Black Lake is a small horseshoe shaped basin located seven miles southwest of Monticello in northern Wright County. Ringed with a fringe of cattail there is only a poor, user-developed private access on this natural environment lake. Little development has occurred on this rural lake. Because of the lack of public access no stocking has been done and management has been limited to oxygen testing. The last survey was the initial lake survey done in 1979.
Water quality has been something of an issue but no winterkill has been known for many years. Curled pondweed grew to the surface covering 1.3 acres (less than 1%) on June 5, 2007. Coontail and flatstem pondweeds were the most abundant submersed plant species while white waterlily and cattail were also found on 100% of the vegetation transects. At the time of the survey in early July adequate dissolved oxygen was present down to 10 feet and then from 21-27 feet.
There seem to have been few changes since the last survey in 1979. Northern pike were still abundant as they are in many area lakes. Anglers have a good opportunity to catch northern pike though the average size is less than two pounds. No perch were taken during the survey although a few golden shiners were.
Little is known about the largemouth bass population. Due to the poor access we were unable to launch the electofishing boat. Most area lakes consist of abundant bass populations with a wide range of sizes available to anglers.
From the netting it appears that bluegill are more abundant than black crappie in Black Lake. The average size of bluegill was about six inches; and for crappie it was 9.5 inches. Crappie up to 10.5 inches were captured but the largest bluegill was only a little over seven inches long.
Other species sampled in the fish community include bowfin, black, brown, and yellow bullheads, hybrid, pumpkinseed and green sunfish.
Lake water quality in Wright County is a major concern. Surrounding land use practices can have a detrimental effect on the water and recreational value of the lake. Improving the water quality in Black Lake should be a high priority for the county and landowners around the lake. Some effort may be needed to identify any sources of excess phosphorus and plans developed to reduce these sources. Buffer strips along inlets and lakeshore property are encouraged to reduce nutrients entering the lake. Maintaining adequate septic systems and keeping grass clippings and raked leaves out of the lake will also help reduce nutrients entering the lake, thus slowing algae and excess weed growth.