Fond Du Lac
Fish and Aquatic Life
Lake Bernice, in the East and West Branches Milwaukee River Watershed, is a 31.90 acre lake that falls in Fond du Lac County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1969, Surface Water Resources of Fond du Lac County
Bernice Lake, T13N, R18E, Section 26
Surface Acres = 33, S.D.F. = 2.23, Maximum Depth = 12 feet
This is an impoundment of the West Branch of the Milwaukee
River. It was formed by the construction of a dam in the early
1840's. It furnished water power for use in grinding feed or
sawing timber but this use was discontinued in 1962. The mill
owner has made application to transfer title to the dam to the
township. The fifty square miles of watershed upstream from the
flowage is intensively farmed, and the inlet to the lake has
reportedly been dry as recently as the summer of 1958. The fish
population is presently dominated by carp, which experienced an
explosive hatch following a nearly complete drawdown of the
flowage for dam repairs in 1961. Game fish found are largemouth
bass and northern pike, and the lake periodically receives
northern pike obtained from Rush Lake in Winnebago County.
Primary panfish are bluegill, black crappie, and yellow bass.
Partial winterkill has occurred, the latest reported during the
winter of 1958-1959. Carp control, particularly through the use
of chemicals, appears to be the most likely solution to better
fishing in the future. A chemical rehabilitation project for
this lake to remove rough fish population has been proposed for
1969. Numerous cottages and homesite developments on the
shoreline and fluctuating water levels discouraged use of the
lake by waterfowl and furbearers.
Public access for boat launching is available from the
north side of the flowage but parking space is very limited.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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.
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
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|40900||Bernice Lake||203078||Bernice Lake - Deep Hole||7/15/2020||9/10/2020||Map||Data|
|40900||Bernice Lake||10002475||Lake Bernice||7/27/1999||9/22/2017||Map||Data|
Bernice Lake is located in the East and West Branches Milwaukee River watershed which is 266.00 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (35.50%), wetland (19.20%) and a mix of forest (17.90%) and other uses (27.40%). This watershed has 312.44 stream miles, 2,023.13 lake acres and 32,107.47 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.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.