Fish and Aquatic Life
Torch Lake, in the Tamarack Pioneer River Watershed, is a 39.17 acre lake that falls in Vilas County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Vilas County Torch Lake, T-41-N, R-10-E, Section 20,
Torch Lake is an infertile seepage lake, having clear, slightly acid water of moderate transparency. Bottom materials consist of sand and muck, with gravel and rock. The principal fish species present are the muskellunge, largemouth bass and pan fish. The lake is considered to have a stunted pan fish problem. Public access is possible by the use of a town road with parking facilities. Public use facilities consist of one resort. There is one cottage located on the shore line.
Area = 35 Surface Acres Maximum Depth 14 feet
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Torch Lake 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 water was meeting its designated uses and 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.
Vilas County will acquire 60 acres of land with frontage on Torch Lake and the Wisconsin River for lake protection and public outdoor recreation purposes.
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|
|1022700||Torch Lake||10006086||Torch Lake||7/27/1999||9/21/2017||Map||Data|
|1022700||Torch Lake||10039840||Torch Lake Beach||7/21/2008||8/27/2018||Map||Data|
Torch Lake 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.