Charlotte Lake is located in eastern Wright County, five miles southwest of St. Michael. It has a surface area of 235 acres and a maximum depth of 46 feet. A small public access with limited parking is located on the north end of the lake. Water quality is good and the lake supports a diverse community of native aquatic plants. Game fish species include northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie.
Northern pike abundance was lower than the last survey in 2000, but typical for lakes similar to Charlotte. The average size was 19.5 inches and 1.8 pounds; the largest pike caught was 28.7 inches. Growth of pike to age five was similar to other lakes statewide, but growth was slower thereafter. Yellow perch are an important food source for northern pike. However, none were caught in the survey and this may hinder northern pike growth.
Largemouth bass were caught by daytime electrofishing in May 2010. The catch rate was similar to the area average and 23% of bass were larger than 15 inches. The average size was 12 inches and 1.2 pounds; the largest bass was 19 inches long. Growth was similar to statewide averages.
The number of bluegill increased from the 2000 survey, but was within the expected range for lakes similar to Charlotte. The average length was 5.3 inches and the largest bluegill caught was nearly eight inches. Bluegill growth was slow. Bluegill grew to 6.6 inches in length in seven years.
Black crappie numbers were low, as in previous surveys. The average length was nearly eight inches and the largest crappie was 11 inches. Growth was similar to statewide averages.
No walleye were caught and few were caught in previous surveys. DNR stocking was discontinued after 1990 due to poor success. A limited number of walleye were stocked in 1999 and 2008 by the lake association. Other species caught included: brown and yellow bullhead, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, and pumpkinseed.
- 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.