Pike is a 494 acre lake with 135 (27%) acres of littoral area and a maximum depth of 62 feet. The lake is located just north of Hermantown, MN and has a township administered, concrete, back-in access located off County Road #13. Walleye fry have been stocked in even years from 1982 through 2014. Pike Lake was last assessed in 2009. Pike Lake was surveyed during the summer of 2014 to update information about fish populations.
Walleye abundance of 15.8 per gillnet lift was up from 2009 (13.0) and was above average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Historically, Walleye abundance has ranged from 4.7 to 22.7 per gillnet lift. Walleye average length was 12.7 inches and growth was below average when compared to other Duluth Area lakes. Natural reproduction appears limited as 99% of the Walleye captured were aged to stocked year-classes. A very strong 2010 year-class is evident, as 85% of the Walleye sampled were age-4.
A total of 34 Largemouth Bass were sampled with electrofishing equipment. The catch rate of Largemouth Bass was 35.2 fish per hour of electrofishing on-time and was down from 2009 (67.7 per hour). Largemouth Bass average length was 11.3 inches and growth was average compared to other Duluth Area lakes. Recruitment was consistent with all year-classes from 2005 through 2011 represented.
Northern Pike abundance of 0.6 per gillnet lift was up from 2009 (0.2) and below average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Historically, the Northern Pike CPUE has been relatively low in Pike Lake and has ranged from 0.2 to 7.0. Average length was 28.7 inches but too few individuals were sampled to evaluate stock density or growth. All year-classes from 1999 to 2003 were represented. Recruitment was sporadic with only one year-class present (2010).
Black Crappie abundance of 0.0 per trapnet lift was down from 2009 (0.6) and was below average when compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Historically, Black Crappie trapnet CPUE has been low on Pike Lake and has ranged from 0.0 to 0.7. Two Black Crappies were captured in the gillnets for an abundance of 0.2 per gillnet lift. Black Crappie mean length was 7.9 inches, but too few individuals were captured to evaluate stock density or growth.
Bluegill abundance of 1.7 per trapnet lift was down from 2009 (6.4) and below average when compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Bluegill trapnet abundance has been highly variable in Pike Lake, ranging from 1.5 to 25.2. Average length of sampled Bluegills was 5.9 inches.
Yellow Perch abundance of 2.0 per gillnet lift was down sharply from 2009 (51.1) and was below average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. This catch represents a historic low for Pike Lake dating back to 1950 over twelve investigations. Average length of Yellow Perch was 6.4 inches.
Rock Bass trapnet abundance of 10.2 was up from 2009 (6.0) and well above average compared to other Minnesota lakes of similar type. Average length was 5.8 inches. Rock Bass trapnet abundance has been steadily increasing over the last five assessments dating back to 1989.
Other fish species sampled include Pumpkinseed Sunfish and White Sucker.
A local resident discovered zebra mussels in Pike Lake during the summer of 2009 and they have since become well established. The varied sizes of the mussels found in 2009 indicated they had been present in the lake for at least two years. Zebra mussels are a nonnative invasive species that pose serious ecological and economic threats to Minnesota's lakes and streams. Heavy infestations can kill native mussels, harm fisheries, litter beaches with sharp shells, clog water intakes, and damage boat motors. The DNR has designated the lake as infested waters and posted signs to notify those using the public water access. Designation of the lake prohibits the transport of water and harvest of bait from the lake.
- Zebra Mussel
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.