Long Lake, Bear Creek Watershed (LW14)
Long Lake, Bear Creek Watershed (LW14)
Long Lake (1236600)
71.82 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.
Richland, Sauk
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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.


Long Lake is a drainage oxbow lake of the Wisconsin River located in both Sauk and Richland Counties and is considered an Exceptional Resource Water (ERW). The lake is impounded near Brace Memorial Park, which is near Lone Rock. The lake has an area of 48 acres and a maximum depth of 10 feet. The lake is a very popular fishing lake and contains northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, panfish and catfish. The lake has some problems as a result of low dissolved oxygen. The lake suffered from a serious fish kill in 1995. The kill was thought to be the result of excessive biological oxygen demand, BOD, in two upstream lakes that are the source of water for Long Lake.

Overall, Long Lake is susceptible to problems as a result of activities in the upstream ponds. Long Lake is a part of a 'Shallow Lakes Initiative' that began in 1998 to document resource values and problems in shallow waters of the Wisconsin River.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

A drainage oxbow lake of the Wisconsin River impounded by a low head dam adjacent to Brace Memorial Park one mile south of Lone Rock. This lake is a popular fishing attraction for this part of the county. Largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye are the principal sport fish. Catfish and panfish are also present. Ice fishing for northern pike is a popular activity for local residents. Carp, buffalo, white suckers, bowfin and gizzard shad are abundant but do not appear to cause a severe use problem. Game assets include muskrat, beaver, mink, puddle ducks, deer, and squirrels. Public access is possible from Brace Memorial Park, McKenna Park, one road ending, Public Hunting and Fishing Grounds on the eastern end of the lake, and from the Wisconsin River. A boat launching ramp is provided in McKenna Park. Twenty-six dwellings are found along the northern shore.

Surface area 48.0 acres, S.D.F. = 1.03, Maximum depth 10 feet

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Sauk County Long Lake T8N R3E, Sec. 17, 18

Date  1971

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Long Lake, Bear Creek Watershed (LW14) Fish and Aquatic LifeLong Lake, Bear Creek Watershed (LW14) RecreationLong Lake, Bear Creek Watershed (LW14) Fish Consumption


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

Long Lake is located in the Bear Creek watershed which is 136.54 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (46.40%), agricultural (24.60%) and a mix of grassland (15.20%) and other uses (13.80%). This watershed has 236.07 stream miles, 119.46 lake acres and 6,798.61 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium 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

Long 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.