Lake Osakis – Information from the MN DNR Fisheries
No MN DNR stocking in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down all MN DNR walleye egg takes. Our records indicate that approximately 370 pounds (7,400 fish) of walleye fingerlings were purchased and stocked via private permit in fall of 2020. We were able to conduct egg takes in spring 2021 and Lake Osakis will be stocked in early to mid-May with approximately 3,389,000 walleye fry.
We will be night electrofishing this spring (mid-May) to evaluate the 2020-year class of walleye. No fry was stocked in 2020 so this gives a good opportunity to evaluate natural reproduction. We did hear quite a few reports of anglers catching small walleye during late summer and early fall last year. Great news!
We will also be completing a trap net survey this spring (late May or early June) to gain baseline data on the bluegill population for the Quality Sunfish Initiative. Lake Osakis was included in this initiative to help improve the size quality of the bluegill population. New sunfish regulations were implemented on March 1, 2021 with the daily bag limit decreasing from 20 to 10. Possession limit did not change. Anglers can keep 10 sunfish per day, but overall possession limit is still 20.
We conducted a winter creel survey last winter to evaluate fishing pressure and angler catch statistics (e.g., numbers and sizes of fish being caught and harvested). Many OLA members were likely interviewed by our creel clerks while ice fishing. This survey will continue through the open water season and will end on October 31, 2021. Dan VanderWeyst is our creel clerk for the open water season and will be interviewing boat, shore and pier anglers and measuring their catch throughout the spring, summer, and fall.