Water clarity brings vegetation and change

Published 7:46 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dick Herfindahl, Woods and Water

It was evident as I fished Albert Lea Lake this past winter, and again in the spring, that the water clarity of this body of water has improved tremendously.

Dick Herfindahl

Last fall, the DNR killed off Pickerel Lake to rid the lake of the carp. This spring they re-stocked the lake with northern pike and perch, which should make for some good fishing down the road.

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You’ve heard the old saying “careful what you wish for,” well in my eyes, this had become a truism.

With the carp gone from Pickeral Lake the cleaner water now lets the sunlight in and in turn the vegetation in the lake is now flourishing. Vegetation brings oxygen to a lake, which is vital to sustaining marine life. As you probably already know if you’ve driven past the lake lately it has grass growing pretty much everywhere. I am no environmental expert but as a casual observer who is interested in our lakes I hope that this body of water doesn’t eventually become anything more than a large slough. This lake has always been pretty to look at, almost pristine at times, but now for me it’s starting to lose some of its luster. We all knew that this was a shallow body of water but even so it was definitely a sight to behold when observing an evening sunset. When looking at this lake with all the trees that cover its shoreline, you could picture it as being almost anywhere in Minnesota.

There is a similar change that is taking place on Albert Lea Lake. Although the carp are still present in the lake the water clarity has improved and on this large shallow lake the vegetation started to flourish. The east end of the lake by the railroad bridge has become pretty much weed choked and you’d be hard pressed to get a boat back there past the end of June.

Clean water is what we all called for but in a way it may also be a double-edged sword. There is no doubt that we all want to clean up our lakes but

it has become evident that with this will come change. Catching fish on a clear shallow body of water during daylight hours can become pretty much impossible. This is why the best luck for walleye on Albert Lea Lake the past few years has been late evening and night fishing. There will always be fish caught in the channel between the lakes but as far as the main lake goes night fishing will be the way to go.

I am looking forward to doing some fall bass fishing on Fountain Lake this year. I haven’t fished bass on the lake for a few years, but I am really looking forward to trying my luck this fall. I pretty much got hooked on bass this summer in northern Minnesota and now I am anxious to try a few of our area lakes. I know that Fountain has always held a good number of bass and although the average size may not be as big as in the past I am pretty sure the numbers are there.

It’s also been a few years since I’ve fished Reed’s Lake by Elysian and there used to be some nice bass in that lake. Reeds is a small 193 acre lake with a maximum depth of 58-feet, and I am hoping to make a trip there this fall to see if the fishing is still as good as it used to be. Frances is 927 acres with a maximum depth of 60-feet and it’s a lake that has been known to harbor some dandy bass for just about as long as I can remember. My uncle Ben and his brother-in-law Sam talked many times about how many bass they used to catch there. Late summer and fall are great times to fish for any species but bass seem to be more willing than most species to hit a lure at this time.

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us and that’s a great time to enjoy a picnic, a weekend of camping or just do a little fishin’.

Please remember our brothers and sisters who are proudly serving our country so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today.