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Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Diamond Lake (No. 339)

Diamond Lake

Photo by Thomas A. Meyer


Overview

Location

Taylor County. T30N-R2W, Section 6. T30-R3W, Section 1. 252 acres.

Description

Description

Diamond Lake has a small county park facility on the west side while the rest of the lake is wild and features a diverse and productive fish population. The 48-acre soft water, drainage lake has a maximum depth of 30 feet and is located on Diamond Creek, a feeder to McKenzie Creek. Associated wetlands of the lake include open bog, marsh, and lowland swamp conifers and the lake contains a diversity of aquatic plants, which include cat-tails, pickerel weed, yellow and white water-lily, water-shield, and coon's-tail. Uplands surrounding the lake consist of mixed hardwoods and pasture. The lake contains a diverse game fish community consisting of walleye, largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch, and pumpkinseed. Non-game fish species include black bullhead, brook lamprey, johnny darter, common shiner, and white sucker. Walleye spawning habitat is found both in the lake and up and downstream in Diamond Creek. While some walleye have been stocked in the past, the largemouth bass and northern pike consist of naturally reproducing populations. Diamond Lake's natural undisturbed shoreline provides a unique and uninterrupted corridor for many shoreline edge species and many animals including muskrat, mink, weasel, and otter use the area. Diamond Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2002.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of State Highways 64 and 13 in Medford, go west on Highway 64 19.5 miles, then south on County Highway F 0.9 mile, then east on Diamond Drive 0.75 mile, then north on Lake Drive to the lake.

Ownership

Diamond Lake is owned by:

  • WDNR

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as an aquatic preserve and wetland protection area, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the aquatic and wetland communities, along with prescribed vegetation manipulation in the uplands.

Management approach

The native aquatic species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the lake. The native wetland species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. The uplands are to be restored and managed in the long-term to attain old forest characteristics. To achieve the long-term goal, the forest should be healthy and vigorous, which may require traditional coppice silviculture to set the stage for long-term restoration. Other allowable activities throughout the site include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires.

Site-specific considerations

  • Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township.
  • The county operates and maintains the small park.
  • A weather station, bluebird houses and fences need sporadic maintenance.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Allowable activities

In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

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Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017