CLAM LAKE PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION DISTRICT
Upper and Lower Clam Lakes
JANUARY 6, 2011 UPDATE
St. Croix Tribal Environmental Services hired J.R. Commercial Fisheries Company to start the process of evaluating how many carp are in Upper Clam Lake. On October 29/30 and November 4/5 St. Croix Tribal Environmental Services, GLIFWC, DNR, PRD and other volunteers conducted five “pulls”. Each “pull” consisted of putting a 2000-foot net from the shore, out into the lake and back to the shore again. During the process one end of the net is pulled back into the boat working back towards the stationery end. At that point the two ends of the net are choked off forcing all the fish into a “bag” out in the lake. The process is continued by removing all the fish from the “bag”, the game fish returned to the lake, the carp put onto the boats where teams cut one of the pectoral fins off, threw back into the lake and counted. Over the course of the four days and five “pulls”, 1,445 carp were captured, tagged and released back to the lake. Almost all of the carp were between 8 - 25 pounds. On one of the pulls, four sturgeons were included in the process, the largest being 61 inches. They were measured, tagged, chipped and released back to the lake. This January or February, when the ice is conducive to removal, J.R. Commercial Fisheries will return and the process will continue with the carp being removed. The number that will be removed will be based on a sampling of “recaps” in the net.
CARP WILL BE REMOVED FROM CLAM LAKES IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 2011.
JANUARY 26, 2011 CARP REMOVAL UPDATE
What had hoped to be a good day at removing carp from Upper Clam Lake on January 25th, turned out to be not so good. The carp were in Sunfish Bay, just as anticipated, the nets were positioned the way they should be, but for reasons unpredicted, we weren't able to complete our removal of the carp at this time.
Due to the fact the net had become mired in the muck on the bottom of the lake, the equipment was not able to pull the net in, consequently only 50 carp were removed. Part of the reason being talked about are the lake is lowered 18 inches each fall, ice was 18 inches thick and that leaves the water depth 2-3 feet.
After all the work that was done drilling the holes for putting the nets in the lake, cutting the "take out" hole to remove the carp, it took the commercial fisherman and his crew the rest of the day to retrieve his nets. In the process he ended up having to cut the nets to get them out of the lake. Next the nets need to be repaired before he is able to use the them again. Alot of work for virtually no fish.
The St. Croix Tribe and the commercial fisherman will get together in the near future, and hopefully come up with a new date and a different plan for the removal.
I will update this page and send an email to land owners that have given me their email address when I have more information.
APRIL 12, 2011 CARP REMOVAL UPDATE
The St. Croix Chippewa, GLIFWC, WI DNR, Burnett County and PRD, along with the commercial fishermen we have hired, removed approximately 2400 carp in the southern end of Upper Clam Lake. Five hundred of the carp were "clipped" and put back into the lake for further study. About 20,000 pounds of carp were removed on this attempt. Resuts possibly could have been better had we been able to do the removal a few days earlier but with the ice going out on the lake, high wind conditions it prevented us from attempting earlier in the week.
Our efforts to control the carp, establishing the wild rice and get our water quality back is an on-going process.
Please be aware the WI DNR has agreed to the St. Croix Chippewa request to "cordon off" the very south bay of Upper Clam Lake as a possible site for regeneration of the wild rice. Nets have been installed to prevent the carp from entering the area. If there are carp in this area the plan is to shock the carp and remove them.
**Read Tony Havranek's email regarding vandalism to this specific netting area on "Current Info" on this website.
FEBRUARY 28, 2011 CARP UPDATE
Just a quick update on carp removal. Since our January 25 attempt, the carp have moved and somewhat split up. They have spread out in the area of the ice fishing shacks near Cumberland Point. They are in multiple, smaller schools currently, so we will be holding off on netting for the time being.The carp will be continued to be monitor weekly. If they school up again, an attempt will be made to net under the ice again. We may also have to wait until just after ice out to do another attempt at removal.
I will keep you updated as we continue our efforts.
AUGUST 5, 2011 UPDATE
Below is a note from Tony Havranek, Land and Water Resources ManagerSt. Croix Tribal Environmental/Natural Resources Department
Tom Stoffel, Secretary/Treasurer, Clam Lake PRD
I hope you are doing well. I haven't had a chance to get you an update on Clam Lake, since this past April, so I wanted to take time to do that now.
We have continued to track the fish that were radio tagged this last fall over the summer. Phil Miller, DNR pilot in Siren, has been conducting the aerial telemetry weekly. We are only tracking 4 of the original 10 tagged fish as the batteries have gone out on the smaller tags. Even so, we still have valuable data on their movements. The farthest any fish has been located outside of the lake is downstream between Pike Bend Bridge and Clam Dam. No fish has moved upstream or into any connected waterbody when we have monitored them.
We were able to mark an additional 1,300 fish this May/June, and will plan to mark more with open water netting this fall. We are still planning for a removal this winter. The commercial fisherman has designed a new net, hopefullypreventing a recurrence of last winter. Spooner DNR staff are continuing the fisheries assessment on the lake and will continue through fall. They are currently collecting data on panfish and bass.The nets on the south bay have stayed in place and have not sustained damage since early June. We will be assessing the rice behind the nets in the nextcouple of weeks.
We are currently formulating plans for 2012-2014. Most likely that will entail continued assessment of the carp and general fishery. We are also planning for fish habitat restoration and continued protection of wild rice on the lake.
I have also attached an announcement for a ceremony that is planned for Thursday, August 11th. I have been asked to invite anyone that is interested inattending. I believe the ceremony will be taking place at the canoe landing on Lonestar Bay.
I will be out of the office until next Thursday, but I will check e-mail.
I also plan to attend the Clam Lake PRD meeting on August 27th.
Take care and have a good day,
Tony Havranek, Land and Water Resources ManagerSt. Croix Tribal Environmental/Natural Resources Department(715)349-2195 x. 5183.
UPDATE OF CARP REMOVAL WINTER 2012
On February 3, our first attempt this winter to remove carp from our lakes was done. On this day 4,009 carp were removed from the vicinity in front of Camp Northland Resort on Upper Clam.
A couple things noteworthy, along with the carp, a 105# plus sturgeon was netted, tagged, measured and returned to the lake. Also, one very, very large walleye was netted and returned to the lake.
On February 8, another carp removal attempt was done; in this attempt the commercial fisherman ran into problems because of the numbers of carp that were in fact netted. Some people thought there may have been 200,000 pounds of carp in the nets. So many carp were in the nets the decision was made to return the next day with heavier equipment to complete the removal. Unfortunately overnight most of the carp escaped from the net. The end result of total carp removed was 3,071.
Again on February 16, another attempt was made and 5,217 carp were netted bringing the total to 12,297 carp removed from Clam Lakes in the winter of 2012 to this date.
On March 2nd another carp removal attempt is being made on Upper Clam.
UPDATE OF CARP REMOVAL, MARCH 2012
Tony Havranek, Biologist from the St. Croix Chippewa, reports as of March 12: So far we have removed around 21,000 carp; over 100,000 lbs! I am waiting on some info from JR Fisheries from the last two hauls to get the exact weights. Our goal is to still remove 100,000+ lbs this spring after the ice goes off. We are continuing to track the fish.
CARP UPDATE BETWEEN APRIL 12, 2011 AND APRIL 12, 2012
On April 12, 2012 carp removal was done on the northwest shore of Lower Clam Lake. A total of 1,453 carp were removed.
The total number of carp removed between April 12, 2011 to April 12, 2012 was 23,354 carp which is roughly 188,000 pounds.
Tony has sent the following information on carp removal. The recapture rate ranges from 3.62% up to 5.97%. The percentage of juveniles ranges from 3.22% up to 24.96% We had a high of 3,816 marked fish I in the population on November 1, 2011. So far we have removed 1,048 of them. You can see even with that amount of marks our recap rate is still around 5%. That is why I wanted to mark as many as I did.
Tony hopes to do another pull, but he thinks it will be a small number as it seems the fish have spread out for the summer season.
We will keep you updated on any more carp taken this spring.
JANUARY 15, 2013 CARP UPDATE
Tony Havranek, St. Croix Chippewa Tribe Biologist, contacted me today with an update to the planned "under ice" carp removal to take place this winter. The last two years the permit for the removal has been classified as experimental. This year however, the state has required that we put the removal out for open bid. Unfortunately for us, the winning bid was not JR Fisheries whom we have been working with since the beginning of this process. Tony indicated he has transmittors in 7 carp in which they have been monitoring. The checking that has been done by airplane has indicated they are still congregating in the SunFish Bay area. I will keep everyone up to date as I receive new information from Tony.
Clam Lake PRD
MARCH 11, 2013 CARP UPDATE
On March 11, 2013, our latest effort to remove the carp was unsuccessful. The carp were located by Tony, Biologist with the St. Croix Chippewa, using electronic equipment plus the tags that are in the carp, in close proximity to Camp Northland Resort. Jeff from JR Fisheries (JR Fisheries was granted the permit for this year because the original bid winner defaulted on his contract) had put in the nets on the north side and was in the process of putting in the net for the south side and because of the noise from drilling the holes, (the carp are very spooky) the carp were on the move. If the carp had gone north they would have gone right into the net and we would have had a "boat load" again. Unfortunately, they headed south and we ended up with zip. Tony is going to be in contact with Jeff of JR Fisheries to plan future removals; they want to hopefully make another under ice removal yet this winter followed by another attempt right after ice out.
I will update when I have new info. Tom Stoffel, Clam Lake PRD.
March 2016: In two consecutive weekends in March, a total of 150,000 pounds of carp were removed, 50,000 pounds the first weekend and 100,000 pounds the following weekend from the Clam Lakes.
Tony Havranek, past Water Resources Director with the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe and Jeremy Robinson, current Director of Water Resources are very excited with these numbers. Future removals will probably be done by the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe themselves as they are in the process of completely building their own nets.
An estimated 800,000 pounds of carp have been removed from the Clam Lakes since the carp removal process was started in October of 2010.
August 29, 2017
Attached is the sheet for totals of carp removed from the lake this past January and overall to date. The 1st photo shows young of the year (YOY) carp from this July. The 2nd photo is a new invasive species to Clam Lake, the rusty crayfish. It was 1st identified this spring by WI DNR and we also captured some this summer while sampling for YOY carp. Rusty crayfish have the ability to outcompete native crayfish and can cause harm to aquatic vegetation, invertebrates and some fish populations.
The wild rice crop this year looks the best that it has since the crash in 2007. We plan to continue reseeding efforts, especially in Lonestar Bay.
We will continue to monitor the carp population and do removals to keep population in check. Our overall objective is to increase the wild rice back to the historical acreage that totaled 300+ acres in most years.
Land and Water Resources Manager
St. Croix Environmental and Natural Resources Department
CARP HAUL 1/16/17 through 1/20/17
Day 1: 3212 Fish
Day 2: 5957 Fish
Day 3: 1882 Fish
Total Fish Removed: 10,986
Total Fish Caught: 10,991
Total Fish Sent to Market: 10,980
Total Weight Sent to Market: 137,930 pounds
Total Weight of Subsample: 11.54 pounds
Average Length of Subsample: 27.49 pounds
Average Weight Sent to Market: 12.56 pounds
Total Fish No Mark: 10,039
Total Caudal MArks: 384
Total Fish Old Marks: 535
Total Juvenile Fish: 28
Total Caudal Marks Prior to Removal: 519
Radio Tags Captured and Released: 5: 682, 653, 586, 546, 054
Overall Total Weight Removed: 656,358 pounds