East Battle Lake is a 1,949 acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in south central Otter Tail County approximately two miles north of Vining, MN. East Battle Lake is connected to West Battle Lake via Battle Lake Creek. The immediate watershed is composed of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. The maximum depth is 87 feet; however, 35% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The shoreline length is 14.2 miles. A public access is located off of County Highway 55 along the northwest shoreline. The secchi disk reading, a standard measure of water clarity, was 8.5 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 4.5 to 12.3 feet.
A majority of the shoreline is developed with homes, cabins, and resorts. Sand and gravel compose a majority of the shoreline substrates. The most abundant types of submerged aquatic plants are chara and variable pondweed. The most common emergent aquatic plants are common cattail and hardstem bulrush. These emergent plants provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat and are critical in maintaining good water quality. Emergent plants also provide critical spawning habitat for several fish species including northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as important nursery areas for many species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent plants cannot be removed without a DNR permit.
East Battle Lake is a popular angling lake. Northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, and bluegill are the dominant gamefish species in the fish community of East Battle Lake. The prolificacy of these species can be attributed to the abundance of suitable spawning habitat that is available.
A high density northern pike population exists. The northern pike population has increased to historic highs in recent surveys. Northern pike ranged in length from 10.0 to 33.9 inches with a mean length and weight of 17.4 inches and 1.2 pounds. Northern pike size structure continues to be poor with only six percent of the pike measuring 24.0 inches or greater in length. Pike attain an average length of 18.6 inches at four years of age.
The bluegill test-net catch rate was within the normal range for this class of lake. Age data from recent surveys indicate that bluegill reproduction is consistently good. Bluegill size structure is also good as 37% of the bluegills were 7.0 inches or greater in length. Bluegills attain an average length of 6.7 inches at seven years of age.
Catch data indicate that a high density largemouth bass population exists. Largemouth bass ranged in length from 8.1 to 15.5 inches with a mean length and weight of 11.2 inches and 0.8 pounds. Age data indicate that the 2005 year class is very strong. Bass attain an average length of 12.3 inches at four years of age.
The walleye test-net catch rate was within the normal range for this class of lake. Walleye ranged in length from 8.1 to 31.1 inches with a mean length and weight of 17.7 inches and 2.0 pounds. Walleye attain an average length of 15.5 inches at four years of age.
Anglers can help maintain the quality of fishing by practicing selective harvest. Selective harvest encourages the release of medium to large size fish while allowing the harvest of the 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.