Fish and Aquatic Life
Sunset Lake is a clear, hard water seepage lake five miles northeast of Nelsonville. Vast stretches of sand and gravel in the -littoral area provide excellent beaches. Small areas of rubble and silt are also present. The lake develops a thermocline at approximately thirteen feet. In 1954, the lake was chemically treated to remove the entire fish population. It was restocked with trout and largemouth bass. However, local fishermen ruined the job stocking bluegills, pumpkinseed, suckers, redhorse, and many minnows. In 1965, the lake was again treated in an attempt to remove a stunted panfish population that developed. The present fishery includes largemouth bass, brook, brown, and rainbow trout, and cisco. The lake furnishes some excellent trout fishing. The lake is also a well known recreation spot. Boating, water skiing, sailings, and swimming are but a few of the activities. Conflicts occasionally arise, especially between water skiers and people sailing or those trying to fish. A county park is present on the east side. Picnic tables, concession stand, grills, toilets, beach, playground, and boat ramp are part of these facilities. A large parking area is also present. Camp Chicagami, a Boy Scout camp, occupies most of the southeast side of the lake. Approximately twenty cottages occupy the remainder of the shoreline. Many of these are well hidden from view from the lake and do not detract from the aesthetic value of the lake. Significant numbers of ducks, especially divers, use the lake during their migration.
Source: 1972, Surface Water Resources of Portage County Sunset Lake, T24N, R10E, Section 22, Surface Acres-61.2, S.D.F.- 1.15, Maximum Depth-55 feet.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
|199700||Sunset Lake||10005108||Sunset Lake||7/27/1999||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|199700||Sunset Lake||10017748||Sunset Lake -- Access||6/15/2008||7/7/2019||Map||Data|
|199700||Sunset Lake||10052712||Sunset Lake - Sunset Lake Park Beach||7/25/2018||8/29/2018||Map||Data|
Sunset Lake is located in the Waupaca River watershed which is 290.77 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (43.70%), agricultural (30.40%) and a mix of grassland (14%) and other uses (11.80%). This watershed has 231.34 stream miles, 2,456.10 lake acres and 14,124.68 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.