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Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Minnesota Lake Profile – Eighth Crow Wing Lake, Hubbard County

The 8th of Crow Wing: Panfish with bass accompaniment

 

By Glen Schmitt
Staff Writer

 

The Crow Wing Chain of Lakes consists of 11 lakes that run throughout Hubbard County. They’re well-known fisheries that provide anglers with the opportunity to catch a little bit of everything.

 

Eighth Crow Wing is just a couple miles east of Nevis. Like most lakes linked in this chain, it’s an excellent bass and panfish lake that also has a reputation for kicking out quality northern pike.

 

Fishing pressure is somewhat limited on this 500-acre lake, although guests at one of the three resorts on it invest a fair amount of time during the summer. Winter activity is almost nonexistent due to moving water around its access, which always makes for sketchy ice.

 

“Eighth Crow Wing is a resort lake that doesn’t get a lot of pressure other than the people staying at the resorts,” said Will Wicks, of Delaney’s Sporting Goods in Park Rapids. “The entire chain is good for panfish, and Eighth is one of the better ones for bluegills and crappies.”

 

Ideal habitat in the way of submerged vegetation, hard-stem bulrush, and wild rice provides the right ingredients for the lake’s panfish to pull off consistent spawning classes.

 

During a 2018 DNR lake survey, bluegill and crappie abundance remained strong. Crappie numbers actually were up from previous surveys, with a good supply of 10- and 11-inch fish in the mix.

 

Bluegills over 7 inches were numerous in the same survey, with a fair number of 8-inch-plus fish sampled, too. The lake also has some good-sized pumpkinseeds in it.

 

“There are some really nice panfish in Eighth Crow Wing and good numbers of them,” Wicks said. “You’ll find a lot of 10- to 12-inch crappies or bluegills that are at, or slightly over, 8 inches long.”

 

The lake’s largemouth bass population is healthy, highlighted by a good size structure. Like its panfish, Eighth Crow Wing’s bass take advantage of excellent habitat to maintain good numbers and quality fish.

 

According to Calub Shavlik, acting DNR fisheries supervisor in Park Rapids, plenty of largemouth bass over 15 inches can be caught from Eighth Crow Wing.

 

“The lake has a very good size structure, and 18- to 20-inch bass are caught here,” he said. “The anecdotal information I get is that the bass fishing is very good.”

 

In the spring of 2003, a special 40-inch minimum length limit was implemented for northern pike. That recently was changed to a 24- to 36-inch protected slot, and both seem to have been effective in maintaining and even improving the overall size of pike in Eighth Crow Wing.

 

The lake also has tullibees and a high perch population – ideal forage to grow bigger pike. Fish in the upper 30-inch range and beyond make up a good chunk of the northern pike in Eighth Crow Wing.

 

Consider that in the 2018 survey, the pike sampled had an average length and weight of 32 inches and nearly 8 pounds. The largest fish in the survey measured 42 inches.

 

“The lake has the ability to allow people to catch a northern pike over 36 inches, and we almost always see some 40-inch fish in our surveys,” Shavlik said. “Eighth Crow Wing always has been known to produce nice pike, and anglers know that.”

 

Walleyes draw much less attention than panfish, bass, and pike from anglers who fish the lake. While it is stocked with walleye fingerlings during odd-numbered years, overall numbers are currently below management goals.

 

On the upside, Eighth Crow Wing does produce some larger fish. Walleyes between 18 and 20 inches were most abundant in the 2018 survey, and Wicks pointed out that rarely a year passes that the lake doesn’t produce a few walleyes approaching 30 inches.

Eighth Crow Wing Lake

Nearest town…………………Nevis

Surface area……………..502 acres 

Maximum depth………….30 feet

Shore length…………………5 miles

Water clarity………………….17 feet

 

Fish species present:

Bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, pumpkinseed, hybrid sunfish, green sunfish, yellow perch, tullibee (cisco), bullhead, rock bass, white sucker, bowfin (dogfish). 

 

For information:

DNR area fisheries office (218) 732-4153, the DNR website http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind or Delaney’s Sporting Goods (218) 732-4281.

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