Beers Lake is a 195-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located within Maplewood State Park in northwest Otter Tail County, approximately 10 miles southeast of the city Pelican Rapids. There are no inlets or outlets located on Beers Lake. Water levels are approximately 6 to 8 feet above normal levels. A DNR owned concrete public water access is located along the southwest shoreline of the lakes. Since the access is located within the state park a state park sticker is required. Beers Lake is part of the Otter Tail River watershed and the immediate watershed is composed of hardwood forest. Beers Lake has a maximum depth of 61 feet; 49% of the surface acreage is less than 15 feet deep. The secchi disk reading, a measurement of water clarity, was 14.2 feet. Past secchi disk readings have ranged from 11.3 to 17.0 feet. Beers Lake is included in lake class 25 of the MNDNR lake classification scheme. Other lakes in the Fergus Falls management area that are in lake class 25 include: Bass (Elbow), Franklin, Jolly Ann, Leek, South Lida, Long, Red River, Schwartz, Sewell, West Silent, East Spirit, Stuart, Swan, Sybil, and West Olaf.
The majority of the shoreline is undeveloped. Shoreline substrates consist primarily of sand scattered with gravel and rubble with some muck mixed in. Stands of hardstem bulrush are scattered along the entire lakeshore. Emergent aquatic plants such as bulrush provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat, and are critical for maintaining good water quality. They protect shorelines and lake bottoms, and can actually absorb and break down polluting chemicals. Emergent plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as important nursery areas for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants may not be removed without a DNR permit.
Northern pike abundance is low, while the size structure could be considered average, as 33% of the northern pike sampled by gill nets were 24-inches or greater. Age data from recent surveys indicate that pike recruitment is consistent. The average length and weight of northern pike sampled by gill nets was 24.0 inches and 3.3 pounds. Northern pike attain a mean length of 18.7 inches at age-III.
Bluegill abundance is considered to be within the normal range for lakes of this type, however the size structure is poor. There were no bluegills sampled by trap nets 7.0 inches or greater in length. Recruitment appears to be consistent as there were five consecutive year classes sampled. Bluegill attain a mean length of 5.1 inches at age-V.
A spring electrofishing assessment was conducted to analyze the largemouth bass population. Largemouth sampled during the electrofishing assessment ranged in length from 4.5 to 17.1 inches with an average length and weight of 10.9 inches and 0.8 pounds. Age and growth data indicated that the largemouth bass population in Beers Lake has moderate levels of recruitment, mortality, and growth. Bass attain a mean length of 11.4 inches at age-IV.
Black crappie abundance is considered to be within the normal range for lakes of this type. Black crappie sampled ranged in length from 5.2 to 11.0 inches with a mean length of 8.2 inches. Eighteen percent of the trap net sample was at least 10 inches or greater. Age data indicates that recruitment is consistent, as seven year consecutive year classes year sampled. Black crappie attain a mean length of 7.4 inches at age-IV.
A spring trap netting assessment was conducted to analyze the muskellunge population. A total of twenty-six muskellunge were sampled, ranging in length from 19.5 to 46.0 inches. Thirty five percent the muskellunge were 40.0 inches or greater in length. Age data indicates that the muskellunge population is being sustained by stocking, as the strongest year classes correspond to years of stocking. The DNR stocks 200 muskellunge fingerlings on a biennial basis. Muskellunge attain a mean length of 41.0 inches at age-X.
Anglers can maintain the quality of angling by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest encourages the release of medium to large-size fish while allowing the harvest of more abundant smaller fish for table fare. Releasing the medium to large fish will ensure that the lake will have enough spawning age fish on an annual basis and will provide anglers with more opportunities to catch large fish in the future.