind of fish can you catch in Fox Lake?
Although thery may be others but anglers can expect to find a variety of fish including Bigmouth Buffalo, Black Bullhead, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Carp, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, Walleye, White Crappie, Yellow Bullhead and Yellow Perch in Fox Lake.

Other fish species in the lake include Fathead Minnow, Freshwater Drum, Golden Shiner, Green Sunfish, Hybrid Sunfish, Johnny Darter, Quillback, Spottail Shiner and White Sucker.



What are the closest cities to Fox Lake?
Nearby cities and towns include Sherburn, MN, Welcome, MN and Trimont, MN.

Are there places to stay in the Fox Lake area?
Are you craving a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? Or maybe you're an avid angler in search of the perfect fishing spot? Look no further! Fox Lake and its surrounding area offer an abundance of options to suit your needs. If you're in need of accommodation, check out our area map which highlights some of the best places to stay. And if you're looking for even more options, head on over to our Travel section. But why settle for a traditional hotel or resort when you can take your adventure to the next level by renting a RV? The open road awaits you!
More Lodging Options

Are there topographical lake maps available Fox Lake?
We have an topograpical map for online viewing near the top of this page. Lake-Link Pro users can download an print a topograpical map of Fox Lake (.pdf format) along with 2,700 more lake maps. For more information on all the benefits of Lake-Link Pro click here.

Are there boat launches on Fox Lake?
We know of 2 public boat launches on Fox Lake. Please observe any specific lake regulations posted by the boat launch and please help keep the launch area free of litter.

Are there places to eat and drink near Fox Lake?
Yes, you can find numerous options in the area. Click the button below to see what's nearby.

Explore the Fox Lake area in a RV
Are you looking for an adventurous vacation option that won't break the bank? Look no further than renting an RV! Contrary to popular belief, the process is much simpler than you might imagine. With just a few easy steps, you'll soon be experiencing the ultimate freedom and convenience of exploring the open road in your very own recreational vehicle. And the best part? RV travel can save you up to 60% compared to other types of vacations! With the money you'll save, you'll be able to travel even more and create unforgettable memories along the way. So why wait? Start planning your next adventure today with an RV rental. Learn more about renting a RV.

2017 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds - Diesel Class C
2017 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds - Diesel Class C
24 ftSleeps 6
FAIRMONT, MN
$230/nightMORE
2022 Jayco Jay Feather
2022 Jayco Jay Feather
33 ftSleeps 8
Fairmont, MN
$140/nightMORE
RV there yet? 2020 Forester by Forester River 32' class C
RV there yet? 2020 Forester by Forester River 32' class C
32 ftSleeps 8
EASTON, MN
$250/nightMORE
2020 Rockwood Minilite
2020 Rockwood Minilite
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More RV Options
History & Status of the Fishery

Fox Lake is a 1,041-acre, class 24 lake located in Martin County near the Town of Sherburn. Fox Lake has a maximum depth of 20 feet and has never been aerated. Fox Lake's watershed is small with a watershed-to-lake ratio of 4 to 1. Watershed improvements and the closing of a diversion structure have facilitated the return of aquatic vegetation in some years, which provides habitat for several species of fish. Curly-leaf pondweed, a non-native species of aquatic vegetation, can become abundant in the southeast area of Fox Lake when conditions are favorable. Curly-leaf Pondweed was first documented during a survey in 2006. Fox Lake provides a unique fishery, in that it is managed primarily for Muskie and Walleye and secondarily for crappie, making it one of two systems in the Windom fisheries management area that provide Muskie angling opportunities. A survey was conducted on Fox Lake (starting September 5, 2023) to monitor fish populations using six gill nets and 11 trap nets. Surveys have been done annually since 1991 resulting in an excellent dataset to observe track changes in fish abundances. While watershed improvements have been done, since the winter of 2019, Fox Lake has had poor water clarity and high levels of Chlorophyll a (Over 90 parts per billion). The cause is not known, but high Chlorophyll A levels are indicative of an increase in nutrients leading to a persistent algae bloom, even under ice. Alkalinity was 200 parts per million during the survey and ranged from 157 to 163 from June to September 2023. For Southwest Minnesota Lakes, average alkalinity is 174 ppm with many under 182 ppm for a high value. Therefore, a value of 200 ppm is very high. Currently, Fox Lake is experiencing nutrient overloading and lots of environmental stress. A look at the fish community can help reveal the level of stress and potentially help pinpoint potential causes and solutions.

WALLEYE

Four Walleye were caught in trap nets and no Walleye were caught in the gill nets. From 2015 to 2017 the Fox Lake Walleye catch rate was on a 3 year increasing trend (5.7 in 2015, 9.8 in 2016, and 14.5 in 2017). However, the past 6 years the gill net catch has been discouragingly low. Interestingly, the trap net catch rates (# per net) during the past 6 years has been within the normal range (0.27 to 1.24 per trap net). In 2023 the trap net catch rate was 0.4 per net. It appears during the week of sampling in 2023 Walleye may have remained near shore away from the gill nets. This is typical of lakes experiencing heavy algae blooms where dissolved oxygen can decrease in the deep water habitat that is typically utilized during summer. Walleye ranged in length from 9.5 to 24.8 inches. It is surprising to continue to see the Walleye abundance numbers low in Fox Lake as stocking has ramped up. Walleye adults (1,422 individuals, 1,394 total pounds) were stocked in September and October of 2021 and fingerlings (7,134 individuals, 718 total pounds) were stocked in 2022. With that many Walleye stocked, there should have been more than were sampled, indicating survival of stocked Walleye may be very low. The Walleye population will continue to be monitored annually to assess the effectiveness of Walleye stocking in Fox Lake and determine the correct stocking strategy moving forward. Depending on the success of production, Walleye fryling (fry raised until larger size and stocked in June) may be utilized again on Fox Lake. Frylings were discontinued in production and have not been stocked since 2015. However, they survived well and production may resume with Lower Mississippi Strain (Lake Sarah egg take) Walleye fryling to help boost some southern Minnesota populations that benefit from fryling stocking.

MUSKIE

Muskie were first introduced into Fox Lake in 1999 and subsequently stocked in 2001 and have been stocked every other year from 2004 to 2018. The last two stockings were in October 2019 (N=475) and October 2022 (N=476). The recent 3 year gap in stocking was a byproduct of inconsistent statewide Muskie production, COVID shutdown of stocking in 2020, and a statewide reprioritization along with improvement in lessons learned with Muskie management. No Muskie were captured in gill nets or trap nets in the 2023 survey. Gill nets and trap nets are usually ineffective at sampling Muskie during our annual survey in September. Therefore, large frame trap nets are set every 5 years to sample the Muskie population. A survey utilizing the large frame trap nets was done in May 2022. No Muskies were sampled. Five years prior during the 2017 assessment Muskie were captured at a rate of 3.9 per net per day. During 2017, Muskie ranged in length from 11 to 50 inches and averaged 42 inches. The population estimate in 2016 (the last reliable estimate using 2017 as a recapture event) was 250 adults (anywhere from 193 to 307 when including statistical error). Given the water quality issues, a special targeted LTN assessment was also conducted during the spring of 2021. Five Muskie were caught in 3 days of netting with 2 nets each day (6 net nights). Muskies sampled ranged in length from 39.1 to 48.9 inches with an average length of 42.2 inches. Three males and 2 females were sampled. Therefore, it is strange that 0 Muskie were sampled in 2022. We suspect that the adult Muskie population has shifted to a much less abundant population, but Muskies are likely still present. Odds are high that the originally stocked Muskie in 1999 and the next year class in 2001 are now gone from the lake due to natural mortality (old age). Since 2011 when PIT tagging was started on Fox Lake, 325 unique adult Muskie have been sampled and PIT tagged and 2,950 fingerling Muskie have been PIT tagged and stocked. Electrofishing for Muskie may occur in the next year or two to determine presence and size of individuals in the population.

CRAPPIE

Black Crappie were captured at a rate of 17.6 per trap net, which is within the normal range (1.8 to 21.2 per trap net) and similar to 17.3 per trap net in 2022. Additionally, the catch rate is nearly equal to the long-term average of 17.0 per trap net since 1981. Fox Lake has had 9 successive years (2015-2023) of catch rates above or near the long-term average indicating a return of good numbers of crappie. Lengths of Black Crappie ranged from 5 to 10 inches in gill nets and trap nets and averaged nearly 6.5 inches in trap nets. The mean and maximum lengths are similar to the past several years indicating slow growth and potential difficulty finding adequate food. Black Crappie appear to have average or a bit below average body condition. The Black Crappie population is self-sustaining and stable with at least 2 or 3 strong year classes present based on length frequency in trap nets.

The White Crappie catch rate in 2023 was 40.3 per trap net, which exceeded the normal range of catch rates for class 24 lakes (0.5 to 6.6) and is one of the top 5 catch rates since 1981. Additionally, the gill net catch rate was 31.2 per net, well above the long term average of 20.5 per trap net. Several years of above average catch rates are good news and potentially a signal that good crappie fishing may be just around the corner. During the mid-to-late 2000's, the Crappie population was dominated by many fish over 10 inches. This was largely due to hybridization that occurs when White and Black Crappie numbers are high. Currently, White Crappie lengths ranged from 3.5 to 11 inches and averaged 6 inches in the trap net sample. White Crappie, similarly to Black Crappie, had average body condition. As with 2022, White Crappie abundance exceeds Black Crappie abundance in 2023. When this occurs there is an increased probability of hybridization during spawning. Hybridization could lead to increased growth and maximum size attained by a future hybrid crappie population. Encouragingly, 2 hybrid crappie were observed in sampling in 2023. Continued monitoring will evaluate growth and hybridization.

Multiple strong year classes are present and the fish, although somewhat slow growing, could attain 10 inches or greater. Annual surveys will monitor abundance and growth of Black and White Crappie.

OTHER SPECIES

The Yellow Perch catch rate in 2023 was 0 per gill net, which has happened 3 times since 2018 and indicates a very low abundance of Yellow Perch in the lake. Catch rates of Yellow Perch have been characterized by extreme fluctuations from 2011 to 2016 followed by a drastic drop and continued level of low abundance (less than 1 per gill net). This variability in gill net catches is most likely due to environmental conditions and/or niche overlap and competition with increasing Black and White crappie populations. Habitat loss due to lack of submerged vegetation is also a potential cause. However, with only 1 Yellow Perch caught in trap nets in 2023 additional stocking is warranted. Yellow Perch were stocked during the spring of 2022, but a resulting year class has not been observed yet. While Yellow Perch abundance remains low stocking will be done in 2024 with adults if a source is found.

The Freshwater Drum catch rate was 118.3 per gill net, more than twice the long-term average (49.6 per gill net) and above the interquartile range of 4.0 to 32.3 per gill net for class 24 lakes. While the gill net catch rate was the greatest catch on record, the trap net catch rate was only 9.6 per net, less than the long-term average of 12.0 per net. There is some desire among the Fox Lake Association members and Fox Lake Conservation League to remove Freshwater Drum to reduce their relative abundance, however, past studies have shown that this may actually induce a reproduction response and can speed up growth in Freshwater Drum. Currently, the Freshwater Drum in the gill net and trap net sample range in length from 5 to 13.5 inches with an average length of just under 10 inches in the gill nets. With the exception of a few of the largest Freshwater Drum in the sample, all of these fish are potentially subject to predation by the existing Muskie population. Predation coupled with potential commercial fish removal in the future may help to reduce Freshwater Drum abundance. However, this will not be a fast shift in abundance and could take several years with intensive stocking of gamefish to keep them in balance. A potential consideration is to stock yearling or adult Muskie instead of fingerling Muskie, which will serve 2 purposes. First, larger Muskie will act as a predator right away and larger Muskie have a greater chance of survival to larger sizes and thus eat more fish over time.

Additional species sampled included Bigmouth Buffalo (N=258), Bluegill (N=8), Channel Catfish (N=7), Common Carp (N=41), Golden Shiner (N=1), Largemouth Bass (N=1), Quillback Carpsucker (N=2), and Yellow Bullhead (N=2). Of these species, Bigmouth Buffalo are of particular concern. These fish, while native, can over populate and act as a source of competition for limited plankton resources due to their filter feeding which can shift the plankton community to one dominated by phytoplankton. They also have the ability to suspend sediments while looking for invertebrate food sources that can lead to internal nutrient loading and create poor water quality. The large 2013-2015 year classes of Bigmouth Buffalo appear to be a possible driver of poor water quality on Fox over the last few years. While those year classes of fish continue to grow and move through the fish community, their growth appears to be slower than other populations in the Windom area. Continued monitoring will be done to track changes in numbers and species caught in Fox Lake.


What is the average air temp for Fox Lake?
Looking forward to your next adventure at Fox Lake? Don't forget to plan ahead! Weather can be unpredictable, but we've got you covered. On average, air temperatures during this time of year range from a high around 84°F (29°C) to a low around 62°F (17°C). Of course, these are just historical averages, so be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws your way. For the most up-to-date weather information, be sure to check out our Weather Bar located at the top of this page.

Are there any state parks near Fox Lake?
Enjoy more of the outdoors with a visit to an area state park. There are 1 state park in the vacinity of Fox Lake.

For more Minnesota State Park information see our State Park Guide.

Fox Lake Reviews
Below is the word on street about Fox Lake.
Have you been to Fox Lake? Why not share your personal reveiw with others?
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thomas h.
4 star rating
Excellent lake full of crappies bluegill and perch. Even muskies can be caught.
Reviewed Jun 26, 2008
john t.
4 star rating
I have been fishing at Fox Lake for over 40 years and have nothing but great experiences to remember. It's a great lake for pan fish (crappie, blue gill, perch). I have a 7lb Large Mouth Bass hanging in my study area that reminds me of this great lake located just outside Fairmont. In those 40 years my dad and I have never been skunked....there are always fish...sometimes you just have to work a little extra hard for 'em. It's a great lake for kids to learn how to fish as there's not too much activity on the lake except for summer weekends. Fox Lake is the place I WANT to be when I'm not here in sunny Hawaii! //J. Toillion//
Reviewed May 19, 2002

More Nearby Lakes To Explore
There's more lake's to explore around Fox Lake...
DISTANCE ACRES MAX DEPTH
Temperance Lake 1.5 mi 166 5 ft
Round Lake 1.9 mi 42 0 ft
Lake Seymour 2.1 mi 47 0 ft
Clam Lake 4.0 mi 71 8 ft
Big Twin Lake 4.8 mi 461 18 ft
Little Twin Lake 5.1 mi 68 9 ft
Eagle Lake 5.3 mi 128
Cedar Lake 7.4 mi 707 7 ft
Susan Lake 9.2 mi 116
Fish Lake 9.7 mi 141
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