Tozer Lake, Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed (SC15)
Tozer Lake, Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed (SC15)
Tozer Lake (2502000)
34.66 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.
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.
Shallow headwater 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.
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.


Tozer Lake, in the Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed, is a 34.66 acre lake that falls in Washburn County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1978, Surface Water Resources of Washburn County

Tozer Lake, T38N, R13W, Section 2, Surface Acres-36.0, Maximum Depth-46
feet, M.P.A.-77 ppm, Secchi Disk-11 feet

A hard water, seepage lake two miles southwest of Spooner. It has
clear water and is landlocked. Its present fishery is made up of
northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, brown bullheads
and white suckers. The panfish here have been traditionally slow
growing. Tozer Lake was managed for trout for eleven years. The lake
was treated with rotenone in 1955 to remove its entire fish population,
which was predominantly stunted panfish, and brook and rainbow trout were
introduced. The rehabilitation removal project was apparently not
complete since warm water fish species reestablished themselves rapidly.
The lake was again treated with toxaphene in 1959 and trout
reestablished. Although the trout management provided good fishing for
these species, the continued reestablishment of warm water species became
an obstacle to the lake's management for trout and trout stocking was
discontinued after 1966. An experimental introduction of coho salmon in
1970 and 1971 was unsuccessful, probably due to predation by northern
pike. The entire shoreline is sand bottom except for the dredged bay on
the west end. Rooted aquatic vegetation is common and filamentous algal
growth is also quite prevalent. There are no longer any wetlands around
Tozer Lake. Uplands with mixed hardwood and pine are found on most of
the lakeshore. A few mallards and teal nest around the lake yet, but
development has diminished this activity. Furbearer use is not
significant. There is a small public access at the northeast end of the
lake and an undeveloped, platted access off the south side. These sites
are also the extent of the public frontage. There are presently 23
cottages on the lakeshore.

Date  1978

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Tozer Lake, Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed (SC15) Fish and Aquatic LifeTozer Lake, Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed (SC15) RecreationTozer Lake, Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed (SC15) 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

Tozer Lake is located in the Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River watershed which is 166.67 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (56.10%), agricultural (12.10%) and a mix of grassland (11%) and other uses (20.70%). This watershed has 118.54 stream miles, 5,764.04 lake acres and 9,834.60 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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

Tozer Lake is considered a Two-Story 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 headwater lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.