Fish and Aquatic Life
Turtle Lake is a quiet spring-fed lake in Walworth County that covers 140 acres, has a maximum depth of 35 feet and forms the headwaters of Turtle Creek. The lake's shoreline is a mixture of wetlands with development both on the east and north sides of the waterbody. There is a trailer park on the lake's shoreline that once had problems from leaking holding tanks. About 113 of the 748 acres that directly drain into the lake were urbanized as of 1975 (SEWRPC); today the acreage of direct drainage that is urbanized is a greater amount. There is limited public access on the lake and very little water quality data exists. Eurasian water milfoil and purple loosestrife are present in the lake and its shoreline area.
There is a lake management association for the lake and volunteer monitoring for chemistry is conducted regularly. A Lakes Planning Grant should be pursued to conduct a thorough survey of the lake's water quality and habitat and to identify and protect the remaining wetlands that surround the lake.
Author Aquatic Biologist
A natural lake managed for northern pike, pan fish, largemouth bass, and yellow perch. A small marsh associated lake situated at the base of a glacial moraine, with over 200 acres of fresh meadow, shrub swamp, and shallow marsh occupying what once was a larger lake basin. High frontage is over 50 per cent developed for cottages. The lake is no doubt fed by springs and marsh seepage, and drains through a channel known as Turtle Branch. A 3 foot head is maintained by a dam on the channel. Access is permitted from 2 subdivision roads; however, these are inadequate for the potential recreational pressure. Angling has been a principal use because of consistent good fishing; however, in recent years speed oriented boating activities have created a major use problem on this lake.
Surface Acres = 140, S.D.F. - 1.73, Maximum Depth = 35 feet.
Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of Walworth County,WI: WI-DNR Turtle Lake, T-3-N, R-15-E
Author Aquatic Biologist
Tutle Lake (795100) 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 water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.
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.
Habitat Restoration - Shoreland
Walworth County will continue the Walworth County Lakes Specialist position for one year. The Lakes Specialist will provide educational information to lake residents regarding shoreline stabilization and shoreline restoration. The Lakes Specialist will also design shoreline restoration projects for interested landowners, provide technical assistance to contractors and hold workshops on shoreland restoration.
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
Walworth County will implement the Shoreland Protection Initiative project that includes: 1. A baseline lakeshore inventory; 2. ten lakshore demonstration sites; 3. the preparation of lake lawn and yard nutrient management plans; 4. fact sheets on lakeshore stabilization, shoreland buffers, shoreland regulations and lawn care; 5. an annual lakeshore inventory and distribution of shoreland regulation materials; 6. formation of a Walworth Co. Lakes Association and meetings with and newsletter pertaining to Walworth Co. lakes; 7. Workshops, information packets and news articles pertaining to the Fox river Basin Partnership Team Lakes Initiative; and 8. the formation of the Walworth County Land Conservancy.
Engage Volunteers in Monitoring/Restoration
The Turtle Lake Association should become involved in WDNR's Self-Help Monitoring Program to collect water quality data.
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|
|795100||Turtle Lake||10046737||Phragmites Occurrence - Turtle Lake||7/15/2015||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|795100||Turtle Lake||10017641||Turtle Lake -- Access||Map||Data|
|795100||Turtle Lake||10006688||Turtle Lake||8/1/1994||6/18/2018||Map||Data|
|795100||Turtle Lake||10017640||Turtle Lake -- Access||8/1/2010||6/7/2021||Map||Data|
|795100||Turtle Lake||10017639||Turtle Lake -- Access end Garden Terrace Rd||Map||Data|
|795100||Turtle Lake||653214||Turtle Lake - Deep Hole||7/18/1978||9/1/2021||Map||Data|
Turtle Lake is located in the Turtle Creek watershed which is 288.47 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (69.80%), grassland (9.10%) and a mix of forest (6.50%) and other uses (14.50%). This watershed has 339.80 stream miles, 590.58 lake acres and 6,590.97 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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.