Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Hill

Nearest Town: Hill City
Primary County: Aitkin
Survey Date: 07/26/2010
Inventory Number: 01014200
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
DNR Concrete
City Concrete


Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 808.61
Littoral Area (acres): 354
Maximum Depth (ft): 48
Water Clarity (ft): 11.8 (6-17)

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): N/A


Did you know? Lake rehabilitation projects reclaim waters suffering from habitat degradation and overpopulation of some fish species.

Fish Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year

Species

Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)

Caught

Normal Range

Black Crappie Trap net 1.00 0.7 - 3.2 0.31 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 1.00 0.5 - 2.7 0.45 0.2 - 0.4
Bluegill Trap net 4.83 5.6 - 42.3 0.13 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 2.67 N/A 0.23 N/A
Bowfin (dogfish) Trap net 0.25 0.4 - 1.0 4.52 3.1 - 4.8
Common Shiner Trap net 0.08 N/A 0.07 N/A
Hybrid Sunfish Trap net 0.08 N/A 0.03 N/A
Largemouth Bass Trap net 0.50 0.3 - 1.1 0.06 0.2 - 0.9
Gill net 0.75 0.3 - 1.2 0.33 0.5 - 1.1
Northern Pike Trap net 0.33 N/A 3.02 N/A
Gill net 2.67 3.1 - 8.5 2.36 1.5 - 2.7
Pumpkinseed Trap net 0.33 1.7 - 8.2 0.26 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 0.08 N/A 0.35 N/A
Rock Bass Trap net 0.83 0.6 - 2.5 0.39 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 0.75 0.3 - 2.0 0.37 0.3 - 0.5
Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 0.08 0.2 - 1.2 2.74 1.1 - 2.5
Walleye Trap net 0.08 0.2 - 0.7 0.15 0.9 - 2.9
Gill net 7.92 1.3 - 5.5 1.27 1.2 - 2.4
White Sucker Trap net 0.08 0.2 - 1.0 2.79 1.7 - 2.9
Gill net 1.42 0.5 - 3.5 1.83 1.6 - 2.4
Yellow Bullhead Trap net 0.17 1.5 - 7.7 0.84 0.5 - 0.8
Gill net 0.08 0.9 - 10.0 0.54 0.5 - 0.7
Yellow Perch Trap net 1.33 0.5 - 2.7 0.09 0.1 - 0.2
Gill net 3.58 2.5 - 24.2 0.10 0.1 - 0.2
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.


Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2010 Survey Year

Species Number of fish caught in each category (inches)
0-5 6-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30+ Total
black crappie 8 5 11 0 0 0 0 0 24
bluegill 57 30 2 0 0 0 0 0 90
bowfin (dogfish) 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3
common shiner 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
hybrid sunfish 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
largemouth bass 12 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 15
northern pike 0 0 0 2 12 14 7 1 36
pumpkinseed 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
rock bass 4 11 4 0 0 0 0 0 19
shorthead redhorse 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
walleye 0 14 3 52 13 9 5 0 96
white sucker 0 0 1 6 10 1 0 0 18
yellow bullhead 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3
yellow perch 17 42 0 0 0 0 0 0 59


For the record, the largest Rock Bass (tie) taken in Minnesota weighed 2 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: Lake Winnibigoshish, Cass County
    When: 5/10/98
    Statistics: 12.6" length, 12.4" girth

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2013 Walleye fry 350,000 3.0
2011 Walleye fry 350,000 3.2
2009 Walleye fry 350,000 3.5
2007 Walleye fry 350,000 3.5
2005 Walleye fry 350,000 3.5

Stocking Notes
1 - indicates fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.
2 - indicates fish purchased by the DNR for stocking.

Stocking Fish Sizes
Fry - Newly hatched fish that are ready to be stocked usually called "swim-ups". Walleye fry are 1/3 of an inch or around 8 mm.
Fingerling - Fingerlings are one to six months old and can range from a size of one to twelve inches depending on the species. Walleye fingerlings range from three to eight inches each fall.
Yearling - Yearling fish are at least one year old. A one-year-old fish can range from three to twenty inches depending on the species. Walleye yearlings average from six to twelve inches.
Adult - Adult fish are fish that have reached maturity. Depending on the species, maturity can be reached at two years of age. Walleye reach maturity between the ages of four and six years.

Fish Consumption Guidelines

These fish consumption guidelines help people make choices about which fish to eat and how often. Following the guidelin es enables people to reduce their exposure to contaminants while still enjoying the many benefits from fish.

Pregnant Women, Women who may become pregnant and Children under age 15

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
HILL
Aitkin Co., 01014200
Bluegill Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Crappie   All sizes     Mercury
Largemouth Bass     All sizes   Mercury
Northern Pike     All sizes   Mercury
Rock Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Sunfish   All sizes     Mercury
Walleye   shorter than 16" 16" or longer   Mercury

General Population

LAKE NAME
County, DOWID
Species Meal Advice Contaminants
Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat
HILL
Aitkin Co., 01014200
Bluegill Sunfish All sizes        
Crappie All sizes        
Largemouth Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Northern Pike   All sizes     Mercury
Rock Bass   All sizes     Mercury
Sunfish All sizes        
Walleye   All sizes     Mercury

DOWID - MN DNR, Division of Waters' lake ID number.

Contaminants listed were measured at levels that trigger advice to limit consumption.

Listing of consumption guidelines do not imply the fish are legal to keep, MN DNR fishing regulations should be consulted.

Dioxin
Mercury
PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls
PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


Status of the Fishery (as of 07/26/2010)

Hill Lake is one of the larger lakes in Aitkin County at 907 acres and is located on the east side of Hill City. The lake has a maximum depth of 48 ft. and is divided into two distinct basins by Highway 200. Hill Lake has a long history of fisheries management activities dating back to an initial survey conducted in 1948. Hill is primarily managed for walleye through alternate year supplemental fry stocking. Currently, Hill Lake is scheduled to undergo intensive monitoring 2008-2011 as part of a larger sampling program called SLICE (Sustaining Lakes In a Changing Environment). This program includes annual trap net assessments, ice-out trapping for northern pike, spring electrofishing for largemouth bass, gill net assessments in 2009 and 2010, as well as a variety of other biological and chemical samplings by other branches of the DNR and other state agencies. The aquatic plant community in Hill Lake is relatively diverse with a narrow band of moderately dense plant growth rimming both basins. Plants grow in approximately 2/3 of the smaller southern basin though reduced water clarity limits how deep these plants can grow. A variety of game fish are found in Hill Lake with relatively healthy populations of desirable species, with walleye being the primary focus of many anglers.

Gill net catches of walleye have ranged from a low of 4/net in 1948 to a high of 14/net in 1980. The 2010 catch of 7.9/net is typical of past catches on Hill Lake, and well above average when compared to similar lakes across Minnesota and Aitkin County. Growth of these fish was average, and although the average size decreased slightly from 2009 to 1.25 lbs, this was largely a result of a very strong 2007 year class recruiting into the gear. Fish as large as 27 inches were observed in the gill nets. The lake is stocked with fry in alternate years and both stocked fry and natural reproduction contribute to the fishery.

Northern pike abundance has been relatively stable, typically averaging 2 - 5/gill net, which is relatively low when compared to similar lakes. The 2010 catch of 2.7/net was no exception. Growth rates are relatively good, likely due to ample yellow perch and white sucker populations and 28% of the fish sampled by gill net measured at least 24". Larger fish were sampled in spring assessment (over 39 inches) indicating quality sized fish are attainable, though harvest by anglers may be limiting the number of fish reaching these larger sizes. Hill Lake has the potential to provide quality northern pike angling experiences, but will require angler cooperation by releasing more medium and large size fish in order to accomplish this more than just occasionally.

Gill net and electrofishing catches indicate that the abundance of largemouth bass has increased in the last decade. Growth rates are better than most other local lakes with fish over 18" observed in each of the last three assessments. Recent recruitment has been good with fish present each year from 1999-2007.

While bluegill and black crappie populations were not particularly abundant, size was good for both species. Average length for crappies was 8.3". The size distribution also looked good for the bluegill population, with some fish observed over 9 inches.

Yellow perch and white suckers are important prey species for the lake's game fish. Yellow perch abundance has been extremely variable in the past, but was again relatively low in 2010 at 3.5/gill net. White sucker were sampled in average numbers.


For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
PO Box 138
1200 Minnesota Ave S
Aitkin, MN 56431
Phone: (218) 927-7503
Internet: Aitkin Fisheries
E-Mail: Aitkin.Fisheries@state.mn.us

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 B0381 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
Internet: www.dnr.state.mn.us
E-Mail: info.dnr@state.mn.us

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