Jersey Valley Lake, West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed (LW04)
Jersey Valley Lake, West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed (LW04)
Jersey Valley Lake (1191600)
51.83 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.
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
Impairment Unknown, 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 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.


Jersey Valley Lake is a 56-acre impoundment of the West Fork of the Kickapoo River The
portion of river upstream of the impoundment is locally known as Jersey Valley Creek. This
lake has a maximum depth of 18 feet and receives drainage from agricultural and forested
An aquatic plant survey, conducted in 1995, documented a total of 19 aquatic plant species,
13 of which were submerged plant species, three floating leaf species and three emergent
plant species. This diverse plant community inhabited nearly the entire shore of the lake to a
depth of greater than 10 feet. Healthy aquatic plant communities improve water quality in
many ways: they trap nutrients, debris, and pollutants entering a water body; they may absorb
and break down pollutants; they reduce erosion by stabilizing banks and shorelines,
stabilizing bottoms and reducing wave action; they remove nutrients that would otherwise be
available for algae blooms. Cover for fish and aquatic insects are also another important
function of aquatic plants.
The watershed draining into Jersey Valley Lake is at least 80% agricultural. Runoff from
these lands may be contributing nutrients to this impoundment. Evidence of excessive
nutrients in the lake are the summer algae blooms that plague this lake. WDNR should
consider Jersey Valley Lake a high priority to receive a lake planning grant and a lake
protection grant.Over the years, Jersey Valley Lake has been stocked with brook trout, rainbow trout,
largemouth bass, walleye, and sauger. The primary function of this lake is flood control, but
the lake and surrounding land also provides recreational opportunities to a region of the state
with very few lakes. Jersey Valley County Park is a 370-acre tract of land, located 3 miles
north of Westby on County Highway X. This park offers swimming, hiking, fishing and
picnicking. Additionally, Jersey Valley offers a handicap accessible fishing dock.

From: Ripp, Coreen, et al. 2002. The State of the Lower Wisconsin River Basin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Jersey Valley Lake is a 51-acre flood control impoundment on the headwaters of the
West Fork Kickapoo River. The impoundment experiences abundant aquatic plant and
algae growth. Water quality monitoring conducted in 1973 and 1974 indicated very high
nutrient concentrations and anoxia in the hypolinlnion during the summer. The
conditions present in the impoundment indicate that nonpoint source water pollution is
affecting water quality.

Date  1994

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

Jersey Valley Lake, T14N, R4W, Section 13, Surface Acres = 51.4, S.D.F. = 1.93, Maximum Depth = 17.5 feet
A clear, hard water, drainage impoundment that has alkaline water with low transparency. It is located on the West Fork Kickapoo River. The dam has a drop inlet and a bottom draw. The impoundment was constructed under the U.S. PL-566 program. The fishery consists of rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill. A parking area is located in the park area owned by the state, but is operated by the county. Wood ducks nest at the impoundment and fall migrating diving ducks have used it.
From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W., Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County, Department of Natural Resources, 1973.

Date  1973

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Jersey Valley Lake, West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed (LW04) Fish and Aquatic LifeJersey Valley Lake, West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed (LW04) RecreationJersey Valley Lake, West Fork Kickapoo River Watershed (LW04) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Jersey Valley Lake (WBIC 1191600) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2016. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll-a sample data clearly exceeded the REC use thresholds, but nearly exceeded the FAL use thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Jersey Valley Lake (1191600) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, but did not exceed Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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

Jersey Valley Lake is located in the West Fork Kickapoo River watershed which is 118.04 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.10%), grassland (29%) and a mix of agricultural (25.50%) and other uses (4.40%). This watershed has 283.75 stream miles, 49.18 lake acres and 672.36 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

Jersey Valley Lake is considered a Reservoir 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.

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