HISTORY AND STATUS OF FISHERY
Pleasant Lake is a small (219 acre) lake located three miles southwest of St. Cloud in Stearns County. It has a maximum depth of 33 feet and good water clarity averaging about 10 feet during the summer, which is relatively high for the area. A public access is located on the northeast side of the lake with space available for twelve trucks and trailers.
Pleasant lake is managed primarily for Sunfish and Northern Pike. Sunfish have been managed with an experimental reduce bag limit since 1996 when the bag limit was reduced from 20 to 10. In 2007, the bag limit was reduced further from 10 to five.
Emergent and floating-leaf vegetation were surveyed in August of 2015. Emergent vegetation covered about 13% of the lake area and 45% of the shoreline. The most commonly found species were cattail, yellow waterlily, and bulrush. A point intercept aquatic plant survey was also completed in August. Twenty-one species were identified and found growing to a maximum depth of 20 feet. The most common species found were coontail, chara, flatstem pondweed, and northern milfoil.
The Northern Pike population is dominated by smaller fish with few fish reaching 30 inches. The 2015 gill net catch was above management goals and above the normal range when compared to similar lakes. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the surplus of fish less than 22 inches and release the larger pike.
Walleye abundance in Pleasant Lake has been historically low, despite routine fingerling stocking. Walleye fishing in Pleasant Lake is more focused towards "incidental" catches while angling for other species. The 2015 survey showed Walleye ranging in length from 19.5 to 24.7 inches.
The Largemouth Bass catch was higher than the area average with fish ranging from 5.1 to 19.3 inches in length. Anglers can expect good Largemouth Bass fishing with an opportunity to catch fish over 15 inches.
Bluegill surveyed in 2015 averaged 5.1 inches with some fish over 8.0 inches. Anglers can expect to catch smaller Bluegill with an occasional larger one mixed in. Hybrid Sunfish were also sampled and averaged 7.2 inches long and provide anglers the opportunity to catch fish over ten inches. The Black Crappie abundance is considered low with the average length being 7.1 inches.
Other species sampled included: Banded Killifish, Bluntnose Minnow, Black Bullhead, Bowfin (Dogfish), Central Mudminnow, Fathead Minnow, Green Sunfish, Hybrid Sunfish, Iowa Darter, Johnny Darter, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Tadpole Madtom, Yellow Bullhead, and Yellow Perch.