Johns Lake, Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02)
Johns Lake, Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02)
Johns Lake (245800)
70.82 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.
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.
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.
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.


Johns Lake, in the Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed, is a 70.82 acre lake that falls in Waushara County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1970, Surface Water Resources of Waushara County

John's Lake T-19-N, R-11-E, Sections 32, 33
Surface Acres = 66.7; S.D.F. = 1.40; Maximum Depth = 41 feet
A drained lake that is characterized by a somewhat
rectangular basin. The lake derives its primary water source
from seepage and springs. The littoral, bottom zone is quite
extensive along the southern shoreline. The primary bottom
materials in this zone include sand and marl with some gravel.
The lake develops a midsummer thermocline at a- depth of 22 feet.
The outlet of the lake forms the headwaters of Bruce (Thorstad)
Creek. The immediate watershed area of the lake encompasses less
than one square mile of primarily wooded uplands. Depth and
overall water quality permits this lake to be managed as a two
story fishery, with both warm water and cold water fish species.
The primary fish species occurring in the lake include northern
pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, rock bass and brown trout.
Habitat for natural reproduction of largemouth bass and panfish
present in the lake is rated as good. Spawning habitat for
northern pike appears to be poor, although young northern pike
occasionally have shown up in fish surveys, indicating that there
is some natural reproduction of this species. The water clarity
of the lake (secchi readings 10 to 15 feet) makes fishing for
the site feeding species difficult. Log crib shelters have been
placed around the lake to provide additional cover. Recreational
use of the lake is primarily for fishing and swimming, with some
boating activity. The water quality and aesthetic values
attached to this lake have encouraged much cottage development.
There are 51 cottages and 5 resorts located along the shoreline.
A public access with limited parking and a boat launching site
are located on the southeast side of the lake.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Johns Lake, Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) Fish and Aquatic LifeJohns Lake, Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) RecreationJohns Lake, Pine and Willow Rivers Watershed (WR02) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Johns Lake (WBIC 245800) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data were clearly below 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. For the Fish Consumption use new fish tissue analysis showed no need for specific fish consumption advisories for this lake. This water was meeting these designated uses and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek


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.



Land Acquisition
The John's Lake Lake Management District will acquire approximately 9.2 acres of land, including 550 feet of shoreline, situated on the western shore of John's Lake in Waushara County, for lake protection purposes.

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

Johns Lake is located in the Pine and Willow Rivers watershed which is 302.08 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (34.40%), agricultural (27.80%) and a mix of wetland (19.20%) and other uses (18.70%). This watershed has 377.48 stream miles, 11,273.01 lake acres and 33,136.61 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

Johns Lake is considered a Deep Seepage 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.

Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.