Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07)
Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07)
Hattie Sherwood Beach, Green Lake (146100)
0.01 Miles
0 - 0
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's Riverine Natural Communities.
Two-Story
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of water monitoring stored in the SWIMS system. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
2017
Unknown
 
Green Lake
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.
No
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.
No
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.
No

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.
Two-Story
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.
FAL
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.

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Green Lake County Big Green Lake, T-15, 16-N, E-12, 13-E Surface Acres = 7,325; S.D.F. = 1.77 Maximum Depth = 229 feet.

Big Green Lake is without doubt, the most important singlewater resource in Green Lake County. At 229 feet it is not only the deepest natural inland lake in the state but, also between the Finger Lakes of New York and the Rocky Mountains (Frey, 1963). A hydrographic map of Big Green Lake is shown in Figure 13. Big Green Lake is situated in a large preglacial valley formed by the action of some forgotten river. The Cary glacier scoured this valley depositing a large recessional moraine across its western end and was successful in damming a glacial river causing it to flood the scoured valley and overflow into the present day Puchyan-Fox drainage system. In reality Big Green Lake is a natural impoundment (Juday, 1914). The watershed of Big Green Lake is mostly in agriculture and covers some 115 square miles. Silver Creek on the east end of the lake is the largest tributary but Spring Creek on the west also contributes significantly. Roy Creek, Hill Creek, Dakin Creek, and White Creek, also drain into Big Green Lake but are minor tributaries. The outlet is the Puchyan River which drains into the Fox River six miles northwest of the City of Green Lake. A dam constructed on the outlet maintains the water level about five feet higher than the natural lake basin. Littoral bottom materials consist primarily of and gravel. Bedrock, silt, and muck are also present to a more limited extent. Fish cover is provided primarily by rocks and boulders and sparse aquatic vegetation. Big Green is an oligotrophic (Figure 14) lake managed for both cold and warm water fish. Cold water species include brown and rainbow trout, splake, cisco, and lake trout. Most common warm water species are northern pike, walleye, perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, rock bass, white bass, channel catfish, and black bullhead. Pumpkinseed, carp, and white sucker are also present. The lake is well known for the excellent summer and winter fishing it offers.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

The lake offers a wide variety of recreation uses. Boating, sailing, water skiing, fishing, hunting, swimming, and diving are popular. In addition, there are many lakeshore activities such as sunbathing, picnicking, and the intangible aesthetic values of the lake. Some use conflicts are present. A number of property owners desire weed removal from their shore area, while fishermen and conservationists are desirous of maintaining the aquatic plants for the benefit of the fishery. At one time the property owners association asked that ice fishing be prohibited because of sanitation and litter problems involved. High power motor boats and water skiers often conflict with fishermen and sailboaters. A recent regulation designed to protect undersize lake trout by prohibiting ice fishing with minnows at depths greater than fifty feet received much local criticism. Tourism is met with disfavor by many residents. Development consists of over 500 dwellings, several resorts, and boat rentals offering over 100 boats for rent. Charter boats are available for lake trout trolling as well as professional guides for fishermen not familiar with the lake. The City of Green Lake is located at the outlet. The presence of all this development is a constant threat toover enrichment or eutrophication which if unchecked will eventually depreciate water quality. The Green Lake Sanitary District has been established to prevent pollution and protect the water quality. Its protective impact remains to be evaluated. Public access to Big Green is well developed. One county park with a large parking area and six boat ramps is present at the southwest corner. Other public facilities present at this park include a confection stand, beach, toilets, picnic area, and bath houses. Other access is available through seven town roads, two with boat ramps, and one county road with parking and two launching ramps. The City of Green Lake maintains two parks and two streets that provide access to the lake. Navigable water access via Silver Creek and Puchyan River is also present.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Green Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) Fish and Aquatic LifeGreen Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) RecreationGreen Lake, Big Green Lake Watershed (UF07) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Green Lake Hattie Sherwood Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Sunset County Park was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Pilgrim Center Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Dodge County Park Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Camp Grow Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

General Condition

Green Lake Aba Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Big Green Lake (WBIC 146100) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2002 for PCBs in fish tissue and 2014 for total phosphorus/low DO. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; 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 did not exceed REC or FAL thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Big Green Lake (146100) was placed on the impaired waters list in 2002 for PCBs in fish tissue and 2014 for total phosphorus/low DO. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Total phosphorus data did not exceed REC or FAL thresholds. This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water remains listed for total phosphorus because data were not clearly below listing thresholds.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

Condition

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 2016 . See also 'monitoring' and 'projects'.

Reports

Recommendations

Watercraft Inspections Clean Boats, Clean Waters
Monitor Invasive Species
Control Invasive Species
Biocontrol of purple loosestrife
Aquatic Plant Monitoring or Survey
Used Point-Intercept method
Train Volunteers
Conducted workshops to train volunteers in monitoring and prevention methods; monitoring for zebra mussels and other AIS
Carp Removal
Project included controlling carp through removal activities and the operation of carp barriers; monitoring the extent of EWM annually; conducting an aquatic plant survey in Silver Creek using the point-intercept method; performing biocontrol of purple loosestrife, including building, operating and maintaining plant nurseries; and developing a long-range funding strategy for aquatic invasive species control
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE ASSOCIATION, INC.: LMI-Big Green Lake D&F Water Quality Improvements, The Green Lake Association is sponsoring a lake protection grant on Big Green Lake in Green Lake County.The main goal of this D&F Study is to study the metalimnetic oxygen minima issue, determine biological / chemical causative mechanisms and create models to assess degree of potential water quality improvements from management actions.
Habitat Restoration - Shoreland
Practices include: fish sticks, 350 feet2 native plantings, diversion practices, rock infiltration practices, and rain gardens on 6 lakeshore properties.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE COUNTY: LCO-Green Lake Co. Shorline Inventory, Green Lake County Land Conservation Department is sponsoring a Lake Protection Grant to conduct a shoreline inventory of lakes in the county. The lakes to be inventoried are Big Green, Little Green, Puckaway, Big Twin, Little Twin, Spring (Kingston), Spring (Green Lake), Grand, Heart and Maria.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: HLk-Green Lake Fish Sticks, Green Lake Sanitary District will implement best practices described in Wisconsin's 2014-2017 Healthy Lakes Implementation Plan. Practices include: fish sticks, 350 feet2 native plantings, diversion practices, rock infiltration practices, and rain gardens on 6 lakeshore properties. The District will also monitor fish sticks dependent habitat. The best practices require a contract to remain in effect for 10 years and must include minimum operation and maintenance requirements and data as described in grant condition #16.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: LMI-Management Plan Implementation, Green Lake Sanitary District is sponsoring a lake protection grant on Big Green Lake in Green Lake County. The main goal of this protection grant is to reduce the nutrient loading to the lake through various activities: 1. Identification and implementation of strategic BMP's in the tributary sub-watersheds. 2. Identification of upland buffer problems/opportunities in the impaired tributary sub-watersheds 3. Evaluation and study of the potential to restore the County K Estuary to a plant dominated system. 4. Education and Informational Activities
Social Survey of Residents or Users
Lake Management Plan Development
Information and Education
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Created an interactive watershed map which includes location, description, benefits, and photos of best management practices
Data analysis, report production
Conducted a regression analysis for phosphorus in Green Lake
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake Sanitary District "ABA-West" Land Acquisition, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 24.5 acres of land known as the "ABA-West" property.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake Sanitary District "ABA-East" Land Acquisition, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 6.7 acres of land known as the "ABA-East" property.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 24.5 acres of land known as the "ABA-West" property.
Land Acquisition
Purchased property - "ABA-East"
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake Sanitary District Land Acquisition, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 52.899 acres of land on Green Lake for conservancy purposes.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 52 acres of land on Green Lake for conservancy purposes.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 3.21 acres of land along Wick Road known as the Specht property for conservancy purposes.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake Land Acquisition (Mitchell's Glen), The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 12 acres of land along Big Green Lake known as the Mitchell's Glen parcel.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake Conservancy Wick Rd (Specht) Land Acquisition, The Green Lake Conservancy Foundation proposes to purchase 3.21 acres of land along Wick Road known as the Specht property for conservancy purposes.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Conducted comprehensive water quality appraisal at 2 sites within Green Lake. The protocol is USGS trophic monitoring protocol, to include: 1. 6x /year, sampling events to include profiling, nutrient concentrations 2. Archived data and annual reporting in USGS formal publication 3. Cost sharing from USGS source and GLSD. Specific actions are identified within the original planning grant proposal
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Carp Barrier
Installed Carp Barriers
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: RES-Green Lake Carp Barrier Project, This project will install two carp barriers at key locations tributary to Green Lake. Both areas to be protected are deep water marshes that flow through channel constrictions (bridges) into Green lake. These marsh areas have historically supported carp activity and recruitment. Each barrier will be constructed to allow boat passage yet prevent carp movement.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Green Lake (Guskey) Land Acquisition, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 30 acres of land along Silver Creek which drains directly into Big Green Lake to be used as nonpoint source abatement.
Best Management Practices, Implement
Implemented best management practices (BMP) within the lake watershed to reduce nutrient/sediment loadings and protect and improve shoreline habitat.
Land Acquisition
Purchased 30 acres of land along Silver Creek which drains directly into Big Green Lake to be used as nonpoint source abatement.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: RES-Green Lake Watershed BMP Project, The Green Lake Sanitary District will implement best management practices (BMP) within the lake watershed to reduce nutrient/sediment loadings and protect and improve shoreline habitat. Earthen and cultural practices will include sediment retention basins, reduced tillage, buffers and nutrient management. These BMPs will be employed within subwatersheds identified as being priority areas for pollutant reduction.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Big Green Lake Land Acquisition-Bay Rd, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 20.5 acres of vacant land with approximately 660 feet of frontage along Big Green Lake. The Sanitary District will keep it in its naturally landscaped state for conservancy purposes.
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: ACQ-Big Green Lake Land Acquisition-Blackbird Pt, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to purchase 6.29 acres of vacant land directly behind shoreline residential lots on Big Green Lake. The Sanitary District will keep it in its naturally landscaped state for conservancy purposes.
Land Acquisition
Purchased vacant land for conservancy purposes
Land Acquisition
Purchased 20.5 acres of vacant land with approximately 660 feet of frontage along Big Green Lake. The Sanitary District will keep it in its naturally landscaped state for conservancy purposes.
Diagnostic/Feasibility Assessment
Conducted a feasibility study to assess nutrient loadings on Big Green Lake.
Water Quality Modeling
Developed watershed/lake models for predicting trophic impacts
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE SANITARY DISTRICT: LMI-DF-Big Green Lake Loading Feasibility Study, The Green Lake Sanitary District proposes to conduct a feasibility study to assess nutrient loadings on Big Green Lake. The project will lay the foundation for reducing nutrient and sediment loads with the lake andits tributaries. Major components will be a watershed inventory, develop watershed/lake models for predicting trophic impacts, study long-term historical influences, develop objectives and public education and awareness alternatives.
Monitor Water Level
Operate, maintain and publish stage, flow and load data at both stage-discharge stations at White Creek and Green Lake Outlet. 2) Operate, maintain and publish stage, flow and load data at stage-discharge station at Green Lake Inlet.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Hydrologic Budget Development
ATTAINS Protection Approach
GREEN LAKE COUNTY: LCO-Green Lake County Ordinance Development Project, Green Lake County will conduct a land use and environmental resource inventory of the watershed surrounding Green Lake, Little Green Lake, and Lake Puckaway. The information from the study will be used to update the existing zoning and shoreland protection ordinances and to assess the need for a storm water management ordinance in the County, the stormwater management ordinance, if its need is determined, will be written
Comprehensive Planning Studies
Mapped the watershed and sensitive areas and identified areas contributing polluntants. Mapped sub-watershed. Prepared lake protection plan.
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Informational Meetings
Issue News/Media Release
Information about lake protection plan disseminated to the public by newsletter, local newspaper articles, a comprehensive management plan, public meetings and report mailings
Diagnostic/Feasibility Assessment
Assess feasibility and costs of further phosphorus reduction from effluent of Ripon Sewage Treatment Plant: a) evaluation of current phosphorus removal practices and their associated costs, b)evaluation of various strategies to reduce levels of phosphorus being discharged as to their costs and their potential for phosphorus reduction, c) small-scale pilot program implementing option chosen from evaluation in b. above, devaluation and monitoring of phosphorus reduction in conjunction with pilot program
Social Survey of Residents or Users
Conducted a survey of residents, by mail, to assess: a) public opinion of large water impoundments, b) public opinion of eminent domain andcondemnation powers, c) which units of government will need to be involved with the project and at what level.
Monitor Fish Tissue
Aquatic Invasive Species Plan
Developed comprehensive AIS plan addressing elements of prevention, control, monitoring, policy development, research, education/information, coordination and regional integration
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
Big Green Lake PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Big Green Lake watershed is one of the first nine priority watersheds throughout the state. The Big Green Lake was selected because of the severity of water quality problems, the relative importance of nonpoint sources to the achievement of water quality standards, and the capability and willingness of local governmental agencies to carry out the planning and implementing program. The purpose of the plan is twofold: to set project goals and objectives and to outline an implementation program to reach those objectives. As part of accomplishing this purpose the following must be identified: 1) water quality problems 2) significant nonpoint and point sources 3) water quality objectives 4) priority management area 5) needed BMPs 6) implementing and participating agencies and responsibilities 7) costs.
Nine Key Element Plan
Big Green Lake PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - The Big Green Lake watershed is one of the first nine priority watersheds throughout the state. The Big Green Lake was selected because of the severity of water quality problems, the relative importance of nonpoint sources to the achievement of water quality standards, and the capability and willingness of local governmental agencies to carry out the planning and implementing program. The purpose of the plan is twofold: to set project goals and objectives and to outline an implementation program to reach those objectives. As part of accomplishing this purpose the following must be identified: 1) water quality problems 2) significant nonpoint and point sources 3) water quality objectives 4) priority management area 5) needed BMPs 6) implementing and participating agencies and responsibilities 7) costs.

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

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

Green Lake is located in the Big Green Lake watershed which is 107.31 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (54.10%), open (12%) and a mix of grassland (10.10%) and other uses (23.70%). This watershed has 141.08 stream miles, 655.29 lake acres and 5,102.67 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available 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

Hattie Sherwood Beach, Green 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.