Impaired Water - Yellow Lake (Yellow Lake)
Burnett County, Wisconsin
SC14
2675200
2,283.51
Water is impaired due to one or more pollutants and associated quality impacts.
Notes
Yellow Lake was evaluated for phosphorus and algae every two years between 2014 and 2022. Phosphorus levels were found to be too high, which was reflected in algal blooms. This lake is covered by a restoration plan: Implementation Plan for the Lake St. Croix Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (expires 2025). Yellow Lake is on the Impaired Waters List.
Listing Details
Pollutant
Total Phosphorus
Listed For
Recreation
Impairments
Eutrophication, Excess Algal Growth
Current Use
Restricted Recreation
Listing Status
303d Listed
Attainable Use
Full Body Contact - Swimming, Boating
Priority
Low
Designated Use
Full Body Contact - Swimming, Boating
303(d) ID
2010-37
Listing Date
4/1/2010
Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceeded 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Date
7/10/2017

Impaired Water Notes
Recommended for listing for impaired Recreational Uses, but not for Fish and Aquatic Life. Per Kris Larsen, Northern Region Fisheries Technician, Yellow Lake is vastly improved from the historical situation, but still warrants listing on the federal 303(d) list due to blue green algae blooms that restrict swimming. Prior to the 1960s, the Yellow River carried untreated city wastewater, creamery waste and whey downstream to Yellow Lake (~30 miles away). The lake had so many plants and algae around the 1960s, that trees seedlings could grow on the algal crust. After the point source was removed, the lake has steadily improved, but still has enough algae in the hot summer months that people do not swim. Blue green algae blooms are frequent and macrophyte growth is high. Currently, Yellow Lake's TSI-chlorophyll score of 62 puts this lake in the Fair category for a shallow lowland lake, but its average Total Phosphorus concentration (2004-2008) is .048 mg/l, which exceeds the listing threshold for Shallow Lowland lakes of equal or greater than 0.04 mg/l. Yellow Lake is, however, meeting its Fish and Aquatic Life Use with an excellent and very diverse fishery, according to Larry Damman, Northern Region Fisheries Biologist. It has one of the states best, sustainable sturgeon populations (including a world record), cisco spawning, a naturally reproducing walleye population (which is rare), and large northern pike and muskies. DNR staff are not aware of natural or high-background sources, and there shouldn't be significant agricultural contributions in this area. The impairment is likely from very heavy, historical, point source loading.
Date
10/25/2009

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2012 listing cycle, and total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceed 2012 WisCALM listing thresholds for the recreation use.
Date
6/9/2011

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2014 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceed 2014 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use.
Date
1/20/2014

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use, and chlorophyll data overwhelmingly exceeded FAL thresholds and exceeded REC thresholds.
Date
10/9/2015

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2020 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceeded 2020 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This lake is covered by the following restoration plan and was classified as Category 5W as a result: Implementation Plan for the Lake St. Croix Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (2025).
Date
7/24/2019

Impaired Water Notes
This water was assessed during the 2022 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceeded 2022 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on this new information no listing changes were made.
Date
4/14/2021

 
Pollutant
Mercury
Listed For
Impairments
NA
Current Use
Listing Status
Pollutant Removed
Attainable Use
Priority
Delisted 2006
Designated Use
303(d) ID
548
Listing Date
4/1/1998
Impaired Water Notes
Sites where data collected post 2000 -2007 and shows that general advice is sufficient.
Date
10/27/2009