Fisheries Report

Status of the Fishery (as of 07/21/2010) from The Minnesota DNR Website
Potato Lake is located seven miles north of Park Rapids in Hubbard County. Potato Lake has a surface area of 2,100 acres and a maximum depth of 95 feet. A state-owned public access is located on the north shore and a county-owned access is located on the west “arm” of the lake. Boating access with small craft is also available from the river connecting to Eagle Lake. There is a fixed crest dam at the outlet that prevents boat travel downstream. The fixed crest dam was installed in 2004 and the design allows for fish passage. Potato Lake is a very popular fishing lake in the Park Rapids area. Potato Lake is well known for its walleye population, but also provides angling opportunities for northern pike smallmouth bass, and panfish.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has classified Minnesota’s lakes into 43 different types based on physical, chemical, and other characteristics. Potato Lake is in lake class 22. Other area lakes in this same classification include: Big Sand, Lower Bottle, Kabekona, and Long.

Walleye abundance (6.3 walleye/gillnet) was at the current management goal of 6.0 walleye/gillnet. Walleye gillnet catch rates since the early 1980’s have been similar, fluctuating within the range “typical” for this lake class and around the current management goal. Anglers will find good numbers of walleye in the 14-18 inch size range, with walleye measured up to 27.9 inches. Potato Lake is currently stocked with walleye during odd numbered years. Yellow perch abundance (3.9 perch/gillnet) was down from past surveys. Average size of yellow perch is small (5.5 inches), however, a few larger perch are present with fish measured up to 11.2 inches.

Northern pike were sampled in moderate numbers (7.3 pike/gillnet), within the range “typical” for this lake class and similar to other surveys since the late 1990’s. Northern pike abundance fluctuated from low to moderate numbers in earlier surveys. Sampled northern pike had an average length and weight of 21.2 inches and 2.3 pounds. The number of larger pike (> 28.0 inches) sampled was higher than past surveys.

Potato Lake supports both a smallmouth bass and largemouth bass fishery. Smallmouth bass are abundant in the rock and gravel bars of the main basin, while largemouth bass are less abundant, and are found in the bulrush stands and submerged aquatic vegetation beds of the west and east “arms”. Good numbers of larger smallmouth bass (>15.0 inches) were sampled when compared to other area lakes.

The panfish fishery in Potato Lake is probably known more for its quality than quantity. Black crappie were sampled in low numbers, similar to past surveys. Anglers have reported catching nice-size crappie early in the spring. The west and east “arms” of the lake provide the best black crappie habitat. Bluegill abundance (10.8 bluegill/trapnet) was within the range “typical” for this lake class. Prior to the 2005 survey, bluegill were sampled in low numbers in Potato Lake. Anglers will find bluegill and pumpkinseed in the 6-8 inch size range.

Other species sampled include high numbers of rock bass, and moderate numbers of white sucker, yellow bullhead, and shorthead redhorse. Brown bullhead were sampled in low numbers.
For more information on this lake, contact:
Area Fisheries Supervisor
301 S Grove Ave
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Phone: (218) 732-4153
Internet: Park Rapids Fisheries
Lake maps can be obtained from:
Minnesota Bookstore
660 Olive Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000 or (800) 657-3757
To order, use B0444 for the map-id.

For general DNR Information, contact:

DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR
Tip Logo Turn in Poachers (TIP):
Toll-free: (800) 652-9093

Click Here for the 2010 Fisheries Report

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