Dead Pike Lake Iron, Phosphorus, and Toxicity Monitoring


In December 2016, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board directed the Department of Natural Resources to develop a lake management plan to address water quality issues at Dead Pike Lake (DPL), Manitowish Waters, Vilas County. Historically, water quality issues have been related to excessive iron floc and iron discharges to the lake; more recently listed as impaired for exceeding phosphorus levels. Although a substantial amount of information already exists for Dead Pike Lake and its watershed (primarily Powell Marsh), a number of key pieces of information are missing. This includes 1) an accurate surface and groundwater budget, 2) estimated contributions (loads) of iron and phosphorus from groundwater and surface water, and 3) a toxicity evaluation of DPL and Powell Marsh surface waters.


This monitoring project will provide information to estimate iron and phosphorus loading to Dead Pike Lake from Powell Marsh and to evaluate possible toxicity of surfacewaters in the marsh and lake. This project is companion to a project proposed to be completed by a third party that includes groundwater monitoring of iron and phosphorus along with groundwater/surface water modeling. Due to the short time frame specified by the NRB, monitoring efforts are directed toward the calculation of inflow and outflow pollutant loads. In lake samples would be conducted as part of evaluation monitoring of management actions.


Surface water iron and phosphorus inflow and outflow loads to DPL combined with other proposed work to develop groundwater loads. Ultimately, the iron and phosphorus loads will used to model different management scenarios as part of the DPL due March 2018.

Study Design

Surfacewater Monitoring 1) 3 associated sites for the project (2 stream, 1 lake) 2) Stream - 2 sites, (inlet and outlet to lake), 2 each month March-Sept. fy17 (16) fy18 (12) Lake - 1 site, monthly April-September fy17 (3) fy18 (3) WET Testing (exact locations to be determined) 1) 7 sites 2) 1 sample in May-August fy17 (14) fy18 (14)

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