Morris Lake (Mt Morris), Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02)
Morris Lake (Mt Morris), Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02)
Morris Lake (Mt Morris) (246500)
116.97 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 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.
Deep Lowland
Deep 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.


Morris Lake (Mt Morris), in the Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed, is a 116.97 acre lake that falls in Waushara County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1970, Surface Water Resources of Waushara County Mt. Morris Lake T-19-N, R-11-E, Sections 16, 17 Surface Acres = 163; S.D.F. = 2.96; Maximum Depth = 40.0 feet.

A moderate sized flowage, with a highly irregular shoreline, that is characterized by having four distinct basins. The dam (15 foot head), once used to produce electric power to operate a grist mill and a machine shop, is located adjacent to County Trunk G in the village of Mt. Morris. The bottom materials in the shallow water zone consist of marl and sand. The physiography and maximum depth in two of the four basins permits a midsummer thermocline to develop at 19 feet. The water source of the lake is drainage originating from four inlet tributaries. The stream outlets from the Norwegian Lake complex and from Porters Lake contribute the major flow to these inlets. The outlet of the lake enters Little Lake to the east of Mt. Morris, eventually drains into Willow Creek. The fishery of the lake consists of northern pike, largemouth bass, perch, bluegills, pumpkinseed, crappies, bullheads and an occasional trout. The lake is particularly noted for its largemouth bass and northern pike fishery. Siltation of the pond over the years has increased shallow water zones which grow dense aquatic vegetation. During July and August many acres of water are so weed choked that it is not possible to swim, fish, or carry on boating activities in these areas. Siltation and weed problems can be expected to become progressively worse in the future. Much of the watershed is in agricultural use and the activities on the watershed, along with a high density of cottages and poor septic systems, may be contributing to the fertility of this lake. The primary use of the lake is for fishing, swimming and some boating. At the time of the inventory, 109 cottages, one resort and one boat livery were noted developments on the shoreline. The highest density of cottage development is on the lower portion of the pond. A public campsite, boat landing and picnic site access are available on the north shore at the east end of the lake. A small boat launching area without parking is available immediately north of the outlet adjacent to County Trunk Highway G. Moderate numbers of migratory mallards, bluewing teal and wood ducks utilize the lake on a seasonal basis. Approximately eight acres of adjoining, wooded wetlands provide nesting habitat for mallards, bluewing teal and wood ducks.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Morris Lake (Mt Morris), Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) Fish and Aquatic LifeMorris Lake (Mt Morris), Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) RecreationMorris Lake (Mt Morris), Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Morris Lake (Mt Morris) (246500) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll sample data were clearly below FAL use listing thresholds and did not exceed REC listing thresholds. This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.

Date  2015

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 Morris is located in the Pine and Willow Rivers watershed which is 302.08 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (34.40%), agricultural (27.80%) and a mix of wetland (19.20%) and other uses (18.70%). This watershed has 377.48 stream miles, 11,273.01 lake acres and 33,136.61 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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

Morris Lake (Mt Morris) is considered a Deep 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.

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