Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07)
Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07)
Aba Beach, Green Lake (146100)
0.02 Miles
0 - 0
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.
Two-Story
Year Last Monitored
This date represents the most recent date of water quality monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional field surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2017
Unknown
 
Green Lake
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
No
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
No
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.
No

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Two-Story
Shallow headwater lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Green Lake County Big Green Lake, T-15, 16-N, E-12, 13-E Surface Acres = 7,325; S.D.F. = 1.77 Maximum Depth = 229 feet.

Big Green Lake is without doubt, the most important singlewater resource in Green Lake County. At 229 feet it is not only the deepest natural inland lake in the state but, also between the Finger Lakes of New York and the Rocky Mountains (Frey, 1963). A hydrographic map of Big Green Lake is shown in Figure 13. Big Green Lake is situated in a large preglacial valley formed by the action of some forgotten river. The Cary glacier scoured this valley depositing a large recessional moraine across its western end and was successful in damming a glacial river causing it to flood the scoured valley and overflow into the present day Puchyan-Fox drainage system. In reality Big Green Lake is a natural impoundment (Juday, 1914). The watershed of Big Green Lake is mostly in agriculture and covers some 115 square miles. Silver Creek on the east end of the lake is the largest tributary but Spring Creek on the west also contributes significantly. Roy Creek, Hill Creek, Dakin Creek, and White Creek, also drain into Big Green Lake but are minor tributaries. The outlet is the Puchyan River which drains into the Fox River six miles northwest of the City of Green Lake. A dam constructed on the outlet maintains the water level about five feet higher than the natural lake basin. Littoral bottom materials consist primarily of and gravel. Bedrock, silt, and muck are also present to a more limited extent. Fish cover is provided primarily by rocks and boulders and sparse aquatic vegetation. Big Green is an oligotrophic (Figure 14) lake managed for both cold and warm water fish. Cold water species include brown and rainbow trout, splake, cisco, and lake trout. Most common warm water species are northern pike, walleye, perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, rock bass, white bass, channel catfish, and black bullhead. Pumpkinseed, carp, and white sucker are also present. The lake is well known for the excellent summer and winter fishing it offers.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

The lake offers a wide variety of recreation uses. Boating, sailing, water skiing, fishing, hunting, swimming, and diving are popular. In addition, there are many lakeshore activities such as sunbathing, picnicking, and the intangible aesthetic values of the lake. Some use conflicts are present. A number of property owners desire weed removal from their shore area, while fishermen and conservationists are desirous of maintaining the aquatic plants for the benefit of the fishery. At one time the property owners association asked that ice fishing be prohibited because of sanitation and litter problems involved. High power motor boats and water skiers often conflict with fishermen and sailboaters. A recent regulation designed to protect undersize lake trout by prohibiting ice fishing with minnows at depths greater than fifty feet received much local criticism. Tourism is met with disfavor by many residents. Development consists of over 500 dwellings, several resorts, and boat rentals offering over 100 boats for rent. Charter boats are available for lake trout trolling as well as professional guides for fishermen not familiar with the lake. The City of Green Lake is located at the outlet. The presence of all this development is a constant threat toover enrichment or eutrophication which if unchecked will eventually depreciate water quality. The Green Lake Sanitary District has been established to prevent pollution and protect the water quality. Its protective impact remains to be evaluated. Public access to Big Green is well developed. One county park with a large parking area and six boat ramps is present at the southwest corner. Other public facilities present at this park include a confection stand, beach, toilets, picnic area, and bath houses. Other access is available through seven town roads, two with boat ramps, and one county road with parking and two launching ramps. The City of Green Lake maintains two parks and two streets that provide access to the lake. Navigable water access via Silver Creek and Puchyan River is also present.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) Fish and Aquatic LifeGreen Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) RecreationGreen Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Green Lake Hattie Sherwood Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Sunset County Park was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Pilgrim Center Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Dodge County Park Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Camp Grow Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Aba Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Big Green Lake (WBIC 146100) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2002 for PCBs in fish tissue and 2014 for total phosphorus/low DO. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll-a sample data did not exceed REC or FAL thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Big Green Lake (146100) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2002 for PCBs in fish tissue and 2014 for total phosphorus/low DO. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Total phosphorus data did not exceed REC or FAL thresholds. This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water remains listed for total phosphorus because data were not clearly below listing thresholds.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

Condition

Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available.

Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.

Reports

Recommendations

Watercraft Inspections - Clean Boats, Clean Waters
Monitor Invasive Species
Train Volunteers
Conducted workshops to train volunteers in monitoring and prevention methods; monitoring for zebra mussels and other AIS
Carp Removal
Project included controlling carp through removal activities and the operation of carp barriers; monitoring the extent of EWM annually; conducting an aquatic plant survey in Silver Creek using the point-intercept method; performing biocontrol of purple loosestrife, including building, operating and maintaining plant nurseries; and developing a long-range funding strategy for aquatic invasive species control
Aquatic Plant Monitoring or Survey
Used Point-Intercept method
Control Invasive Species
Biocontrol of purple loosestrife
Lake Management Plan - Develop/Modify
Social Survey of Residents or Users
Data Analysis or Evaluation
Conducted a regression analysis for phosphorus in Green Lake
Information and Education
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Created an interactive watershed map which includes location, description, benefits, and photos of best management practices
Land Acquisition
Purchased property - "ABA-East"
Land Acquisition
Purchased 24.5 acres of land known as the "ABA-West" property.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 52 acres of land on Green Lake for conservancy purposes.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 3.21 acres of land along Wick Road known as the Specht property for conservancy purposes.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Conducted comprehensive water quality appraisal at 2 sites within Green Lake. The protocol is USGS trophic monitoring protocol, to include: 1. 6x /year, sampling events to include profiling, nutrient concentrations 2. Archived data and annual reporting in USGS formal publication 3. Cost sharing from USGS source and GLSD. Specific actions are identified within the original planning grant proposal
Carp Barrier
Installed Carp Barriers
Land Acquisition
Purchased 30 acres of land along Silver Creek which drains directly into Big Green Lake to be used as nonpoint source abatement.
Best Management Practices, Implement
Implemented best management practices (BMP) within the lake watershed to reduce nutrient/sediment loadings and protect and improve shoreline habitat.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 20.5 acres of vacant land with approximately 660 feet of frontage along Big Green Lake. The Sanitary District will keep it in its naturally landscaped state for conservancy purposes.
Land Acquisition
Purchased vacant land for conservancy purposes
Diagnostic/Feasibility Assessment
Conducted a feasibility study to assess nutrient loadings on Big Green Lake.
WQ Modeling
Developed watershed/lake models for predicting trophic impacts
Monitor Water Level
Operate, maintain and publish stage, flow and load data at both stage-discharge stations at White Creek and Green Lake Outlet. 2) Operate, maintain and publish stage, flow and load data at stage-discharge station at Green Lake Inlet.
Hydrologic Budget Development
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Informational Meetings
Comprehensive Planning Studies
Mapped the watershed and sensitive areas and identified areas contributing polluntants. Mapped sub-watershed. Prepared lake protection plan.
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Issue News/Media Release
Information about lake protection plan disseminated to the public by newsletter, local newspaper articles, a comprehensive management plan, public meetings and report mailings
Diagnostic/Feasibility Assessment
Assess feasibility and costs of further phosphorus reduction from effluent of Ripon Sewage Treatment Plant: a) evaluation of current phosphorus removal practices and their associated costs, b)evaluation of various strategies to reduce levels of phosphorus being discharged as to their costs and their potential for phosphorus reduction, c) small-scale pilot program implementing option chosen from evaluation in b. above, devaluation and monitoring of phosphorus reduction in conjunction with pilot program
Social Survey of Residents or Users
Conducted a survey of residents, by mail, to assess: a) public opinion of large water impoundments, b) public opinion of eminent domain andcondemnation powers, c) which units of government will need to be involved with the project and at what level.
Monitor Fish Tissue
Aquatic Invasive Species Plan
Developed comprehensive AIS plan addressing elements of prevention, control, monitoring, policy development, research, education/information, coordination and regional integration

Management Goals

Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable

Management goals can include creation and implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load Analysis, habitat restoration work, partnership education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below.

Monitoring

Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.

Grants and Management Projects

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Green Lake is located in the Big Green Lake watershed which is 107.31 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (65%), open (15.50%) and a mix of wetland (10%) and other uses (14.00%). This watershed has 141.08 stream miles, 655.29 lake acres and 5,102.67 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.

Natural Community

Aba Beach, Green Lake is considered a Two-Story under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Shallow headwater lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.