Badger Lake is a marginal fish lake on the northern edge of Erskine, MN. The lake has a history of winter kills and abundant populations of Northern Pike and Black Bullhead. Following winterkills, the lake re-populates with Northern Pike and other fish species by immigration via County Ditch 73 or other channels. Pump and baffle aeration, begun in 1990, was discontinued in 2006 due to the lack of access to locations with good lake depth and electrical power. Since then, the City of Erskine annually operates two surface agitator units in Badger Lake, reducing the potential for winterkill. The City incurs all costs associated with the operation. DNR Fisheries crews monitor dissolved oxygen occasionally (usually in late winter) to evaluate the likelyhood of winterkill.
Although bullheads remained present in 2016, net catches have certainly declined in the past decade. Northern Pike abundance in 2016 was similar to the 2010 survey at 12 pike per gill net. The average size of Northern Pike was up slightly from the 2010 survey and above the historical average. Pike averaged 2.1 pounds, with the largest Northern Pike sampled being 29.3 inches.
Bluegill numbers in Badger Lake have increased to a historic high in 2016. Although the average size of 5.1 inches was at an all time low, the largest Bluegill sampled was 9.5 inches.
Walleye numbers have historically been low in Badger Lake and sustained by fry stocking. Three Walleye were sampled in 2016 which is a historic high. Yellow Perch numbers remained at the long term average of 3.5 fish per net and had an average size of 7 inches.