Polk County - Minnesota
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Frequently Asked Questions About Cross Lake, MN
- How big is Cross Lake?
- How deep is Cross Lake?
- What kind of fish can you catch in Cross Lake?
- Are there places to stay in the Cross Lake area?
- Are there boat launches on Cross Lake?
- Are there places to eat and drink near Cross Lake?
- What is the average air temp for Cross Lake?
How big is Cross Lake?
How deep is Cross Lake?
What kind of fish can you catch in Cross Lake?
Other fish species in the lake include Fathead Minnow, Green Sunfish and White Sucker.
Are there places to stay in the Cross Lake area?
More Lodging Options
Are there boat launches on Cross Lake?
Are there places to eat and drink near Cross Lake?
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History & Status of the Fishery
Cross Lake is a southeastern Polk County lake with a history of algal blooms and good fishing in between winterkills. Northern Pike, Brown Bullhead, and Walleye have historically been the primary species sought by anglers. Before the most recent series of severe winterkills in 1988, 1990, and 1991, anglers on the fishing pier were catching two to four pound Walleyes and one to two pound Brown Bullheads quite regularly. However, the 1991 winterkill eliminated nearly every species but bullheads, and even bullhead numbers were severely decreased.
Nine years later, in 2000, Northern Pike rebounded to abundances that were more normal for this lake. Now, in 2014, the catch rate has increased even more and, in 2014, the catch rate was well above normal for this lake. Pike sampled by all gears ranged from 9.9 to 37.2 inches in length with an average of 21.8 inches.
Walleye fry are stocked regularly and test net catches were strong in 2014. Cross Lake Walleyes grow quickly and sampled fish averaged over two pounds each. Five distinct year classes of Walleye were found, but the strongest was the 2011. Those young fish should provide good angling in the near future if they do not succumb to winterkill. Fry stocking appears to work best when bullhead numbers are down, as is currently the case.
Although Bluegill and Black Crappie populations cannot be classified as abundant, record catch rates of Bluegills and Black Crappies were found in 2014. There were good sized fish of both species present and, even though many were young, they should also provide good fishing in the near future barring severe winterkill.
Bullhead numbers were down markedly in 2014. Brown Bullheads were slightly more abundant and larger than Black Bullheads. High numbers of bullheads are typical for lakes subject to winterkill since these species are most tolerant of low dissolved oxygen. They tend to rebound quickly following winterkill since there are few competitors or predators. However, after several years without winterkill, game fish species can often overtake the bullhead populations. This appears to be happening in Cross Lake.
In the past, the Fosston Community Sportsmen's Club and the Fosston Lion's Club operated aeration equipment in efforts to prevent winterkill from occurring in Cross Lake. A heavy winterkill in 1988 eliminated gamefish populations from the lake, even with aeration systems operating. Although no severe winterkill has occurred since 1991, light kills took place in 2001, 2004, and 2006. In addition, dissolved oxygen levels reached the critical mark in 2014, but no evidence of fish kill was found.
It is clear from historical data that Cross Lake is ecologically suited for Northern Pike and bullhead. Although periodic winterkills have occasionally reduced or eliminated many fish populations, these species remain most abundant and able to sustain themselves. Walleye and panfish stocking following winterkills has provided additional fishing opportunities in Cross Lake.
What is the average air temp for Cross Lake?
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