White Lake, South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed (WR08)
White Lake, South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed (WR08)
White Lake (272900)
1064.14 Acres
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 Natural Communities.
Shallow Lowland
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.


White Lake, in the South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed, is a 1,064.11 acre lake that falls in Waupaca County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Waupaca County

White Lake, T22N, R13E, Sections 16, 20, 21, 22
Surface Acres = 1,026.2, S.D.F. = 1.29, Maximum Depth = 11 feet
White Lake is the second largest lake in Waupaca County and
contains medium brown, hard water. The lake is virtually
landlocked except for small marsh drainage channels and an
intermittent outlet. Sand, detritus, and muck are the
predominant littoral bottom materials. Originally, White Lake
was an excellent area for the reproduction of ducks. However, in
the 1930's a dam (4-foot head) was installed to create more open
water. As a result, bog recession occurred ruining many valuable
duck food and cover areas. Waterfowl use declined but some
mallards and bluewing teal still utilize the area for nesting.
Thousands of diving ducks and hundreds of puddle ducks stop here
during spring and fall migrations. Large expanses of very
shallow water, dense weed growths, and a slow rate of water
exchange are factors that combine to create an almost annual and
severe winterkill. The present fish population consists of
bullhead, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, northern
pike, perch, and white sucker. Quality fishing is rarely
realized. In 1958 the lake was chemically treated to exterminate
the existing fish population in an attempt to revitalize the
fishery, however, winterkill minimized the effectiveness of this
project. Over the years a rather serious use conflict between
fishermen and duck hunters has developed. Duck hunters want
lower water levels in hopes that more duck food and cover will be
established. Fishermen want to dredge the lake and raise the
water levels. Looking at the past history of the lake and the
basic ecology of the lake itself would indicate that the lake is
better suited for ducks rather than fish. Access to White Lake
is available from one public boat landing, however, parking is
limited. About 70 dwellings are present on the lake.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

White Lake, South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed (WR08) Fish and Aquatic LifeWhite Lake, South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed (WR08) RecreationWhite Lake, South Branch Little Wolf River Watershed (WR08) Fish Consumption

General Condition

White Lake (WBIC 272900) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new chlorophyll sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This water was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek


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 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.


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 or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.


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

White Lake is located in the South Branch Little Wolf River watershed which is 160.29 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (42.40%), agricultural (23%) and a mix of wetland (18.40%) and other uses (16.10%). This watershed has 166.00 stream miles, 2,070.64 lake acres and 19,091.22 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

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

White Lake is considered a Shallow Lowland under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. 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.

Fish Stocking
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