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manmountain

Normandale's trophy Bass in danger

32 posts in this topic

The city of Bloomington is petitioning the Nine Mile Creek watershed to drain Normandale Lake to deal with the curly leaf pondweed infestation. The Curly leaf is what creates those thick mats that cover the lake from mid June to mid August. The lake has excellent fishing for Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Crappie, and Sunfish. This season my largest catches are a 21" 5 1/2 lb Bass, and a 34" 12 lb Northern. Largest ever are a 22" 7 lb bass and a 40" 17 lb Northern. I have seen or hooked Bass that are much larger than that though. In fact, I was with a friend who hooked a Bass that looked to be between 10 and 12 lbs. I have lost Bass myself that were over 8 lbs. I promise you, that is no exaggeration. I think we all agree that the curly leaf is a problem, but opinions differ on how it should be dealt with. I believe that draining the lake is a temporary fix that will not solve anything in the long run. The excessive vegetation will return and we will have lost this population of trophy fish for nothing. Others believe it is necessary for the future health of the lake as decaying vegetation is causing sediment buildup over time. What do you think?

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Don't know much about curly leaf, but would harvesting the weeds take care of it. They are always harvesting weeds from lakes around here.

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Have any pics of these trophy's caught on this lake?

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Years ago they used to run a big machine out there and it helped a little. It was a temporary solution though that had little impact in the long run. Maybe it could work if they ran the machine a little more often. Now they just chemically treat it which does nothing. I am an organic foods/environmentalist so I hate chemicals, but I'd rather try that than drain the lake.

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Yes I do have pics. They were taken with a disposable camera and I am working on getting them into the computer. I do not have a scanner but my girlfriend is a professional photographer and she is going to take a picture of the pictures. I'll post them as soon as I have them.

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I was out in my kayak last week out there and saw no curlyleaf.

Just coontail, duckweed, and lilypad. It is a shallow lake, weeds should be expected to grow to the surface on most of it. so what? There are lots of ducks using the lake, plenty of woodduck houses, plenty of fish, no one uses the lake for swimming, boating, etc, why drain it?

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That heavy rain really pushed it all aside. I think that just goes to show that the problem is not as bas as some believe. This is the time of year when it starts to die off anyway. I got an e-mail from the city manager and he cited aesthetics as the main reason they want to drain it. They want it to look pretty for all the joggers and event attendees. In my mind that is not reason enough to kill all those fish.

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I think draining it is only slowing it down. Once water comes back the curly leaf is going to pop right back up. I think there are so many big fish in there because the curly leaf is such good cover for the fishes. Just like milfoil, it sucks for the fisherman/woman, but the fish have gotten bigger, because now they have better cover.

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I've been out there a caught a few decent bass this weekend. It's shallow to get a boat in and out of there but all lakes are down this year. Weeks are all over. It looks to me like there are some huge home and buisinesses around the lake that probably don't like looking at it and that's probably the problem. If you don't mind fishing in a thick covered lake there isn't a problem. I've only tried it once before, haven't hit any huge fish, but both times out there I've hit some crap weather. Any suggestions on what works in the lake?

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I think the fish are big because of a constant supply of oxygenated water, an overabundance of baitfish, and a lack of fishing pressure which could be due to the curly leaf. The best time for a trophy is sunrise. I've never caught a bass over 5 lbs after 7:30 AM, well maybe a couple, but it is definately better in the morning. I use large spinnerbaits, even muskie sized for both Pike and Bass. I have found that an oversized silver willow blade with a smaller gold colorado and white or chartruese skirt is the best in the morning. If the water is clear or there are sunny skies I go smaller and use a gold blade and yellow skirt. Buzzbaits and topwater mice or frogs can also be effective. When the fishing is really tough I use a weedless carolina rig. When the lake is clear of weeds a stop and go retrieve with a suspending crank bait works well too. This is a small and fragile fishery so please practice catch and release. I can't find the picture of the 40" pike, but I will post the pic of the 7 lb Bass soon. Thanks for you interest. grin.gif

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If they drain it, and that's still a big IF at this point, the creek is still going to flow thru it. They will just lower/remove the dam for a spell over the winter, the creek bed will still have water in it as well as the 20ft hole, the creek flows all winter long. If it isn't done too fast, the fish will have time to find their way up and down the the nine mile creek waterway. I caught a tiger musky in there a few years ago, I'm sure it made its way down from Bryant Lake, so the fish do have options in and out of the lake. Seeing that the crick passes thru people back yards after leaving the lake, they are not going to do this in a fast way. There will be fish losses, but I don't think it'll be a total fish kill. The fish will not just go belly up, they'll find a way to survive if at all possible. And since it is a waterway, after it is refilled, it will repopulate itself with fish in a short time compared to a land-locked lake.

Just one dudes opinion. cool.gif

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If there is trophy fish in there, there may not be for long the way people are talking about it on here. That lake is so small, If I knew of a lake that size that held trophy bass AND pike in it, I dont think I would be talking about it on here.

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Being it's a city lake like it or not aesthetics play a part also...

I was for draining the pond based on how the last thread on this went now I'm neutral... grin.gif

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Right now this is a non issue since its not even in the plans yet.

So far Manmoutain is against draining becuase its only a temporary solution.

So then what is a permanent solution? Does anyone know?

If you don't like the temporary solution you should try to introduce a permanent solution since doing nothing will only result in a dead lake a few years down the road, doing nothing doesn't seem like a viable option.

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Quote:

I was out in my kayak last week out there and saw no curlyleaf.


There is a good reason for that.

Overview:

Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) is an exotic plant that forms surface mats that interfere with aquatic recreation. The plant usually drops to the lake bottom by early July. Curly-leaf pondweed was the most severe nuisance aquatic plant in the Midwest until Eurasian watermilfoil appeared. It was accidentally introduced along with the common carp. It has been here so long, most people are not aware it is an exotic.

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Quote:

If you don't like the temporary solution you should try to introduce a permanent solution since doing nothing will only result in a dead lake a few years down the road, doing nothing doesn't seem like a viable option.


I am not sure I agree that the lake would be dead in a few years, the fish do not have a problem with the weeds, they actually thrive in it, its all the people that just dont like the look of a pond full of weed mats. I believe they are only draining the lake to make it look better, not save it. It may need to be dug deeper occationally, but I dont think they would have to drain it to accomplish that. Then again I do not know the specifics behind why they would want to drain it, but unless it is obviously going to be a dead lake soon, I would be against draining it.

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From the sounds of it the lake is slowly filling up with silt.

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I had a good experience while fishing at Normandale, but anyone taking a look at the lake will quickly see that this is not a body of water that God intended to be a great classic Minnesota-esque fishery. It would take a heck of a lot of dredging and possibly the installation of a siltation basin where the creek flows in to produce a long term viable fishery. I doubt the City of Bloomington will undertake anything like that. Normandale seems to be a classic boom and bust and all this discussion on this forum is going to quicken the bust. Just my 2 cents

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Quote:

Normandale seems to be a classic boom and bust and all this discussion on this forum is going to quicken the bust. Just my 2 cents


Yes, I've never understood the need to bring to light these small metro lakes. If you have them to yourself why write about them?

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Everyone is talking about the lake and how "everyone's going to be fishing it." When I was out there, in the 5 hours I fished it, I only saw 1 other fisherman, and he was in the boat with me. It's not getting hit as hard as you guys think.

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Quote:

Everyone is talking about the lake and how "everyone's going to be fishing it." When I was out there, in the 5 hours I fished it, I only saw 1 other fisherman, and he was in the boat with me. It's not getting hit as hard as you guys think.


Wait till winter.

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Quote:

Quote:

Everyone is talking about the lake and how "everyone's going to be fishing it." When I was out there, in the 5 hours I fished it, I only saw 1 other fisherman, and he was in the boat with me. It's not getting hit as hard as you guys think.


Wait till winter.


Followed by the bucket brigade in the spring!

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I just really want to see someone pull a hog out of there. I know there are huge Bass in there. I've always shared what I know with anyone who will listen in the hopes that other people might do the same for me. That's why I share this info. Most people take one look at the lake and they don't believe me anyway. Anyone who's good enough to catch a big fish out of there is probably the kind of guy who will let it go anyway.

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I was wondering how they could go about draining it. There is a lot of room on the other side of France Ave by Marsh lake. If they did it with enough care to give the fish a chance I might object less.

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normandalebassex0.th.jpg

22" length, 16" girth, aproximately 7 lbs.

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