Fish and Aquatic Life
Lake Shangrila and Benet Lake are located in the Towns of Bristol and Salem, Kenosha County, Wisconsin. A small portion of Benet Lake is located in the Town of Antioch in Lake County, Illinios. As a whole, the Shangrila-Benet Lake system has a surface area of 154 acres, a total volume of 748 acre-feet and a shoreline approximately 6.2 miles in total length. As a drained lake system, there is no inlet, but there is a more-or-less continuously flowing outlet, relying primarily on precipitation and runoff from the tributary area to supply the Lakes with water. Additional water inflow to the Lakes may be occurring from springs reported by residents to be present in the Lakes’ basins and from intermittent streams located along the southern and southwestern shoreline areas of Benet Lake that appear to transport snowmelt and surface runoff into the Lakes. Water flowing out of the system exits through a timber stop log spillway, which has a 13.2-foot-long crest, and which discharges to four 24-inch-diameter pipes set in an earthen dam, which was originally constructed in 1927 along the northeastern shore of Lake Shangrila. There is also a gated 24-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe that can be used to provide additional hydraulic capacity. Outflowing water drains through a series of marshes and intermittent streams into the Dutch Gap Canal, a 4.1-mile-long waterway in Wisconsin which continues for about eight miles in Illinois where the waterway is called North Mill Creek. North Mill Creek then joins with Mill Creek, which flows another 4.5 miles to its confluence with the mainstem of the Des Plaines River near Wadsworth in Lake County, Illinois. The lake system today constitutes a heavily used, recreational water resource and residential community situated within easy reach of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and is a popular destination for weekend recreational users, as well as year-round residents.
Author Aquatic Biologist
This man-made lake is maintained by a dam with 7.0 ft of head. Originally it was a marshy area containing 2 natural pothole ponds. The shoreline is about 20% developed. There are 2 small resorts that rent boats, and public access is possible from 2 town parks and several road rights-of-way. One such town road and boat ramp has been periodically chained off and is currently in litigation by the Attorney General's office. The most recent fish survey indicated a slow-growing bluegill population and an excellent largemouth bass population. Other important sport fish include northern pike, resting and feeding areas for migratory waterfowl in spring and fall. Numerous great blue heron visit the lake since a rookery is located in a woods about 1 mile north. Outside the immediate lakeshore area the land use is agricultural. The last major winterkill occurred in 1959 and partial kills may have occurred since then. Records show that it can be expected to winterkill about once every 20 years.
Lake Shangrila-Benet, (Paschen) TIN, R21E, Section 31, 36
Surface Acres = 154, Maximum Depth = 24 ft, Secchi 1.0 ft
Source: 1982, Surface Water Resources of Kenosha County
Author Aquatic Biologist
Secchi-disk data for Lake Shangrila indicated a TSI of 69, while Secchi-disk data, and chlorophyll-a and total phosphorus concentrations for Benet Lake indicate a TSI of 67. Both values are consistent with eutrophic conditions. A value above 50 is generally indicative of the enriched conditions associated with eutrophic lakes.
Aquatic Plant Diversity
The aquatic plant communities observed during 2008 in the Lake Shangrila-Benet Lake system had limited biodiversity compared with many other lakes in the Southeastern Wisconsin Region. Many lakes in the Region have a dozen or more species of aquatic plants. In comparison with these lakes, the Lake Shangrila-Benet Lake system has an impoverished aquatic plant flora, which limits the ability of these lakes to sustain fish and aquatic life and associated human uses, especially given that two of the observed aquatic plant species are declared nuisance species identified in Chapter NR 109 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. A reduced species diversity is consistent with the enriched trophic states of the Lakes.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Benet Lake (WBIC 734800) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll-a sample data only exceeded the REC thresholds, and nearly exceeded the FAL use thresholds. This lake was proposed for listing for total phosphorus in 2018.
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.
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
|Project Name (Click for Details)||Year Started|
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|734800||Benet Lake||303128||Lake Shangrila -Benet - Deep Hole||7/17/1990||6/9/2021||Map||Data|
|734800||Benet Lake||10003080||Benet Lake||7/9/2001||9/15/2017||Map||Data|
|734800||Benet Lake||10017776||Benet Lake/Shangrila Lake -- Access at 121st St||10/10/2012||10/10/2012||Map||Data|
Benet Lake is located in the Des Plaines River watershed which is 133.34 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.90%), suburban (11%) and a mix of wetland (8.90%) and other uses (22.30%). This watershed has 216.36 stream miles, 755.01 lake acres and 7,194.07 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.