Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake is in Ecological Lake Class 7, which consists of 41 lakes in northeast Minnesota that are large, have irregularly shaped shorelines, and very soft (low mineral content) water. Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake is smaller (607 acres) than the lake class average of 1,807 acres.
Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake was thermally stratified on 06/29/2009 with a surface temperature of 64.4 ?F and bottom temperature of 48.2 ?F. Good oxygen (more than 5 ppm) was retained to within a few feet of the bottom. There are inlets from Green Lake and Charm Lake, but it is unclear from survey reports if there are barriers to fish movement. The outlet stream to Lac La Croix has rocky waterfalls which prevent upstream fish movement. Lake bottom substrates are mostly boulder, sand, and ledgerock. Aquatic plants are very sparse and are found mostly near the inlets.
The 2009 assessment consisted of 8 gillnet sets. Four previous fish population assessments and surveys conducted between 1981 and 2009 consisted of 8 to 10 gillnet sets. Trapnets have not been set in Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake due to the difficult access. The initial survey in 1966 listed lengths of the northern pike, cisco, and white sucker that were captured, but did not list the number of nets used or catch/net information in the report. Walleye were introduced by fry stocking starting in 1978. Walleye fry were stocked annually from 1978 through 1980, every other year from 1982 through 1988, and every third year from 1994 through 2009.
The 2009 total catch of fish (all species combined) of 13.1/gillnet was in the first quartile for lake Class 7, but was identical to the median catch(13.1/gillnet) for all investigations on Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake and was similar to the 1999 catch rate of 13.0/gillnet. Lake Class 7 is one of the most productive lake classes in northeast Minnesota, in terms of gillnet catches of fish.
Cisco, walleye, and lake whitefish made up the majority of the 2009 gillnet catch. Northern pike, white sucker, and yellow perch were caught in lower numbers. No smallmouth bass were caught in the gillnets in 2009 but several were caught by angling.
The 2009 walleye catch rate (1.5/gillnet) was lower than normal for Lake Class 7 and lower than the median (2.4/gillnet) for all investigations on Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake. Walleye sizes in 2009 were larger than normal for this lake class, averaging 20.4 inches; the largest was 25.5 inches. Walleye were foraging primarily on cisco in 2009, and growth was faster than normal by area standards.
No smallmouth bass were caught in the gillnets in 2009. Past assessments caught only low numbers (range: 0.1-0.3/gillnet). Angling catches in recent assessments indicate smallmouth numbers are likely much higher than gillnet data suggests. Thirty smallmouth bass were caught by a 2-person assessment crew during a 3 hour time span in 2009. Seventy-four smallmouth were caught by angling in the 1999 assessment. Most of the smallmouth caught in 2009 were small (less than 10 inches), and the largest was 15.4 inches. Growth rates varied by age class but were generally normal by area standards.
Northern pike numbers in 2009 (0.5/gillnet) were in the first quartile for Lake Class 7 and similar to the median catch (0.8/gillnet) for all investigations on this lake. Pike sizes in 2009 averaged 21.8 inches; the largest was 25.9 inches. Large pike have been caught in past assessments including a 46 inch fish in 1992. Northern pike growth was faster than normal (in the third or fourth quartile) by area standards, depending on age.
The 2009 cisco catch rate (9.0/gillnet) was normal for Lake Class 7 and the highest observed in any investigation on Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake. Cisco numbers have increased in recent assessments from an average of just 0.3/gillnet in 3 assessments between 1981 and 1992 to an average of 8.1/gillnet in assessments in 1999 and 2009. Cisco sizes in 2009 averaged 8.1 inches; the largest was 10.4 inches.
The 2009 lake whitefish catch rate of 1.0/gillnet was similar to the median catch (1.1/gillnet) for all investigations on this lake and normal for Lake Class 7. Whitefish sizes averaged 22.1 inches and the largest was 25.3 inches.
Yellow perch numbers in 2009 (0.8/gillnet) were lower than normal for this lake class but similar to past investigations (range: 0.1-0.8/gillnet). Field notes from past assessments suggest perch numbers may be higher than indicated by gillnetting based on angling catches and observations of many 3 to 4 inch perch by assessment crews.
The 2009 white sucker catch rate of 0.4/gillnet was identical to the median catch for all investigations on Ge-Be-On-Equat Lake and lower than normal for Lake Class 7. Sucker sizes averaged 15.4 inches in 2009; the largest was 17.8 inches.
Three fish caught in the 2009 assessment were infected with neascus (black spot). Neascus is a common parasite that is native to the area, does not infect humans, and is killed at temperatures used to cook fish.