Redstone Lake, Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River Watershed (LW23)
Redstone Lake, Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River Watershed (LW23)
Redstone Lake (1280400)
604.55 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.
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.
This lake is impaired
Excess Algal Growth
Unknown Pollutant, Total Phosphorus
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 Lowland
Deep lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. 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.


This 612-acre impoundment on Big Creek was created in the early 1970�s for real estate
interests. Lake Redstone supports a good fishery, dominated by largemouth bass, stocked
walleye, stocked musky, abundant white crappie and lesser numbers of bluegill, pumpkinseed
and yellow perch. Some channel catfish are present, likely from a 1982 stocking and sparse
reproduction occurs. Smallmouth bass have been introduced by a local Bass Club and appear
to be doing well. Carp are border-line abundant, and comprised almost totally of large fish
(>25"). Aquatic vegetation is sparse due to poor light penetration and few shallow areas.
Carp are notorious for up-rooting aquatic vegetation, but there is little vegetation to impact.
Nevertheless, a carp removal project would benefit the lake by eliminating competition with
other species and turbidity in the shallows during their spawning period. It should be
successful as there is no evidence of carp recruitment occurring. Eurasian water milfoil can
be found in the lake.
The lake reflects the extensive agricultural watershed it drains with heavy, late summer algal
blooms. Organic decomposition depletes the oxygen below 12 feet during the summer. A
very active lake district exists on the lake and they have been studying and conducting water
quality improvement projects with noticeable results. One of the district�s projects is the
development of a sediment delivery model for the lake. This project is funded by a Lake
Planning Grant from the WDNR. Another Lake Planning Grant was used to fund monitoring
on the lake in 2000. The monitoring examined the potential to reduce phosphorus
concentrations at the bottom of the lake. One of the options proposed was the installation of a
bottom draw on the lake to discharge the phosphorus laden water from the lake. A feasibility
study was conducted by WDNR to evaluate this option. The study found that overall, a
bottom withdrawal would provide only modest water quality benefit to the lake. In addition,
due to the high levels of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia concentrations in the hypolimnetic
water, effluent limits and potential wastewater treatment of the discharge would be needed to
prevent nuisance odors and to protect the downstream fishery in Big Creek.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Sauk County Lake Redstone, T13N R3E, Sec. 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, 24,

A relatively large drainage lake created in 1964 by a 38-foot high earthen dike across Big Creek in northwestern Sauk County. A scenic waterfall which tumbles 34 feet over a natural rock dam has been created at the eastern end of the dike. The lake was created to attract private development and many cottages and dwellings surround the lake at the present time. Northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, and panfish constitute the main sport fishery. Aquatic vegetation and stunted panfish are use problems. Annual chemical spraying is used to control vegetation. Swimming, pleasure boating, and water skiing are popular sports in the summer, while the lake attracts many snowmobile enthusiasts in the winter. Muskrat and mink inhabit the upper extremities of the lake. A few puddle ducks visit the lake during the spring and fall migratory periods. Other game assets common to the watershed are frequently seen in the surrounding uplands. Public frontage totals .15 mile. Lake Redstone County Park is located at the dam where a swimming beach, picnic tables, and parking are provided for the public. A boat launching ramp with parking is located on the northern end of the lake near the inlet of the East Branch of Big Creek. Additional access is possible from a town road running parallel to the dam and one bridge crossing near the inlet of the West Branch of Big Creek.

Surface area = 622.08 acres, S.D.F. 4.69, Maximum depth = 36 feet.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Redstone Lake, Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River Watershed (LW23) Fish and Aquatic LifeRedstone Lake, Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River Watershed (LW23) RecreationRedstone Lake, Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River Watershed (LW23) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Lake Redstone (WBIC 1280400) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014 and eutrophication with an unknown pollutant in 2016. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. The Unknown Pollutant was proposed for deletion because the impairment Eutrophication was linked to the pollutant Total Phosphorus.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Lake Redstone (1280400) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, but not Fish and Aquatic Life use, and chlorophyll data exceeds both REC and FAL thresholds. Based on the most updated information, Unknown Pollutant/Eutrophication pollutant-impairment combination was added.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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.



Aquatic Plant Management Plan
Aquatic Plant Monitoring or Survey
Map Depth of Lake (Bathymetry)
Map Invasive Species

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

Lake Redstone is located in the Crossman Creek and Little Baraboo River watershed which is 213.80 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (36.40%), grassland (32.90%) and a mix of agricultural (20.40%) and other uses (10.30%). This watershed has 466.61 stream miles, 244.11 lake acres and 6,321.59 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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

Redstone Lake is considered a Reservoir 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.