Location: 2 miles west, 1/2 miles south of Spirit Lake
Motoring Restrictions: none
Amenities at Center Lake include:
- Boat Access
- Good/Excellent Shorefishing
- Hard Surface Boat Ramp
Spring 2009 Electrofishing Assessment – An electrofishing assessment was conducted in May to assess the subadultt and adult fish populations of Center Lake. Low numbers (10) of largemouth bass sampled during the 2009 fall electrofishing assessment were inadequate to properly assess the largemouth bass population of Center Lake; therefore, a general assessment will be made. A catch rate of 0.13 fish per minute remained low and suggests a decreased population in Center Lake. An electrofishing catch rate of 1 largemouth bass per minute, > 8.0 inches would typically predict 20-largemouth bass/acre, the desired value for a healthy and balanced population. Since 1995 largemouth bass catch rates have been below 1 fish per minute indicating low numbers of this important predator species in Center Lake. Young-of-the-year largemouth bass have been detected in varying degrees in the bag seine assessment since 1984; however, numbers detected may not be adequate for good year class formation. Supplemental stocking of largemouth bass has also been conducted in varying degrees in Center Lake; but these numbers may be to low and/or poor survival of these fish may be inadequate for good year class formation. Other factors, such as, limited habitat (shoreline and aquatic vegetation) and the large number of carp sampled (71) may have displaced these fish offshore where they are inaccessible to the D.C. electrofishing gear. Carp was very apparent (n=71) during the 2009 electrofishing assessment which may have attributed to the low number of game fish sampled during the 2009 electrofishing assessment.
Results of the 2009 spring electrofishing assessment reflects a largemouth bass population comprised mainly of quality (12.0 – 14.9 inches) sized fish with some preferred (> 15.0 inches) sized bass also detected in low densities in Center Lake. No stock (8.0 – 11.9 inches) size fish were sampled during the 2009-spring electrofishing assessment suggesting very limited recruitment of largemouth bass in Center Lake. Hiostorically bag seine assessments have sampled YOY largemouth bass in low numbers (1 fish per haul) suggesting reproduction and possible year class formation; however, this low number, which is typical of the lakes median value, may not be adequate for good year class formation. A largemouth bass relative weight of 97 is within the 95 – 105 target range indicating fish in good condition. Largemouth bass growth rates are good with the maximum attainable size of 18.0 inches in Center Lake.
Black crappie (n=1), walleye (n=2), bluegill (n=3), white bass (n=3) and smallmouth bass (n=2) were also sampled in low numbers; however, numbers collected were inadequate to properly assess these fish populations.
2009 Tandem Hoop Net Assessment - Tandem hoop net sampling was conducted from July 31st – August 3rd to assess the channel catfish population of Center Lake. A total of 322 channel catfish were caught for a catch rate of 32 fish per series. RSD values reflect a fish population comprised of good numbers of angler acceptable size and larger fish. Quality (16.0 -23.9 inches) size fish comprised 82 percent of the catch with stock (11.0 – 15.9 inches) and preferred (>24.0 inches) size comprising 8% and 10% respectively of the channel catfish catch. It appears that the channel catfish stocking has resulted in excellent survival and recruitment of these fish in Center Lake.
Relative weight, (Wr) an indice of body condition, was 94 which is slightly below the target range of 95-105. Overall a relative weight of 92, 93 and 99 for stock (11.0 – 15.9 inches), quality (15.0 – 23.9 inches) and preferred (>24.0 inches) size fish; respectively, reflects fish in fair to good body condition.
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Lake Fish Survey Data Data from the most recent fisheries survey of this lake is provided on this external web site. This data may include information from various netting surveys and/or electroshocking surveys. Data includes numbers of fish sampled, and fish size ranges. Not all lakes are sampled every year.
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Iowa-Caught Fish Are Safe to Eat, In Almost All Cases
The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.