Minnesota Lake

Medicine Lake


From the Minnesota DNR:

Medicine Lake is about 10 miles north of Turtle River, Minnesota along County Road 23. It has a small public access and one resort. The lake watershed is divided between public lands and several small farms. There is little shoreline development. It is in fisheries lake class 29 a group of lakes, typically, moderate in size, regular in shape (lacking bays, points or islands) and with a high percentage of littoral area. Littoral area is the productive zone generally less than fifteen feet in depth, where light penetration can reach the bottom. Primary management is for walleye, and fingerlings are stocked during alternate years to supplement limited natural reproduction. There is a good population of walleye with many fish between 12 and 16 inches long, most originating from the 1996 stocking. Walleye as large as 27 inches long were sampled. About 10% of the walleye examined had Neascus, (Black spot) a visible parasite of fish but not harmful to humans. Due to the increasing harvest of larger northern pike and consistent successful natural reproduction, Medicine lake developed a population dominated by many small pike. Lakes like this are commonly called "hammer-handle lakes," referring to the small average size of the pike. In 1986 only about 4% of the pike population exceeded 22 inches (2.5 pounds). In an attempt to improve the size structure, experimental regulations were set up to protect all pike between 22 and 30 inches, with only one over 30 inches allowed in possession. Protection of pike in this size range is intended not only to increase their abundance but also to suppress the abundance of small fish by predation. Ironically, by protecting some selected size fish from harvest, a reduction in pike abundance may be possible. It appears this strategy may be working since pike abundance is as low as it has been since 1958, and there has been an improvement in size structure with 28% of the pike exceeding 22 inches in 1998.

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