A standard survey was conducted on Camp Lake during late June and early July of 2015. Camp is a small (230 acres), moderately deep (26 feet maximum), and productive lake located in Swift County. Camp is a popular fishing lake for local residents. Water quality and clarity are variable in Camp. Water clarity was fair during early July (secchi reading=7.5 feet) and August (secchi reading=5.0) of 2015. Total phosphorus levels were low to moderate (0.025 ppm) in June of 2008. High water conditions have resulted in flooding of the public access, excess erosion of the shorelines, and poor water quality due to runoff in Camp during previous years. Water levels were below normal in 2015 with no flooding of the public access road or parking lot. There are numerous small inlets that drain water primarily from agricultural row crop fields into Camp Lake. The immediate watershed is varied with hardwoods, wetlands, agricultural row crops, turkey barns, feedlots, grasslands, and minimal number (35) of residential homes. A large turkey barn along the southwest shore attracts large numbers of gulls that use Camp Lake. Birds act as an intermediate host for various fish parasites like neascus (black spot) that are prevalent on several fish species (Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Walleye) in Camp Lake. Fish eating birds such as white pelicans and double crested cormorants can also be numerous on Camp. The DNR Spicer Fisheries Office manages Camp for Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch and Walleye. Camp Lake was one of several study lakes for a DNR Research project on Walleye stocking during 2001-2005. Camp Lake is a popular panfish and Largemouth Bass fishery.
Black Crappie numbers in 2015 (0.11 fish/trapnet and 0.33 fish/gillnet) were very low compared to the Camp historical averages (1.51 fish/trapnet and 3.08 fish/gillnet). Only two Black Crappies were caught during the 2015 survey. The 2015 Black Crappie average size was small (5.4 inches) from gillnets and trapnets combined.
Bluegill numbers were abundant in 2015 (125.00 fish/trapnet) compared to the normal range and Camp historical average (45.50 fish/trapnet). The 2015 Bluegill average size was small (0.07 pounds and 4.6 inches) from trapnets. There were few large (6.0 inches or greater) Bluegill captured (6.55 fish/trapnet) in the survey. Bluegill growth rates were slow in Camp. The 2012 year class comprised 65% of the 2015 Bluegill survey catch.
Largemouth Bass numbers were moderate (45.23 fish/hour) in the 2015 spring electrofishing survey. However, the Largemouth Bass average size was large (2.45 pounds, 15.8 inches) from the 2015 spring electrofishing survey. Largemouth Bass growth rates were excellent. Camp has excellent numbers of large (> 15.0 inches) size bass as documented by the spring electrofishing survey.
Northern Pike numbers were abundant in 2015 (10.00 fish/gillnet) compared to the Camp historical average (8.13 fish/gillnet). The 2015 Northern Pike average size was small (2.63 pounds and 23.0 inches from gillnets) compared to the historical average (2.95 pounds). Northern Pike growth rates were moderate for younger fish (< age 5), but slow for older fish. Only 1 Northern Pike over 30.0 inches was captured in the 2015 survey nets.
Walleye numbers were moderate in 2015 (5.33 fish/gillnet) compared to the normal range and similar to the historical average (5.99 fish/gillnet). The 2015 Walleye average size was large (3.47 pounds and 21.3 inches) from gillnets. The Walleye historical average weight is 2.11 pounds. Walleye growth rates were good. Fish from the 2009 year class (47%) comprised the majority of the Walleye captured in the 2015 survey nets. Recent Walleye stockings occurred in 2007 (98,181 fry), 2009 (98,942 fry), 2011 (21,978 marked frylings), 2013 (119,755 fry) and 2015 (103,802 fry). Abundant fingerling size "YOY" Walleye numbers were captured in 2007 (83.08 YOY/hour, 6.55 inches), 2009 (198.00 YOY/hour, 6.02 inches), 2011 (124.00 YOY/hour, 6.03 inches) and 2013 (49.66 YOY/hour, 6.77 inches) fall electrofishing surveys. YOY Walleye numbers were low (6.00 YOY/hour, 6.69 inches average size) in the 2015 fall electrofishing survey. Walleye natural reproduction occurs periodically in Camp. Potential Walleye spawning sites with suitable gravel/rubble substrates include a south shore area adjacent to a high clay bank and the gravel road/parking lot when periodic flooding occurs during the spring.
Yellow Perch numbers were moderate in 2015 (28.00 fish/gillnet), but below the Camp historical average (44.87 fish/gillnet). The 2015 Yellow Perch average size was moderate (0.14 pounds and 6.7 inches) from gillnets. Yellow Perch growth rates were slow. No Yellow Perch over 8.5 inches were captured in the 2015 survey.
Other notable fish species captured or absent in the 2015 survey nets included low numbers of White Sucker (0.67 fish/gillnet), Black Bullhead (0.33 fish/gillnet) and no Common Carp. Historical average catch rates were 1.98 White Sucker/gillnet, 8.34 Black Bullhead/trapnet and 0.00 Common Carp/gillnet for Camp Lake.
Current fish management activities on Camp include protecting the important aquatic habitats such as emergent and submergent vegetation through the permit process, assisting aquatic plant management and enforcement personnel in educating boaters and monitoring access sites for potential invasive species introductions, encouraging land owners to implement best management practices in the watershed, and stocking Walleye as warranted. All fish species will be sampled in 2019. YOY Walleye will be surveyed by fall night electrofishing in 2017.