Blackduck Lake is a 2596-acre lake with a maximum depth of 28 feet. The lake is 2 miles west of the city of Blackduck in central Beltrami County. There is a public access on the east side of the lake off of County Road 30. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has classified Minnesota's lakes into 43 different lake classes based on physical and chemical characteristics. Blackduck Lake is in lake class 27. Typically lakes in this class are large, deep with hardwater and regular shorelines. Other area lakes in the same lake class include Big, Clearwater, Big Wolf, Big Turtle, Andrusia, Grace and Kitchi. The lake is managed for walleye, northern pike and yellow perch.
Blackduck Lake is a popular lake in the Blackduck area that provides good angling for walleye, northern pike and yellow perch. Fishing pressure can be high both in the summer and winter. Winter fish house counts indicates that Blackduck Lake is second only to Lake Bemidji in popularity for winter fishing in the Bemidji area.
Walleye abundance in 2001 was the highest ever recorded and was well above what you would find in other lake class 27 lakes. Walleye ranged in length from 7.0 to 27.2 inches with a mean length and weight of 12 inches and 0.7 pound. Over 70% of the walleye sampled were from the 1999 year class (two years old). These young walleye will provide anglers with good walleye fishing in the future. The DNR stocks walleye two out of every three years.
Northern pike abundance in 2001 was typical of past surveys and of other lakes in the same lake class. Only four year classes (ages 2 to 5) were sampled. Northern pike ranged in length from 17 to 30 inches with an average length and weight of 21 inches and 2 pounds. There has been a downward trend in quality especially northern pike over 28 inches.
Yellow perch are abundant in Blackduck Lake and provide quality fish for angling and food for predator fish. Yellow perch from the gillnet sample ranged in length from 5.0 to 11.4 inches with 26% of the fish over nine inches. In 1991 the mean length was 9.2 inches with 72% of the fish over nine inches.
In 2001 pumpkinseed sunfish was the most abundant member of the sunfish family in Blackduck Lake followed by rock bass. Few bluegill have been sampled in any assessment.
A unique fish found in Blackduck Lake is the freshwater drum. Not many lakes in northern Minnesota have this species. Drum is quite abundant in the lake and could provide some excellent angling. The average size drum sampled was over six pounds.
Brown bullhead is the most abundant member of the bullhead family in Blackduck Lake. Seventy-one percent of the fish were over 12 inches long.
Black crappie and largemouth bass were not sampled in 2001 but have been sampled in previous assessments.
Other fish sampled include lake whitefish, white sucker, black bullhead, burbot (eelpout) and common shiner.
Riparian development in the form of new lake homes continues to occur on Blackduck Lake. Shoreline development can negatively affect water quality and can impact aquatic habitat necessary for fish at various life stages. Lakeshore that is not currently developed is some of the most sensitive and important shoreline for maintaining water quality and fish habitat. These shorelines and shallow water areas with their aquatic plants, help protect the lake from erosion and absorb nutrients and pollutants as well as provide excellent places for wildlife and fish to feed, hide, and raise their young. Protection of the larger watershed that drains into Blackduck Lake is also needed to maintain water quality. Based on the increasing value of lakeshore in this area, there will be much demand to develop the remaining lakeshore on Blackduck Lake. More specific information on protecting or restoring shorelines and watersheds is available through DNR Fisheries offices.