In July of 2019 the Minnesota DNR Fisheries Office in Park Rapids provided the PLA with a detailed Fisheries Management Summary report. The goals and stocking history are listed below, along with a current update based on DNR Fisheries input to the MN Outdoor News in December of 2020.
Potato Lake is primarily managed for walleyes and yellow perch (forage); secondarily for Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegills, Black Crappies, and Cisco.
Walleye Stocking History
- Walleye stocking was at the rate of 1 lb./littoral acre of fingerlings from 1985-1995. Stocking occurs every other year.
- Stocking rate was increased to 2 lb./littoral acre from 2005 to 2013
- Natural reproduction in Potato Lake is pretty good (2011-2013 sampling)
- DNR returned to stocking fry only in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
- Fingerling stocking at 2 lb./littoral acre did not appear to produce stronger year classes than stocking with fry (2011-2018 data)
- DNR evaluating results in 2020. If fry stocking not successful, stocking will return to fingerling size in 2021 at 1 lb./littoral acre.
Current Status (Based on DNR Fisheries input to MN Outdoor News Magazine)
- “A switch from fingerling to fry stocking in 2015 seems to have worked in maintaining and building Potato Lake’s walleye population. The lake also has excellent habitat for natural reproduction, when spring spawning conditions are favorable”
- “Currently, Potato Lake’s walleyes feature a wide range of sizes. The population is highlighted by an abundance of eating-size fish in the 15-18 inch range and another group in the 20-22 inch range.” Some nice over 22” fish are also available.
- “Smallmouth and largemouth Bass are both numerous and good sized, with plenty of 4 pound smallmouth available.” Northern pike populations are high, but are dominated by smaller size.” “Crappie and sunfish populations are average. You need to find them where they congregate in small areas”
- Lake Size: 2,096 acres
- Max Depth: 87 feet
- Shoreline: 14.8 miles