Pipe Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06)
Pipe Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06)
Pipe Lake (2490500)
293.29 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 Seepage
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
Mercury Contaminated Fish Tissue
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 Seepage
Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. 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.


Pipe Lake is a landlocked lake with a nonnavigable channel to North Pipe Lake. Managed for walleyes, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, pumpkinseed, perch, rock bass and bullheads. Some smallmouth bass are also present. There are 14 cottages on the lake at present, developing an area of 15 per cent of the lake shore. Public frontage on the lake includes an unimproved platted access (75 feet) on the northeast corner and approximately 1,650 feet of frontage on the east shore presently owned by Polk County. A private access road with limited parking at the northwest corner is used by the public at no charge. Sixty-five acres of wooded wetlands adjoin the lake. Mallards, bluewing teal, wood ducks and hooded mergansers may nest here. Migratory waterfowl includes mainly diving ducks, with a few puddle ducks and coots also.

Pipe Lake T35N, RISW, Sec. 10, 15, 22 Surface Acres = 270.0, S.D.F.= 2.34, Maximum Depth = 70 ft., M. P. A. = 54


Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

This 270 acre seepage lake is a high quality waterbody that has been nominated for the classification of "Outstanding Resource Water". A rather inactive lake organization exists for this lake and a volunteer was recently recruited to start self-help monitoring in 1991. Available data indicates high water quality but the information base is not extensive. Walleyes from Pipe Lake are on the fish consumption advisory list and additional monitoring has been recommended. A lakes planning grant for in-lake monitoring and watershed documentation would be a priority activity for this lake and implementation funding for protection of this high value resource should be considered a high priority.

Date  1992

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Pipe Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) Fish and Aquatic LifePipe Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) RecreationPipe Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Pipe Lake (2490500) was placed on the impaired waters list for Mercury in fish tissue in 2014. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This lake is considered impaired for Fish Consumption use and meeting REC and FAL uses.

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.



Lake Management Plan Implementation
Partnering with property owners, the applicant is sponsoring a grant to implement water quality and habitat best practices from Wisconsin's Healthy Lakes Implementation Plan. Best practices, including fish sticks, 350 sq. ft. native plantings, diversions, rock infiltration, and/or rain gardens, will be designed and installed according to the Healthy Lakes fact sheets, technical guidance and grant application.
Lake Management Plan Development
Pipe and North Pipe Lakes P&R District will implement recommendations described in the Pipe Lakes Action Plan. Activities include: 1) repair/replace problem culverts and remediate erosion on intermittent tributaries; 2) design/build detention basins in subwatershed contributing the most pollution; 3) restore shorelines, integrating woody habitat; 4) implement residential diversion/infiltration BMPs (e.g. berms, rain gardens, rain barrels); 5) complete whole-lake, point-intercept aquatic plant surveys on both lakes; 6) monitor tributary and lake water quality and quantity; 7) information and education. Shoreline restoration parcels require a Department approved restrictive covenant that permanently establishes a vegetative buffer.

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

Pipe Lake is located in the Upper Apple River watershed which is 195.43 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (45.90%), agricultural (16.40%) and a mix of wetland (15.70%) and other uses (22.10%). This watershed has 138.62 stream miles, 7,663.43 lake acres and 16,247.07 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, High for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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

Pipe Lake is considered a Deep Seepage under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and 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 seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.