Mission Lake, Plover and Little Plover Rivers Watershed (CW12)
Mission Lake, Plover and Little Plover Rivers Watershed (CW12)
Mission Lake (1005400)
104.44 Acres
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Deep Seepage
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Deep Seepage
Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


Mission Lake is a medium hard water seepage lake having slightly acid, clear water of moderate transparency. The immediate shoreline is predominantly upland (70 percent), of hardwood, conifer, pasture and cultivated land with the remainder wetland of bog, conifer and marsh. The littoral materials are muck (60 percent), and sand (40 percent). The growth of floating and emergent aquatic vegetation is moderate, while submergent vegetation is dense. The fish population is comprised of muskellunge, northern pike, largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, white sucker, common shiner, golden shiner, emerald shiner, johnny darter, and central mudminnow. An unimproved public boat landing with parking is located on the southeast shore. Mission Lake Park with a beach, picnic area and boat landing is located on the northwest side of the lake. An organizational camp (Lutheran Bible Camp), is the only private development on the shoreline. An intermittent outlet flows to Lake 36-10.

Source: 1977, Surface Water Resources of Marathon County Mission Lake, T27N, R9E, Section 36 Surface Acres = 106.7, Maximum Depth = 26 feet, Secchi Disk = 6 feet

Date  1977

Author   Aquatic Biologist


Land Acquisition
The easement will cover approximately 88 acres and will protect the shoreline the water quality of Mission Lake in perpetuity.
North Central Conservancy Trust plans to purchase a conservation easement on the Waypost Camp property on Mission Lake to protect the water quality of Mission Lake.
Lake Management Plan Development
Marathon County proposes to conduct detailed studies of 11 lakes in the Eastern part of Marathon County for the purpose of classifying them and developing plans for their future management. Major project elements in this phased project include: 1) data collection, 2) outreach, 3) management planning and 4) plan implementation.

Management Goals

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Mission Lake is located in the Plover and Little Plover Rivers watershed which is 202.19 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (41.70%), agricultural (23.60%) and a mix of wetland (18%) and other uses (16.60%). This watershed has stream miles, lake acres and 22,761.70 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.

Natural Community

Mission Lake is considered a Deep Seepage under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

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