Bald Eagle Lake is a 1047 acre (751 littoral acres, LA) class 24 lake located in northeastern Ramsey County. The lake is primarily managed for Walleye and Muskellunge. Walleye fingerlings have been stocked biennially in odd numbered years at a rate of 2lb/LA (1502 lbs) since 1998. Muskellunge fingerlings are currently stocked at a rate of 1 fish per acre (1268 fish) biennially in even numbered years. A standard survey comprised of gill nets, trap nets, and night-time boat electrofishing was conducted during the summer of 2016 to assess the fish community in Bald Eagle Lake.
Walleye catch rate was 0.75 fish per net in the gill nets, below average for class 24 lakes and a significant decrease from 3.08 fish per net sampled in 2014. This is the lowest catch rate for Walleyes recorded in Bald Eagle Lake since 1989. Sampled Walleye ranged from 12 to 24 inches in length, and the average Walleye sampled was 20.45 inches long. Aging revealed 6 year classes, most aligning with stocking years. The 2010 year class (age-6) made up over 50% of the catch, and was also noted as a strong year class in the 2014 survey. It appears there have been no strong year classes since 2010, which is likely responsible for the drop in Walleye catch rate. Age-6 Walleyes displayed above average growth, with a average length of 20.4 inches.
Northern Pike catch rate was 3.75 fish per gill net, average for class 24 lakes. This is a slight increase from 2.92 per net in 2014, and is a relatively low catch rate compared to other East Metro area lakes. Sampled Northern Pike ranged from 13 to 34 inches in length, and the average Northern Pike was 23.64 inches long. Over 77% of pike sampled in this survey were over 21 inches long, and 14% were over 28 inches.
Yellow Perch catch rate was 43.83 fish per gill net, well above average for class 24 lakes. Sampled Yellow Perch ranged in size from 4 to 11.5 inches, and the average Yellow Perch was 7.57 inches long. A subsample of otolith aged Yellow Perch revealed two primary year classes, 2013 and 2011 (age-3 and age-5). Yellow Perch growth was above average, reaching an average length of 9.76 inches by age-5.
Largemouth Bass were sampled at a rate of 59.98 per hour of on time during night-time electrofishing, a moderate to high catch rate compared to other lakes in the East Metro area. Largemouth Bass sampled during this survey ranged from 4 to 17.5 inches in length, with an average length of 9.67 inches. Over 34% of sampled bass were greater than 12 inches and 3% were greater than 16 inches.
Black Crappie catch rate was 3.58 fish per gill net and 4.83 fish per trap net, both below average abundances for class 24 lakes. The average Black Crappie sampled was 7.16 inches long, and fish ranged from 5 to 9.45 inches in length. Over 22% of Black Crappie were over 8 inches in length and 3% were over 9 inches.
Bluegill catch rate was 41 fish per net in the trap nets, above average for class 24 lakes. The average Bluegill sampled was 5.56 inches long, and fish ranged from 2.8 to 7.28 inches. Over 45% of sampled bluegills were greater than 6 inches in length, and 2% were greater than 7 inches.
- Flowering Rush
- Eurasian Watermilfoil
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.