Fish and Aquatic Life
Helen Lake, in the Upper Little Wolf River Watershed, is a 88.79 acre lake that falls in Portage County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1972, Surface Water Resources of Portage County
Lake Helen, T25N, R10E, Sections 25, 26, Surface Acres-78.4,
S.D.F.-1.26, Maximum Depth-18 feet
Lake Helen is a moderately hard water seepage lake located two
miles east of Rosholt. The water is very clear and warm. The
littoral zone is extensive, covering approximately 80 percent of
the lake. Sand is the basic bottom material with small areas of
silt also present. Firm sand bottom next to shore provides good
swimming around most of the lake. There are no inlets, but an
intermittent outlet flows into Flume Creek. The lake appears to
have been very scenic at one time, however, the shoreline is now
platted with over 60 cottages already present. More are being
built and even lots in a field across the road which runs around
the lake are being developed. Population density will soon be one
of this lake's biggest problems. Other developments are one small
resort and one boat rental. A small public access and picnic area
are present; however, no boat launching site or swimming beach is
available. northern pike, perch, bluegill, and pumpkinseed are the
most common fish species. Others present include walleye,
largemouth bass, black crappie, and white sucker. The lake is
frequently subject to winterkill, the latest having occurred during
the winter of 1968-69. Use of the lake by wildlife is light. A
few muskrats are present and small numbers of migrating waterfowl
may use the lake.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Helen Lake (287200) 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.
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|
|287200||Lake Helen||10005130||Lake Helen||7/27/1999||7/24/2019||Map||Data|
|287200||Lake Helen||10017742||Lake Helen -- Access||6/22/2008||9/7/2020||Map||Data|
Lake Helen is located in the Upper Little Wolf River watershed which is 182.05 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (46.80%), wetland (22.70%) and a mix of agricultural (20.60%) and other uses (10.00%). This watershed has 160.69 stream miles, 841.95 lake acres and 26,786.17 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.