Eden Lake is located in south-central Stearns County, north of Eden Valley. It is the second in a series of lakes that outlet north to join the Sauk River Chain of Lakes. A large, mostly agricultural watershed (over 24,000 acres) drains into Eden Lake. The resulting nutrient load has resulted in impaired water quality, nuisance algal blooms, and occasional winterkills. Submersed plants grew as deep as ten feet, but the plant community was not very diverse. Coontail and sago pondweed were most common, although curly-leaf pondweed was also very abundant in early June.
Largemouth Bass were sampled by day-time electrofishing in mid-May. The population appeared to be higher than average for this area of the state. Largemouth Bass ranged in length from 7.0 to 18.2 inches and averaged 10.4 inches and 0.7 pounds. Growth of Largemouth was fast as fish grew to a length of 11.8 inches in three years.
Eden Lake is managed primarily for Northern Pike and Walleye. The catch of Northern Pike in 2013 increased from 2003 and exceeded the range expected for lakes similar to Eden Lake. Northern Pike ranged in length from 9.3 to 34.4 inches and averaged 23.2 inches and 3.1 pounds. Northern Pike grew similar to the statewide average and forty-two percent of Northern Pike were greater than 24 inches in length.
The Walleye population is supported by regular stocking. Since 2001, Walleye fry stocking has been the preferred strategy, but Walleye fingerlings have also been stocked when fry stocking failed to produce viable year classes as was the case in 2011 and 2013. In cases where fry stocking is successful, this strategy still can produce higher populations at a lower cost. The Walleye catch in 2013 increased significantly from 2003, and was near the upper range of expected values for similar lakes. Walleye ranged in length from 8.3 to 25.0 inches and averaged 15.5 inches and 1.7 pounds. Walleye growth was fast compared to statewide averages and grew to 18.5 inches by age four.
Eden Lake has consistently supported a high population of Yellow Perch. Yellow Perch rates declined significantly from the previous survey however, they remain above the range of expected values for lakes like Eden. Perch don't appear to reach a size favored by most anglers, but they provide an abundant source of forage for Northern Pike and Walleye.
The catch rate of Black Crappie in 2013 decreased from 2003, but remained within the expected range for lakes similar to Eden. Black Crappie ranged in length from 5.6 to 11.4 inches with an average length and weight of 8.4 inches and 0.32 pounds. Black Crappie growth was average and fish grew to a length of 9.0 inches in four years.
The Bluegill catch rate increased from the previous survey and was in the expected range. Bluegill ranged in length from 4.4 to 8.5 inches with an average length and weight of 6.4 inches and 0.22 pounds. Growth of Bluegill was average and fish grew to a length of 6.7 inches in four years.
Other fish species sampled included: Channel Catfish, Black, Brown, and Yellow Bullhead, Bowfin, Common Carp, Pumpkinseed, and White Sucker.