East Lost Lake is a 501-acre mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake located in central Otter Tail County approximately five miles north of Battle Lake, MN. The Otter Tail River flows through East Lost Lake, which is approximately three river miles downstream from Otter Tail Lake. The immediate watershed is composed of agricultural land interspersed with hardwood woodlots. East Lost Lake has a maximum depth of 36 feet; however, 65% of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The secchi disk reading was 8.3 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 6.2 to 10.5 feet.
A majority of the shoreline is developed with homes and cabins. An unimproved, carry-in DNR public access is located on the west shoreline. Boat access can be obtained through the DNR public access located on adjacent Deer Lake. Stands of hardstem bulrush, wild rice, and common cattail are located at various locations around the lake. These emergent plants provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat and are critical in maintaining good water quality. They protect shorelines and lake bottoms from wave erosion and help absorb excess nutrients. 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.
A moderate density Northern Pike population exists. Age and length data from recent surveys indicate that Northern Pike reproduction is consistently good. Northern Pike ranged in length from 11.2 to 27.3 inches with an average length and weight of 18.3 inches and 1.3 pounds. Northern Pike attain an average length of 18.3 inches at four years of age.
Data from a spring electrofishing assessment indicate that there is a balanced Largemouth Bass population. Age data indicate bass reproduction is consistently good. Bass ranged in length from 7.4 to 19.9 inches with an average length and weight of 12.5 inches and 1.3 pounds. Bass reach an average length of 14.0 inches at five years of age.
The Bluegill test-net catch rate was within the normal range for similar lakes. Bluegill size structure remains good with 48% of the Bluegill sample measuring 7.0 inches or greater in length. Bluegills reach an average length of 7.0 inches at six years of age.
The Walleye test-net catch rate was within the normal range for similar lakes. Walleyes ranged in length from 9.8 to 27.2 inches with an average length and weight of 16.5 inches and 2.0 pounds. Walleyes reach an average length of 16.5 inches at five years of age.
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.
- Zebra Mussel
Recreational activities such as recreational boating, angling, waterfowl hunting, and diving may spread aquatic invasive species. Some aquatic invasive species can attach to boats, while others can become tangled on propellers, anchor lines, or boat trailers. Many species can survive in bilge water, ballast tanks, and motors or may hide in dirt or sand that clings to nets, buckets, anchors, and waders. Fortunately, completing simple steps can prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species.