Kraemer Lake is located two miles southwest of St. Joseph in eastern Stearns County. An access on the east side of the lake belongs to the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club and use of the access is limited to members only. Most development has occurred along the north and east sides of the lake. The only recent stocking that has been done is that of walleye fingerlings by the Gun Club. The last survey was in 1989.
A survey of curled pondweed was conducted at the time of peak abundance June 4th, 2007. Curled pondweed was growing over 13.7 acres, 7.0% of the lakes surface. Only one species of aquatic plant, coontail, was found on 100% of the transects and noted to be abundant. Bushy pondweed, wild celery and northern milfoil were widely distributed. Plants grew out to a depth of eight feet. At the time the survey was conducted in the latter part of June oxygen was available to fish down to 13 feet.
Net catches of northern pike were above the normal range. The catch has been above the expected range for the past three nettings dating back to 1984. Northern pike averaged nearly 24 inches in length and weighed three pounds. Anglers have an opportunity to catch above average size northern pike in Kramer Lake.
One notable change in the fisheries apparent between the 1989 and 2007 surveys was the significant decline of yellow perch. A total of only five yellow perch were sampled during the 2007 survey. This was the first time that yellow perch catches had been below the range of expected values. Yellow perch numbers had also been high in 1984 despite high northern pike populations.
A primary management species for Kraemer Lake is largemouth bass. Kraemer Lake has an excellent bass population with a wide range of sizes available to anglers including fish up to 20 inches. The electrofishing catch was 55 per hour, about the average catch for Stearns County lakes.
Walleye were caught at a low rate similar to that of 1989. Approximately 1,500 walleye fingerlings have been stocked annually since 1999 by the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club. Its likely that the high northern pike population is decreasing survival of the stocked fish (in the absence of yellow perch).
Kraemer Lake has a moderate population of bluegills. Only one bluegill larger than seven inches was taken in trap nets. The average size of the bluegills was about 5.5 inches. Growth of bluegill in Kraemer Lake was similar to the statewide average as bluegill grow to seven inches in eight years.
Black crappie were sampled in relatively low numbers during the summer survey, however, large numbers of crappie approximately eight inches in length were observed during the night-time electrofishing conducted in mid May.
Other species in the fish community include hybrid, green and pumpkinseed sunfish, and black and yellow bullheads.
Maintaining the water quality in Kraemer Lake should be a high priority of the county and landowners around the lake. Some effort may be needed to identify any sources of phosphorus and plans developed to reduce these sources. Buffer strips on inlets and lakeshore property are encouraged to reduce nutrients entering the lake. Maintaining adequate septics and keeping grass clippings and raked leaves out the lake will help reduce nutrients entering the lake, thus slowing algae and excess vegetation growth.