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Fish Lake (Fish/bass) is located in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. This lake is 261 acres in size. It is approximately 69 feet deep at its deepest point. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.
NOTE: This list may not be all inclusive of all speices present in Fish Lake (Fish/bass).
Fish Lake is a mesotrophic lake of 261 acres located nine miles northeast of Pelican Rapids, MN in Otter Tail County. Fish Lake is also referred to as Bass Lake. The Pelican River flows through Fish Lake. There is a concrete dam on the outlet that blocks fish movement upstream. Fish Lake is in direct connection to Pelican Lake by a navigable channel. The surrounding watershed is composed primarily of mixed hardwood forest. The lake has a maximum depth of 69 feet, 3.6 miles of shoreline, and a greatest length of 1.0 miles. Thirty percent of the lake is 15 feet or less in depth. The secchi disk reading, which is the measure of water clarity, was 9.0 feet. Previous secchi disk readings have ranged from 8.9 to 11.3 feet. Fish Lake is included in lake class 24 of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lake classification scheme. Water levels were considered high during the 2002 assessment. Thirty-five percent of the shoreline of Fish Lake has been developed. The development consists primarily of homes and cottages. The 1996 lake survey reported that 70 homes/cabins and one resort were located along the shoreline. Public access can be gained through a navigable channel from Pelican Lake. There are two state owned public access sites located on Pelican Lake. The shoal water substrates consist primarily of gravel, sand, silt, and muck. Hardstem bulrush and common cattail are prevalent along the shorelines of Fish Lake. Emergent aquatic plants 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. Aquatic plants provide spawning areas for fish such as northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. They also serve as an important nursery area for all species of fish. Because of their ecological value, emergent aquatic plants may not be removed without a DNR permit. Fish Lake provides angling opportunities for a variety of fish species. Northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and bluegill are the dominant fish species in Fish Lake. The prolificacy of these species can be attributed to the abundance of suitable spawning habitat that is available. Muskellunge are stocked in Pelican Lake on a biennial basis. Although muskellunge were not sampled in this survey, previous spring trapnetting assessments have documented their presence in Fish Lake. The tullibee gill net catch rate was the lowest catch rate ever recorded on Fish Lake. Although the catch rate appears to be low it is still within the expected range for class 24 lakes. The mean length and weight of tullibee was 15.0 inches and 1.7 pounds. Fish Lake is open to tullibee netting from the second Friday of November through the second Sunday of December. The northern pike gill net catch rate was the same as the 1996 survey and is near the upper limit of the normal range for class 24 lakes. The northern pike gill net catch rate has remained stable over the four most recent surveys. Age data from recent surveys indicate that northern pike reproduction is consistently good. Pike ranged in length from 13.6 to 27.3 inches with an average length and weight of 19.1 inches and 1.4 pounds. Northern pike growth rates are very slow. Pike attain an average length of 19.9 inches at five years of age. Northern pike growth may be limited by the low abundance of yellow perch, a preferred forage fish. The bluegill trap net catch rate was within the expected range for lake class 24. Age data indicate that bluegill reproduction is consistently good. Thirty percent of the bluegill sample measured 7.0 inches or greater in length. Bluegill attain an average length of 7.2 inches at six years of age. Bluegill growth rates from Fish Lake are considerably faster than the area average growth rates. The largemouth bass gill net catch rate exceeded the expected range for class 24 lakes. Bass ranged in length from 9.3 to 14.0 inches with a mean length and weight of 11.8 inches and 1.0 pounds. Electrofishing is the most effective method of adequately sampling largemouth bass, so gill net catch data may not be indicative of actual population characteristics. The walleye gill net catch rate was within the expected range for class 24 lakes. Five consecutive year classes were represented in the walleye sample. Walleye from the 1998 and 1999 year classes composed the majority of the sample. Walleye ranged in length from 11.1 to 22.4 inches with an average length and weight of 16.2 inches and 1.5 pounds. Walleye attain an average length of 15.2 inches at four years of age. Anglers can 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 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.
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