Bass Lake is a relatively small, clear-water bass-panfish lake in Todd County. The lake lies on the outskirts of the City of Grey Eagle and provides a multitude of recreational opportunities for the area. The City maintains a park on the north end of the lake, which offers a fishing pier, swimming beach, picnic area, and boat access. The lake has some of the best water clarity in the area with a secchi disk reading of over 18 feet at the end of June. Weed lines, woody debris, and sunken points are the main fishing structures in the lake. Bass Lake has little development close to the lake, which probably benefitted the water quality.
Several species showed a significant change in abundance from the last survey in 2002. While the 2008 summer survey showed a decrease in northern pike abundance, numbers are still high when compared to similar type lakes. Walleye abundance appears to be within the normal range for this type of lake, yet yellow perch numbers remained low. Lower northern pike numbers are desirable because of the negative affect they can have on the fish community especially yellow perch and walleye. A more abundant perch population could provide a prey base for both walleye and northern pike, and may also reduce pike predation on walleye fingerlings. The average size of the pike seen in the survey was 20 inches or just under 2 pounds, but there were some pike between 24 and 31 inches measured. The walleye fishery is dependant on stocking which occurs in odd numbered years.
Bass Lake has a largemouth bass population, which attracts anglers. There appears to be an abundance of smaller bass under 12 inches in length, however, some fish up to 17 inches were observed. Bluegill are also quite common and the population appears to be dominated by medium size fish between 5 and 7 inches. Although black crappie are in the lake, they can be a difficult species to sample in standard survey gear, but electrofishing has shown some promise as a sampling method for the species. The average size of the crappies caught with survey gear was about 9 inches, but there were some measured up to almost 11 inches in length. Other panfish species in the lake include green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, and pumpkinseed sunfish. The hybrid sunfish catch yielded the largest fish with some individuals over 8 inches being measured.
Other species in the fish community include black bullhead, brown bullhead, bowfin or dogfish, and yellow bullhead. Yellow bullhead was the most numerous of the three species and abundance was within the normal range for the lake type. The brown bullhead were the largest in size of the three species with some of the individuals measuring up to 14.5 inches in length. The abundance of black bullhead and yellow bullhead can be an indicator of water quality. Black bullhead tend to be more abundant in turbid water while yellow bullhead prefer cleaner water.
Bass Lake appears to have excellent water quality and landowners are encouraged to use good shoreline practices around the lake and its inlets. Anglers are encouraged to harvest small northern pike under 24 inches and release the larger pike along with limiting harvest of larger bluegills to work toward a more balanced fish community.