Fish and Aquatic Life
Mead Lake is a eutrophic soft-water impoundment of the South Fork of the Eau Claire River. The Mead Lake Club Limited received a lakes planning grant in 1991 to initiate in-lake water quality monitoring with the U.S. Geological Survey. USGS has been monitoring water quality since 1991 and will continue through 1995. Trophic State Index values for the lake have ranged from 38 to 71, indicating that the lake is highly eutrophic (USGS). Mead Lake and its watershed were selected for a ~riority lakes project due to begin in 1996. To help assess its potential success, it would be useful to assess landowner support for the project.
The Clark County Animal Waste Plan identified the Mead Lake Watershed as a high priority for animal waste management. The ~ l a n identified 17 animal waste management projects that needed funding for control of ~olluted runoff. Given the water quality data and the identified sources of pollutants, the Mead Lake watershed should be considered a high priority for controlling sources of polluted runoff (Clark County).
Mead Lake is under a fish consumption advisory for walleye 18 to 30 inches long. Other game fish and panfish did not contain levels above the mercury advisory level, although additional sampling of smaller walleye and all sizes of largemouth bass is recommended (Amrhein).
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1965, Surface Water Resources of Clark County Mead Lake T27N, R3W, S29
This is a soft water, drainage impoundment located on the south fork of the Eau Claire River. The dam has a 16-foot head and the flowage was created in 1951 by Clark County for recreational purposes. The dam and all the land around the impoundment are owned by the county, but lots have been leased to individuals. The slightly acid water has a light brown color and low transparency. Muskellunge, yellow walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, white, sucker and northern redhorse make up the fishery. Within a few years after the flowage was created, carp became a problem and in 1961 a chemical eradication project was conducted within the flowage area and in the 46 miles of streams entering the flowage. While the project was successful, a 100 percent kill of carp was not accomplished. The flowage now provides excellent fishing. In the past, the impoundment has been subject to periodic winterkill conditions. There is a public swimming beach, one public boat landing, and a park area including campgrounds. There are also 112 dwellings and a Boy Scout camp on the flowage. Migrating waterfowl visit the flowage in the fall and provide hunting.
Surface Acres = 324, S.D.F. = 3.05, Known Maximum Depth = 20 feet
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Mead Lake was recently evaluated during the ten-year period of 2009 through 2018 for results that were reported to the USEPA for the 2020 Clean Water Act condition report. The waterbody is considered impaired, or in poor condition for designated uses which include the quality of fish and aquatic life, recreational use, and public health and welfare (fish consumption and related). Pollutants or problems encountered during sampling (impairments) are determined based on water quality standards outlined in Wisconsin 2020 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Assessment results show water conditions that are potentially harmful for Aquatic Life use due to values for total phosphorus and chlorophyll that fall into the range expected for an aquatic community in poor health, therefore this water is listed as impaired.
Assessment results during the 2020 listing cycle show continued impairment based on total phosphorus and chlorophyll levels too high for healthy aquatic communities, like plants, fish, and bugs, according to 2020 WisCALM levels. This water has been listed as impaired since 1998 for total phosphorus and total suspended solids. Based on the most updated information, eutrophication was proposed as an additional impairment in 2020.
Author Ashley Beranek
Mead Lake (2143900) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids in 1998. In 2008 the US EPA approved a TMDL for Mead Lake. The 2016 assessments confirmed an impairment by total phosphorus and identified a new impairment of excess algal growth. This water is considered impaired for recreation and fish and aquatic life uses.
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.
TMDL (USEPA) Approved
TMDL Development for Mead Lake in Clark County, WI. The South Fork Eau Claire River is the primary source of surface water inflow to Mead Lake. The lake was placed on the Wisconsin 303(d) impaired waters list in 1998 due to sediment and phosphorus. In 2008, the 303(d) list was updated to reflect that the pollutants of sediment
and phosphorus are leading to impairments of degraded habitat, pH criteria exceedances, and excess algal growth in summer which result in limited body contact recreational use.
The goal of this TMDL is to reduce phosphorus and sediment loadings to Mead Lake to address, pH criteria exceedances, decrease algal blooms in summer, and address degraded habitat so Mead Lake can be improved for recreational purposes.
TMDL Development for Mead Lake in Clark County, WI. Mead Lake is highly eutrophic and exhibits excessive concentrations of phosphorus and chlorophyll (a measure of algal densities) in its surface waters during the summer months (USACE 2005). Sediment and phosphorus enters the lake via the South Fork Eau Claire River, from nonpoint sources of pollution.
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|
|2143900||Mead Lake||103116||Mead Lake - East Bay||5/8/2013||9/23/2014||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||103117||Mead Lake - West Bay||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||103119||Mead Lake - Deep Hole||6/27/1996||4/1/2020||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||10001121||Mead Lake||4/18/1995||11/12/2017||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||10030296||Mead Lake - Deep Spot||5/8/2013||1/1/2015||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||10018591||Mead Lake -- Access||6/24/2012||6/16/2014||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||10018404||Mead Lake -- Access||6/13/2008||7/6/2008||Map||Data|
|2143900||Mead Lake||10018405||Mead Lake -- Access||6/2/2012||6/1/2013||Map||Data|
Mead Lake is located in the South Fork Eau Claire River watershed which is 229.49 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (56%), agricultural (22.80%) and a mix of wetland (12%) and other uses (9.20%). This watershed has 421.59 stream miles, 307.67 lake acres and 23,719.61 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, High for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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 Impoundments based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.