Lake Koshkonong, Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed (LR11)
Lake Koshkonong, Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed (LR11)
Lakeland Campground Beach -- 2803 E. State Rd. 59, Lake Koshkonong (808700)
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.
Shallow Lowland
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
 
Rock
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.
Shallow Lowland
Shallow lowland 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.

Overview

A large shallow impoundment of the Rock River, Lake Koshkonong exhibits the same water quality problems as other impoundments in southern Wisconsin but on a much larger scale. The lake was originally a shallow and deep-water marsh; a dam constructed in 1850 created a shallow lake. The dam was rebuilt in 1917, raising the lake level an additional two feet. The lake is a major stop-over for migratory waterfowl and was renowned for waterfowl hunting. The drainage area above the lake encompasses 2,640 square miles.

Tremendous sediment and nutrient loads from the Rock River, Koshkonong Creek and other tributaries enter the lake annually. These loads are primarily from agricultural and some urban sources. In addition, shoreline erosion is severe on the lake. Failing septic systems were a problem in the past but the creation of a sanitary district around a portion of the lake has reduced the impact of this source on water quality. Carp are a widespread problem despite a large commercial carp fishery; the carp destroy habitat and increase the lake's existing level of turbidity. As a result, severe nuisance growth of algae and algae blooms are common, often resulting in fish kills.

The lake's shallow depth combined with its long fetch--the distance the wind blows across it uninterrupted-- causes serious shoreline erosion during major storms. All these conditions combined adversely affect water quality and the lake's fisheries.

The Indianford Dam, which controls the water level of the lake, is in need of repair. The allocation of repair costs among the counties and towns that border the lake has become a local political issue. One group of property owners wants a higher water level to improve boating while another group wants lower levels to protect and improve wetland habitat.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Lake Koshkonong, Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed (LR11) Fish and Aquatic LifeLake Koshkonong, Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed (LR11) RecreationLake Koshkonong, Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed (LR11) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Lake Koshkonong Lakeview Campground 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 water was meeting its designated uses and not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Being a large shallow impoundment of the Rock River, Lake Koshkonong exhibits the same water quality problems as other impoundments in southern Wisconsin but on a much larger scale. The drainage area above the lake encompasses 2,640 square miles. According to DNR water condition data, tremendous sediment and nutrient loads from the Rock River, Koshkonong Creek and other tributaries enter the lake annually. These loads are primarily from agricultural and some urban sources. The lake is included on the WDNR's 303(d) Impaired Waters list. Impairments include low dissolved oxygen, degraded habitat, and turbidity from total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids. The lake is included in the Rock River TMDL for phosphorus and sediment reductions. Failing septic systems were a problem in the past but the creation of the sanitary district around a portion of the lake has reduced the impact of this source on water quality.

According to DNR, carp are a widespread problem despite a large commercial carp fishery; the carp destroy habitat and increase the lake's existing level of turbidity. As a result, severe nuisance growth of algae and algae blooms are common, often resulting in fish kills. The lake's shallow depth combined with its long fetch (the distance the wind blows across it uninterrupted) causes serious shoreline erosion during major storms. All these conditions combined adversely affect water quality and the lake's fisheries.

Date  2017

Author  Mike Kakuska

Impaired Waters

The lake is included on the WDNR's 303(d) Impaired Waters list. Impairments include low dissolved oxygen, degraded habitat, and turbidity from total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids. The lake is included in the Rock River TMDL for phosphorus and sediment reductions. Failing septic systems were a problem in the past but the creation of the sanitary district around a portion of the lake has reduced the impact of this source on water quality.

Date  2017

Author  Mike Kakuska

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

Sewer Service Area Planning
Project for Dane County Water Quality Planning updates and amendments.

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

Lake Koshkonong is located in the Lower Koshkonong Creek watershed which is 265.61 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (62%), wetland (10%) and a mix of forest (9%) and other uses (18%). This watershed has 283.47 stream miles, 1,735.65 lake acres and 18,171.94 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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

Lakeland Campground Beach -- 2803 E. State Rd. 59, Lake Koshkonong is considered a Shallow Lowland 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 lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Fisheries & Habitat

According to DNR, carp are a widespread problem despite a large commercial carp fishery; the carp destroy habitat and increase the lake's existing level of turbidity. As a result, severe nuisance growth of algae and algae blooms are common, often resulting in fish kills. The lake's shallow depth combined with its long fetch (the distance the wind blows across it uninterrupted) causes serious shoreline erosion during major storms. All these conditions combined adversely affect water quality and the lake's fisheries.

Date  2017

Author  Mike Kakuska