Fish and Aquatic Life
Rainbow Spring, in the Tamarack Pioneer River Watershed, is a 2.05 acre springs-lake that falls in Vilas County. This springs-lake is an outstanding/exceptional resource water under NR102 as well as a Class I Trout Water under the Fisheries Program. This springs-lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Vilas County Rainbow Springs Lake, T-41-N, R-9-E, Section 29, Area = 3 Surface Acres, Maximum Depth = 15 feet Rainbow Springs Lake is a spring-fed lake of moderate fertility. It has slightly alkaline, clear water of high transparency. The bottom materials consist principally of sand, gravel and rock. The outlet stream is considered to be nonnavigable water. Principal fish species present in the Springs are brook trout. There is no public access available to this water, despite its excellent trout fishery. There are no public use facilities available. There is one cottage located on or about the shore. Beaver are known to be present and the lake is used as a resting place by an occasional puddle duck or diving duck on the spring and fall migration.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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
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Rainbow Spring is located in the Tamarack Pioneer River watershed which is 209.26 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (69.20%), wetland (18.50%) and a mix of open (10%) and other uses (2.30%). This watershed has 183.22 stream miles, 14,006.68 lake acres and 23,826.05 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.