Bemidji Lake in Minnesota

  • Bemidji Lake information:

    The town od Bemidji is located on the shore of Bemidji lake in Northern Minnesota. The lake a some very good fishing for all species of fish.

    Provided by DNR - Survey Date: 08/14/2006 - Inventory Number: 04013002

    Name: Bemidji (main lake) - Nearest Town: Bemidji - Primary County: Beltrami

    Public Access Information

    Ownership Type Description

    City Concrete

    DNR Concrete

    DNR Concrete

    City Concrete

    City Concrete

    Township Concrete

    Lake Characteristics

    Lake Area (acres): 6580.45

    Littoral Area (acres): 1862

    Maximum Depth (ft): 76

    Clarity (ft): 5.5 (5-6) Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A

    Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A

    Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): N/A

    Did you know? The state operates 17 hatcheries: 5 for trout and salmon and 12 for coolwater species.

    Fish Sampled for the 2006 Survey Year

    Number of fish per net

    1. Gear Used Caught Normal Range Average Fish Weight (lbs) Average Fish Weight (lbs)

    Black Crappie Trap net 1.20 0.3 - 1.7 0.13 0.3 - 0.6

    Bluegill Trap net 2.27 3.7 - 42.9 0.08 0.1 - 0.2

    Brown Bullhead Trap net

    Gill net 1.33

    0.20 0.3 - 1.7

    0.3 - 1.6 1.21

    1.59 0.7 - 1.1

    0.7 - 1.2

    Burbot Trap net

    Gill net 0.07

    0.13 0.1 - 0.1

    0.1 - 0.2 2.77

    2.00 0.5 - 2.5

    1.1 - 2.7

    Common Shiner Trap net 1.53 N/A 0.07 N/A

    Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 2.27 N/A 0.07 N/A

    Largemouth Bass Trap net 1.27 0.4 - 1.4 0.14 0.3 - 0.7

    Muskellunge Gill net 0.07 0.1 - 0.3 29.79 3.1 - 5.3

    Northern Pike Trap net

    Gill net 0.47

    3.73 N/A

    3.0 - 7.9 2.14

    3.75 N/A

    1.7 - 2.8

    Pumpkinseed Trap net

    Gill net 2.13

    0.13 1.6 - 6.9

    N/A 0.05

    0.15 0.1 - 0.3

    N/A

    Redhorse Trap net 0.20 N/A 1.16 N/A

    Rock Bass Trap net

    Gill net 1.73

    0.07 0.7 - 3.3

    1.0 - 6.6 0.38

    0.09 0.2 - 0.5

    0.3 - 0.5

    Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 0.20 0.1 - 0.5 0.38 1.5 - 2.7

    Tullibee (cisco) Gill net 9.07 0.5 - 5.2 1.14 0.4 - 1.0

    Walleye Trap net

    Gill net 1.20

    17.67 0.3 - 0.9

    4.0 - 9.6 1.41

    1.13 1.0 - 2.2

    1.1 - 1.9

    White Sucker Trap net

    Gill net 3.53

    6.33 0.2 - 0.8

    1.0 - 3.5 1.77

    1.80 1.4 - 2.7

    1.5 - 2.3

    Yellow Bullhead Trap net

    Gill net 0.13

    0.07 0.9 - 4.8

    0.6 - 6.4 0.95

    1.38 0.7 - 1.0

    0.6 - 0.9

    Yellow Perch Trap net

    Gill net 28.60

    85.33 0.7 - 3.7

    7.1 - 33.9 0.17

    0.21 0.1 - 0.2

    0.1 - 0.2

    Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

    Length of Selected Species Sampled for the 2006 Survey Year

    Number of fish caught in each category (inches)

    Species 0-5 6-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 >29 Total

    black crappie 11 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 18

    Bluegill 30 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 34

    Brown Bullhead 0 0 4 19 0 0 0 0 23

    Burbot 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3

    common shiner 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23

    hybrid sunfish 29 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 34

    Largemouth Bass 7 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 19

    muskellunge 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

    Northern Pike 0 0 1 0 5 26 29 2 63

    Pumpkinseed 32 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 34

    redhorse 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 3

    Rock Bass 9 14 4 0 0 0 0 0 27

    Shorthead Redhorse 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3

    1. (cisco) 0 0 13 79 41 0 0 0 136

    Walleye 0 37 42 55 42 132 16 2 283

    White Sucker 2 12 29 11 80 13 1 0 148

    yellow bullhead 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3

    Yellow Perch 461 1003 226 0 0 0 0 0 1709

    For the record, the largest Pink Salmon taken in Minnesota weighed 4 lbs., 8 oz. and was caught by:

    Who: Eugene E. Troyna, Walker, MN

    Where: Cascade River, Cook County

    When: 9/9/89.

    Statistics: 23.5" length, 13.2" girth

    Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Five Years

    Year Species Age Number

    Fish Consumption Advisory

    No fish consumption information is available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

    Status of the Fishery (as of 08/14/2006)

    Lake Bemidji is a 6420-acre lake with a maximum depth of 76 feet in southern Beltrami County. It is adjacent to the city of Bemidji. There are numerous public access locations around the lake. There are fishing piers near the Mississippi River inlet on the Southwest side and in Lake Bemidji State Park on the Northeast side of the lake.

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different lake classes based on physical and chemical characteristics. Lake Bemidji is in lake class 22. Lakes in this lake class are typically large in size, deep and clear. Other area lakes in the same lake class include Cass, Pike Bay, Plantaganette and Kabekona. The Lake Bemidji fishery will be compared to lakes in the same lake class. Lake Bemidji is managed for walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and muskellunge.

    Lake Bemidji is well known for its excellent walleye fishery. Abundance in 2006 was exceptional at nearly 18 walleye per gill net set, exceeding what you would typically find in a class 22 lake. This abundant population is being supported entirely by natural reproduction with no maintenance stocking necessary. Twelve different year classes were identified indicating consistently good reproduction. Walleye sampled ranged from 7 to 27 inches with many in the 14-18 inch range. With a naturally reproducing population, it is important to protect the spawning-sized walleye in the fishery. This is where the anglers can make a difference. By practicing selective harvest, anglers can harvest the smaller more abundant walleye for eating, and releasing more of the medium to large walleye. These medium to large walleye make up the bulk of the spawning walleye that produces the young upcoming year classes that maintains the quality walleye fishery.

    Northern pike abundance has never been high in Lake Bemidji, but the lake has the reputation for producing quality-sized pike. Pike sampled in 2006 ranged in length from 16 to 36 inches with a mean length and weight of 25 inches and 3.75 pounds. This average weight is the highest since 1989.

    Muskellunge are native to Lake Bemidji but were thought to be nearly extirpated at one time. Regular fingerling stocking since 1982 has restored to a quality muskellunge fishery with reports of fish greater than 50 inches becoming quite common. Recently the minimum size limit has been raised to 48 inches for muskellunge on Bemidji and connected waters. Voluntary catch and release is practiced almost exclusively by avid muskie anglers and is credited for much of the improvement in quality angling for this species.

    Yellow perch continue to be abundant in Lake Bemidji and are important both as a recreational fish for anglers and as forage for predator fish. Perch over nine inches in length have increased over the past three assessments. Nineteen percent of the perch sampled in 2006 were longer than nine inches.

    Other fish sampled include bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, rock bass and largemouth bass. All were sampled at low abundance.

    There has been considerable shoreline development around Lake Bemidji due to the close proximity to the City of Bemidji. Efforts are in progress between MNDNR and City Planners to make wise development decisions for the few remaining properties yet to be developed. Native shoreline vegetation provides habitat for fish and wildlife, filters harmful nutrients, and protects against shoreline erosion. Wise development considers these effects and includes measures to minimize impacts to shoreline habitat and water quality. Private property owners can also practice important shoreline protection and in some cases restoration. For more information on how to accomplish this, contact your nearest Area Fisheries office.

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Bemidji Region - Minnesota
18882 North Blackduck Lake RD NE Hines, MN 56630 Office 218-835-4552 Cell 218-553-0210
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