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pcnut71

Walleyes in Albert Lea?

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I've been told the walleyes are hitting hard below the dam sunset til sunrise in Albert Lea. ANyone here of this?

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I have been there several times and all I have caught are a few small perch and crappies. The rats are thick down there and come out at dusk. They are not afraid and walk right up to you shocked.gif I don't like fishing there because of that. Also a lot of snags with junk and other people fishing, there is only room for a few people unless you like fishing from a small cliff.

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In Fountain Lake, not Albert Lea Lake is the place. Saw a 26" catch and release last Tuesday. The channel and A Lea Lake does have fish but they are small. The winterkill a few years go really set it back.

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Welcome aboard MilkandPie!

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Been down there a few times at the channel. No kidding bout the rats, BIG ones too. Don't have too many problems with snags though. My dad and I were there on Saturday morning about 6 AM and he only got one 17" and I lost a big one...I'm gonna double check all my knots from now on shocked.gif. I did see one guy come walking past me with a stringer full, but he had been there since about 3 or 4, and I like walleyes but I'm not that enthused about them to get up that early. Bout the only thing I got on Saturday was some big perch and a few crappies. They are getting tough to catch down there since like it was stated before that it is kind of thick with people on some days...

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Several new users aboard as of late. Please let me be the first to welcome you all to FM. You have came upon a great resource and we look forward to your future posts.

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Update Saturday night, Fished the below fountain lake dam, right beside the China Resturant. C&R 23" walleye. I was using Rebel Crawfish Crankbait CHARTREUSE, GREEN BACK.

I think the fall bite is on.

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All in favor, say ‘Walleye!’

By Rebecca Houg, staff writer

Monday, October 16, 2006 9:27 AM CDT

Don’t put your fishing pole away yet. Albert Lea Lake is now in a walleye boom after a successful stocking program by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Albert Lea Lake has the best walleye fishing in southern Minnesota right now, as far as size and numbers,” said Cathy Rofshus, outreach director for the Shell Rock River Watershed District.

Local residents recall the fish kill back in the winter of 2004. It was during that winter when a lack of precipitation led to low water levels and low water flow. As a result of these factors, dissolved oxygen levels dropped to a deadly level for fish.

“It happened so quickly, almost overnight in fact, and even aerators in the lake couldn’t save the fish population,” Rofshus said.

In a controversial decision, DNR officials and local leaders decided to go for a complete kill and turn off the aerators and lift catch limits on the lake. A commercial fishing outfit even used a conveyor belt to harvest the fish before they went to waste.

A vast majority of fish in Albert Lea Lake died that winter, including the carp that harm water quality. When carp feed off the lake bottom and continually stir up the sediment, they make the water muddy. Carp also uproot aquatic vegetation, which destroys food and habitat for game fish and waterfowl, said Hugh Valiant, DNR fisheries supervisor.

As a result, Albert Lea residents were able to enjoy a clear lake the following year.

“It was the first time in 23 years that I saw the bottom of Albert Lea Lake, throughout the whole lake,” Rofshus said.

The Shell Rock River Watershed District continues to work to improve the water quality of local lakes. Currently, the district is working with Freeborn County on replacing the Albert Lea Lake dam. In addition, it is also working to reclaim Pickerel Lake with the DNR, which plans to use Pickerel as a hatchery for northern pike and yellow perch, according to Rofshus.

With the stage set, it was decided to take the opportunity to establish a healthy population of walleye in Albert Lea Lake, which covers 2,600 acres and averages a depth of about three and a half feet.

The DNR stocked 5.5 million walleye fry in Albert Lea Lake and the connecting lakes upstream, Fountain Lake and Lake Chapeau. Fry are newly hatched fish that are ready to be stocked.

Walleye fry are about one third of an inch long.

“They look like baby insects, like little caterpillars or something, they are so small,” Rofshus said.

After stocking, the DNR has tracked the success of the project. The results show the number of walleye is up to 85 per gill net compared to the 2005 average of 23.3 per gill net. Results also show the average length of walleye are now 15 to 19 inches.

“I think 85 might be the highest number ever seen in this area. So it’s a pretty strong result,” Valiant said.

The walleyes have grown extremely quickly in the fertile waters of Albert Lea Lake and the only down side is that when fish grow this fast, they don’t live forever, Valiant said.

“Albert Lea Lake is a shallow lake, and thus it’s not a stable lake for sustaining fish. We don’t know what will happen this winter,” he said.

In other words, go fishing and go soon. In shallow lakes, walleye tend to be skittish in the winter, so fall fishing offers a better chance than ice fishing, he said.

Rofshus added, “2004 was kind of a fluke year with the low precipitation and low flow, that doesn’t usually happen. It’s all up to Mother Nature, but the aerators are ready to go to help sustain the fish population throughout the winter.”

“I would like to see anglers fishing for walleye in Albert Lea Lake. I would also love to introduce Albert Lea Lake to the rest of Minnesota,” Rofshus said.

In her opinion, in the lake’s current condition, it provides two strong assets for the city.

“It demonstrates that it has an ecological value — after being considered a ‘dead lake’ in 1954 to becoming the best walleye fishing location in southern Minnesota. And secondly, it demonstrates its economical value to the community. Good fishing is just one more reason to stop off the interstate and spend money here,” she said.

A DNR fish survey in August 2006 found walleye in Fountain Lake, an average of 11 per gill net.

Most of those were only 12 to 14 inches long, though fish up to 27 inches were sampled.

Like Albert Lea Lake, Fountain Lake is a struggle in water quality. “Algae are the primary cause of poor clarity in Fountain Lake,” according to DNR reports.

Despite its problems, Fountain Lake still offers good fishing.

“Given the fact that the lake is an urban impoundment with limited habitat diversity, the fish community included good numbers of desirably-sized game fish. Fountain Lake could provide excellent angling opportunities for walleye, channel catfish, and black crappie,” the DNR fish survey concluded.

Father and son Steve and Jesse Kneeskern of Austin were fishing Fountain Lake on Friday morning. They decided to start fishing in the channel near the Chinese Restaurant.

“I did catch three walleyes one night, and one was 20 inches long,” Steve said.

Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake have the potential to be really good lakes for fishing, he said.

“They’re big enough anyway, it would be nice if they dredged it out,” he said.

That morning using minnows as bait, they were catching perch left and right. According to locals, the place to go to catch walleyes is the outlet off of Albert Lea Lake that flows into the Shell Rock River.

“They say if you use minnows as bait and fish there, you’re almost guaranteed to catch a walleye,” Rofshus said

smile.gif

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Fishing has slowed way down due to no current ,no water coming over the dam. Only picking up 4 or 5 all day if your lucky, i have fished the dam the past couple of years with limits of walleyes caught and released 2 years ago they were 13-15 inches now im coming in with a lot of 17- 19" fish biggest being 27" that fish survived the kill off as did a lot of other fish. we need a lot more rain, the outlet of AL can be hot at times further down the shellrock, i would like to say if you fish down there for everyone to pick up a little garbage and put in the cans and make it a cleaner place to fish for all, way too much pollution going on down there and also wind up your fishing line when you break off and put in the cans, good fishin to all!

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The channel has really slowed down. Have been going there every weekend for the last month and getting some really nice crappies and walleye until this last weekend. There for about an hour without any bites, but snag lots of crap. Reel up your line after a nice fight and there is a crap scale on your hook. Hopefully the bite will pick back up.

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I'm going to go shoot my 2 roosters tomorrow down by Lyle (hopefully), and I think I'll head up to Albert Lea Lake on the way home. I'm going to bring the waders with. Anyone know any good wader spots? I think I'll look for some current and pitch some cranks cool.gif

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The dam by the China Restaurant is probably the best place to go. There are a ton of snags in there so you might not want to throw cranks. I have had the best luck casting a jig and plastic or a jig with feathers.

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Fished from 12:30pm until about 5:30 pm on Sunday, the 29th. We struck out! 3 perch was all we got.

We tried everything but bobbers.

I've never imagined a lack that big only running 4' deep or less, but that is what we found.

I'm guessing they are nite biters all the way.

Anyway, its been a long time since I got skunked, but I did.

There are more fish in the lake than those that bite in the channel. The guy I fish with is a DNR guy.

Water temps were 42.

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I went out on Saturday night from about 9:30-11:30. I casted a few different rapalas and walked up and down the shore. The wind had picked up so it was pretty chilly. I had a couple of hits, but that was it. Oh well, I think I'll just fish the rivers around here until first ice.

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The water level is getting lower every week now, not much water going over the dam right now. I have found the best days at the channel are with a good wind from the north, north-west. It pushes the water on Fountain Lake over the dam at an increased rate. The increased flow really seems to make the differance. On days with a south wind it's just the reverse.

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