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

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Spur Lake (No. 537)

Spur Lake

Photo by Aaron Carlson


Overview

Location

Oneida County. T37N-R11E, Sections 6, 7. T38N-R11E, Section 31. 426 acres.

Description

Description

Spur Lake is a 113-acre muck-bottomed soft-water drainage lake that supports dense beds of emergent, submergent, and floating-leaved aquatic plants. Wild rice is the dominant emergent species. Other plants include white water-lily, bullhead water-lily, large-leaved pondweed, ribbon-leaf pondweed, common pondweed, common bladderwort, pickerel weed, and soft-stem bulrush. Wetlands including open bog, alder thicket, and black spruce-tamarack-white cedar swamp surround the majority of the lake's shoreline. Along the northeast corner is a small stand of old-growth hemlock hardwoods and a floating bog mat. The outlet stream, Twin Lakes Creek, flows southward, joining the Pelican River, which in turn flows to the Wisconsin River. The lake and surrounding wetlands provide habitat for black ducks, ring-necked ducks, osprey, and common loons. Use by migratory waterfowl is heavy. Native Americans used this area for centuries and there is an old campsite on the lakeshore. Spur Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 2007.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of Highways 32 and 45 on the east side of Three Lakes, go south on 45 5 miles, then west and south on Stella Lake Road 1 mile to Spur Lake.

Ownership

Spur 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.

Management

Site objectives

Manage the site as an old-growth northern mesic forest preserve, as an aquatic preserve and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will mostly determine the structure of the northern mesic forest and aquatic and wetland communities. Provide opportunities for research and education on the highest quality northern mesic forest and aquatic communities.

Management approach

The native species are managed passively, allowing nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the hemlock forest and the lake. Exceptions include control of invasive plants and animals, wild rice management, and maintenance of existing facilities. Salvage of trees after a major wind event is not considered compatible with management objectives.

Site-specific considerations

  • Roadside easement area may be managed sporadically by township.
  • Utility corridor may be maintained sporadically by utility company.
  • Wild rice is managed via harvest and supplemental planting.

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

  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use
  • Collecting of animals, 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
  • Camping and campfires
  • Geocaching

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

Last revised: Friday, October 17, 2014