Fish and Aquatic Life
Big Roche a Cri Lake is a hard water drainage impoundment located on Big Roche-a-Cri Creek. The dam has a 17 foot head and it was recently sold by the Wisconsin Power and Light Company to Adams County. The clear water is alkaline and has a high transparency. Northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, yellow perch, black and brown bullheads and white suckers comprise the fishery. Brown trout are caught occasionally near the upper end of the flowage. Carp are also present, but have not caused a management problem. The lake contains slow-growing panfish, especially bluegill. Aquatic vegetation is a problem during the summer months. There is public access from STH 13 and from a boat launching site immediately east of the highway crossing. Commercial resort facilities are available and there are 99 dwellings around the flowage. Muskrat are present. Mallard and blue-winged teal broods may be observed during the summer.
Source: 1966, Surface Water Resources of Adams County Big Roche-a-Cri Lake, T18N, R6E, Section 5 Surface Acres = 122.3, S.D.F. = 3.9, Maximum Depth = 20 feet
Author Aquatic Biologist
Big Roche a Cri Lake (1374800) 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.
Educate and engage residents
Lakes Planning Grant
hire interns to inventory waterfront properties on Big Roche-a-Cri Creek and Big Roche-a-Cri Lake to identify areas contributing to lake sedimentation, phosphorus inputs and invasive species infestation. Major project elements to include: a) shoreline inventory, b) mapping, c) development of GIS layers, and d) project administration.
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment, Inventory
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment or Inventory
Monitor Invasive Species
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Adams County proposes to provide up to 75% of the cost of shoreland restoration practices to lake front property owners with highly erodible shorelines on Big Roche-a-Cri Lake. Grant funds will be distributed to the property owners to install shoreline protection, riparian buffers and stormwater management practices.
Adams County proposes to wrap up its county-wide lake classification effort. Major project elements to include: 1) completion of water sampling, 2) development of lakes classification report and individual lake summaries, 3) development of a powerpoint presentation, 4) four public meetings, 5) expansion of shoreline restoration packet.
Adams County continue its lake classification efforts through collecting and assessing chemical and biological data on all lakes within the county that afford public access. Major project componants to include: 1) collection and assessment of chemical and biological data, 2) development of a "library" of information for public use, 3) development of management recommendations, 4) I&E for riparians and lake users.
Adams County proposes to initiate a Lakes Classification effort to assist in comprehensive plan development for communities surrounding its lakes with public access. Phase 1 elements, to be funded with this grant, include: 1) delination of surface watersheds and flow patterns, 2) delineation of ground watersheds, 3) identification and mapping of land uses, 4) inventory and mapping of shoreline erosion and development problems, 5) identification and mapping of sensitive/critical areas and natural heritage habitats, 6) verification of wetland delineations, 7) delineations of lake watersheds, 8) development of lake maps
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|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||10017911||Big Roche-A-Cri Lake -- Access Nr Cottonville And 13th||7/18/2010||8/28/2015||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||013052||Big Roche A Cri Lake - Site 2 - Lake Center||6/27/1989||7/1/1996||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||10037965||Big Roche a Cri Lake HAB sample||7/16/2012||7/16/2012||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||10033656||Big Roche A Cri Lake - E End||6/27/2011||7/24/2012||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||10017919||Big Roche-A-Cri Lake -- Access Off Sth 13||6/22/2007||8/10/2015||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||10000538||Big Roche A Cri Lake||7/27/1999||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|1374800||Big Roche a Cri||013007||Big Roche A Cri Lake - Site 1 - West End - Deep Hole||6/27/1989||6/14/2022||Map||Data|
Big Roche a Cri is located in the Big Roche A Cri Creek watershed which is 177.00 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (51.50%), agricultural (31.10%) and a mix of wetland (7.10%) and other uses (10.30%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 11,429.84 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.