Camp Lake is located in Wright County, southwest of Maple Lake. The lake has a surface area of 123 acres and a maximum depth of 52 feet. The watershed is small and primarily agriculture, pasture, and wetland/lake. A public access with limited parking is located on the north end of the lake. Water quality was poor and algae limited water clarity to three feet. A total of 15 aquatic plant species were identified, including the invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed. Submergent plants grew to a depth of 10 feet. The last survey was in 2002.
Northern pike numbers were lower than in 2002, but within the expected range for similar lakes. Average length and weight were 24 inches and three pounds; the largest caught was 31 inches. Fifty-three percent of northern pike were longer than 24 inches. Most northern pike were three to five years old and growth was fast, reaching 25 inches in four years. Yellow perch are a favorite food for northern pike and were caught in higher numbers than previous surveys. Average length of yellow perch was 8 inches and the largest individual was over ten inches. It is unusual to find abundant yellow perch with good size structure in a lake where northern pike are relatively numerous and this likely accounts for fast northern pike growth.
Largemouth bass were surveyed annually from 1996 to 2006 by night electrofishing in the fall as part of a research study. Daytime electrofishing was conducted in May 2012 and largemouth bass were more numerous than the average for other Montrose area lakes and the average for the research study. Average length in 2012 was 13 inches and the largest bass was 19 inches. Overall, largemouth bass in 2012 were larger and more numerous than during the 11 years of the research study. Anglers can help sustain the quality bass fishery by keeping smaller bass for a meal and releasing larger ones (>15 inches).
Black crappie catches have always been low in Camp Lake; the 2012 catch was no exception, but within the expected range for similar lakes. Average length was six inches and the largest individual was nine inches. Growth was fast, reaching six inches in the second year of growth
The bluegill catch rate was within the expected range for similar lakes, but higher than in 2002. Mean length (five inches) and weight (0.1 lbs) were lower than previous surveys. The largest individual was eight inches. Growth was fast; bluegill reached five inches at age two and 91% of the fish aged were two years old. Other species captured included: common carp, golden shiner, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, and yellow bullhead.
- Eurasian Watermilfoil
Recreational activities such as recreational boating, angling, waterfowl hunting, and diving may spread aquatic invasive species. Some aquatic invasive species can attach to boats, while others can become tangled on propellers, anchor lines, or boat trailers. Many species can survive in bilge water, ballast tanks, and motors or may hide in dirt or sand that clings to nets, buckets, anchors, and waders. Fortunately, completing simple steps can prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species.