DescriptionBasswood is 25,472/7,034, 111'
Planning Considerations[content here]
WildlifeBasswood supports populations of Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), Burbot (Lota lota), Hybrid Sunfish (Lepomis sp.), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi), Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni), and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens).
Basswood Lake is in Ecological Lake Class 2, which consists of 15 lakes in northeast Minnesota that are very large, deep, and clear, with soft water and irregular shoreline shapes. Shoreline areas in Basswood Lake are dominated by ledgerock, boulder, and rubble, interspersed with sand. About half of the lake, mostly to the northeast, lies in Ontario.
This summary masks differences between the east end of Basswood Lake (which includes the portion in Ontario) and the west end (Jackfish Bay and Pipestone Bay). The east end has clearer and harder water, is deeper, and retains oxygen in midsummer to a greater depth. The east end is oligotrophic, while the west end is more mesotrophic.
These differences in water quality are largely due to the water quality of the major inlets: the east end is fed by the Knife Lake and Moose Lake drainages to the southeast of Basswood Lake. The west end is fed by the Kawishiwi and Range Rivers to the south and west.
The 1996 assessment, as with previous assessments on Basswood Lake in the 1985 and 1977, consisted of standard gillnets set in shallow water to a maximum depth of 35 feet. Most of the gillnets set in 1996 and 1985 were in identical locations. A 1961 assessment was conducted much earlier in the summer and included nets set both in Ontario and Minnesota waters; consequently the data from that assessment is not comparable to subsequent assessments.
The total catch of fish in 1996 (all species combined) was higher than average for this lake class, but was similar to previous catches in the 1985 and 1977 assessments. The total number of fish per set in 1996 was higher in the east end of the lake, due mostly to higher catches of white sucker and cisco.
The 1996 assessment catch was dominated by walleye and northern pike, followed by white sucker, cisco, yellow perch, and rock bass.
Walleye numbers in 1996 were higher than normal for this lake class, but were similar to catches in 1985 and 1977. Walleye numbers were similar in the east and west ends of the lake. Walleye sizes in 1996, averaging 13.4", were normal for this lakeclass, and were similar to 1985 and 1977, but were smaller than in 1961. Walleye were larger in the east end (average of 14.2") than in the west end (average of 12.7"). Walleye growth in the east end (13" at age 4) was faster than in the west end (12" at age 4), but both rates were normal for this lake class. A strong walleye year class was produced in 1994; a weak year class was produced in 1993.
Northern pike numbers in 1996 were higher than normal for this lake class, but were similar to catches in 1985 and 1977. Pike numbers were similar in the east and west ends of the lake. Pike sizes, averaging 22", were small for this lake class, but were similar to sizes in previous assessments. Pike sizes were similar in the east and west ends of the lake. Pike growth was faster than average for the area. Ten percent of northern pike examined were infected with Neascus. Also known as "black spot", Neascus is a parasite found in the skin. It cannot infect humans and it is killed by cooking.
Sucker numbers in 1996 were higher than normal for this lake class. More sucker were caught in the east end of the lake. Cisco numbers were normal for this lake class, but more were caught in the east end. Rock bass numbers were higher than normal for this lake class and numbers were similar in the east and west ends.
Yellow perch numbers in 1996 were in the normal range for this lake class, but were lower than in 1985 and 1977. Perch numbers were lower in the east end than in the west end. Perch were found in walleye stomachs in the west end.
Smallmouth bass numbers in 1996 were similar to previous assessments. More smallmouth were caught in the east end in 1996. Local reports over many years indicate that smallmouth are far more abundant than indicated by the gillnet catch. Most smallmouth caught in the 1996 assessment were age 5 or older and were growing fairly fast (12" at age 5). Sixty-two percent of smallmouth were infected with bass tapeworm. The larval form of this tapeworm lives in the intestinal cavity of the bass and can damage the reproductive organs, causing sterility. It cannot infect humans and is killed by cooking.
Extremely high numbers of crayfish were entangled in the gillnets
during the 1996 assessment. East end nets caught an average of 254 crayfish/net,
while west end nets caught an average of 106 crayfish/net. High numbers
of crayfish were caught during the 1985 assessment in the east end, but
not in the west. Most of the crayfish caught in 1996 were blue crayfish
(Orconectes propinquus), a small but aggressive crayfish that is
native to the southeastern U.S. A few rushy crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
were caught in nets near Inlet Bay and Prairie Portage. Rusty crayfish
are a large and aggressive crayfish also native the
Notes and Comments[content here]
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