Lake Shangrila, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01)
Lake Shangrila, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01)
Lake Shangrila (734700)
73.93 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.
Deep Headwater
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.
This lake is impaired
Eutrophication, Excess Algal Growth
Total Phosphorus
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.
Deep Headwater
Deep 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.
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.


Lake Shangrila and Benet Lake are located in the Towns of Bristol and Salem, Kenosha County, Wisconsin. A small portion of Benet Lake is located in the Town of Antioch in Lake County, Illinios. As a whole, the Shangrila-Benet Lake system has a surface area of 154 acres, a total volume of 748 acre-feet and a shoreline approximately 6.2 miles in total length. As a drained lake system, there is no inlet, but there is a more-or-less continuously flowing outlet, relying primarily on precipitation and runoff from the tributary area to supply the Lakes with water. Additional water inflow to the Lakes may be occurring from springs reported by residents to be present in the Lakes’ basins and from intermittent streams located along the southern and southwestern shoreline areas of Benet Lake that appear to transport snowmelt and surface runoff into the Lakes. Water flowing out of the system exits through a timber stop log spillway, which has a 13.2-foot-long crest, and which discharges to four 24-inch-diameter pipes set in an earthen dam, which was originally constructed in 1927 along the northeastern shore of Lake Shangrila. There is also a gated 24-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe that can be used to provide additional hydraulic capacity. Outflowing water drains through a series of marshes and intermittent streams into the Dutch Gap Canal, a 4.1-mile-long waterway in Wisconsin which continues for about eight miles in Illinois where the waterway is called North Mill Creek. North Mill Creek then joins with Mill Creek, which flows another 4.5 miles to its confluence with the mainstem of the Des Plaines River near Wadsworth in Lake County, Illinois. The lake system today constitutes a heavily used, recreational water resource and residential community situated within easy reach of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and is a popular destination for weekend recreational users, as well as year-round residents.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

This man-made lake is maintained by a dam with 7.0 ft of head. Originally it was a marshy area containing 2 natural pothole ponds. The shoreline is about 20% developed. There are 2 small resorts that rent boats, and public access is possible from 2 town parks and several road rights-of-way. One such town road and boat ramp has been periodically chained off and is currently in litigation by the Attorney General's office. The most recent fish survey indicated a slow-growing bluegill population and an excellent largemouth bass population. Other important sport fish include northern pike, resting and feeding areas for migratory waterfowl in spring and fall. Numerous great blue heron visit the lake since a rookery is located in a woods about 1 mile north. Outside the immediate lakeshore area the land use is agricultural. The last major winterkill occurred in 1959 and partial kills may have occurred since then. Records show that it can be expected to winterkill about once every 20 years.

Lake Shangrila-Benet, (Paschen) TIN, R21E, Section 31, 36
Surface Acres = 154, Maximum Depth = 24 ft, Secchi 1.0 ft

Source: 1982, Surface Water Resources of Kenosha County

Date  1982

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Lake Shangrila, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) Fish and Aquatic LifeLake Shangrila, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) RecreationLake Shangrila, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Trophic Status

Secchi-disk data for Lake Shangrila indicated a TSI of 69, while Secchi-disk data, and chlorophyll-a and total phosphorus concentrations for Benet Lake indicate a TSI of 67. Both values are consistent with eutrophic conditions. A value above 50 is generally indicative of the enriched conditions associated with eutrophic lakes.

Aquatic Plant Diversity

The aquatic plant communities observed during 2008 in the Lake Shangrila-Benet Lake system had limited biodiversity, with eight species recorded during the survey. Many lakes in the Region have a dozen or more species of aquatic plants. In comparison with these lakes, the Lake Shangrila-Benet Lake system has an impoverished aquatic plant flora, which limits the ability of these lakes to sustain fish and aquatic life and associated human uses, especially given that two of the observed aquatic plant species are declared nuisance species identified in Chapter NR 109 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. A reduced species diversity is consistent with the enriched trophic states of the Lakes.

Date  2012

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

Lake Shangrila (WBIC 734700) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This lake was proposed for total phosphorus listing in 2018.

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

Lake Shangrila is located in the Des Plaines River watershed which is 133.34 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.90%), suburban (11%) and a mix of wetland (8.90%) and other uses (22.30%). This watershed has 216.36 stream miles, 755.01 lake acres and 7,194.07 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High 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.This water is ranked High Lake for individual Lakes based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Lake Shangrila is considered a Deep Headwater 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.

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

Fisheries & Habitat

Lakes Shangri-la and Benet support a large and diverse fish community. Fish surveys report Bluegill, Yellow perch, Pumpkinseed, Walleye, Largemouth bass, Carp, Northern Pike, White sucker, bullhead, Rock bass, Channel catfish, and Black crappie.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist