Fish and Aquatic Life
Fox River At Buffalo Lake, in the Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed, is a 2,178.87 acre lake that falls in Marquette County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Marquette County Buffalo Lake, T14, 15N, R9, 10E, Surface Acres = 2,447.0, S.D.F. = 4.74, Maximum Depth = 15 feet.
A long, irregular lake on the Upper Fox River above Montello. This was originally a natural lake created by the deposit of sediment in the downstream area forming a natural lake created by the deposit of sediment in the downstream area forming a natural barrier (Smith, 1908). Later a dam with three-foot head was constructed to provide gristmill power. The present structure maintains a six-foot head but is not employed for power. The lake was, for a short time after 1856, part of a navigation system connecting the Wisconsin River with Lake Michigan (Portage to Green Bay). Largemouth bass, panfish, walleye, channel catfish and northern pike constitute the fishery. Carp are abundant and are a major use problem. Weed beds are continually diminishing in size and the water is turbid as a result of rough fish activity and wind-wave action in the shallow water. Public access is amply afforded by road ends and state lands acquired from the federal government in 1961. The river above and below the lake is traversable by boat, and recently constructed "pullover" trolley offers relatively easy portage of the dam. Waterfowl make extensive use of the lake. This is perhaps the only lake in Marquette County with potential for boating.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Buffalo Lake North Side 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.
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|
Buffalo Lake is located in the Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes watershed which is 225.11 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (28.70%), wetland (27.90%) and a mix of forest (24.60%) and other uses (18.80%). This watershed has 305.16 stream miles, 5,877.75 lake acres and 35,513.76 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium 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.