Friendship Lake, Little Roche A Cri Creek Watershed (CW01)
Friendship Lake, Little Roche A Cri Creek Watershed (CW01)
Friendship Lake (1352000)
124.94 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
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.
Shallow Lowland
Shallow 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.


Friendship Lake, Adams County, is a 115-acre impoundment of the Little Roche-A-Cri Creek with a maximum depth of 16 feet. The fishery of the lake consists mainly of warm water fish species including large mouth bass and panfish. The stream flowing into the lake is classified as a Class I fishery. Brown trout have been known to reside in the lake once fall turn over has occurred. During the summer, increased plant densities have become a problem resulting in low dissolved oxygen levels and stagnate backwaters. The lake association along with the DNR have created a lake management plan and established self-help monitoring to reduce aquatic plant populations and other possible problems.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1966, Surface Water Resources of Adams County Friendship Lake, T17N, R6E, Section 5 Surface Acres = 115.2, S.D.F.= 3.69, Maximum Depth = 16 feet This is an impoundment of Little Roche-a-Cri Creek. The dam has a 16 foot head and it was recently sold by the Wisconsin Power and Light Company to the Village of Friendship. The clear water is alkaline and has a moderate transparency. Largemouth bass, bluegills, pumpkinseed, black crappies, bullheads, yellow perch, white suckers, and carp comprise the fishery. Although present, carp are relatively scarce and have not posed a use problem. Commercial facilities are available and there are 54 private dwellings. There is a public access and swimming beach at the west end of the lake near the dam and a road crosses the lake near its upper end. Muskrat are present. Dabbler species of ducks nest at the lake.

Date  1966

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Friendship Lake, Little Roche A Cri Creek Watershed (CW01) Fish and Aquatic LifeFriendship Lake, Little Roche A Cri Creek Watershed (CW01) RecreationFriendship Lake, Little Roche A Cri Creek Watershed (CW01) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Friendship Lake is a 115-acre impoundment on Little Roche-a-Cri Creek in central Adams County, Wisconsin. With a maximum depth of 16 feet and an average depth is 6 feet, Friendship Lake is classified as a shallow water resource. Various projects have been conducted for the management of Friendship Lake. In 1979, there was a winter drawdown of 8-10". In 1987, a small dredging project was carried out. Chemical control of aquatic plants has been attempted in Friendship Lake.

Arsenic treatments were lake wide treatments. Arsenic stays in the sediments, resulting in the necessity to treat lake sediments as hazardous waste. The treatments in 1995-95 were conducted at a single shoreline east of the bridge on the north shore.

Friendship Lake District applied for a grant to purchase a mechanical aquatic
plant harvester in 1992. Prior to mechanical harvesting, plant growth was described as solid vegetation over more than half of the lake. This heavy growth restricted the use of Friendship Lake during the summer, preventing landowners on most of the lake from accessing the open areas.

Mechanical harvesting began in 1993. Records of harvesting were sent to the
DNR from 1993-1995 and 1998-2203 (Table 2). Records were not found for
1996-87. During those years for which there are records, over 1600 loads of
aquatic plants, weighing more than three and a half million pounds, were
removed from Friendship Lake.

Date  2003

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

Friendship Lake (1352000) was placed on the impaired waters list for excess algal growth in 2014. Evaluations every two years from 2014 to 2018 showed continued excess algal growth. In 2020 algal growth was reduced, but further sampling is needed before delisting because water levels have been low due to issues with the dam.

Date  2019

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.



Lake Classification
Adams County proposes to wrap up its county-wide lake classification effort. Major project elements to include: 1) completion of water sampling, 2) development of lakes classification report and individual lake summaries, 3) development of a powerpoint presentation, 4) four public meetings, 5) expansion of shoreline restoration packet.
Lake Classification
Adams County continue its lake classification efforts through collecting and assessing chemical and biological data on all lakes within the county that afford public access. Major project componants to include: 1) collection and assessment of chemical and biological data, 2) development of a "library" of information for public use, 3) development of management recommendations, 4) I&E for riparians and lake users.
Lake Classification
Adams County proposes to initiate a Lakes Classification effort to assist in comprehensive plan development for communities surrounding its lakes with public access. Phase 1 elements, to be funded with this grant, include: 1) delination of surface watersheds and flow patterns, 2) delineation of ground watersheds, 3) identification and mapping of land uses, 4) inventory and mapping of shoreline erosion and development problems, 5) identification and mapping of sensitive/critical areas and natural heritage habitats, 6) verification of wetland delineations, 7) delineations of lake watersheds, 8) development of lake maps


Management Recommendations:

1) Lake District to continue monitoring water quality in Friendship Lake through the Self-Help Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.
2) DNR should designate sensitive areas within Friendship Lake.
3) Chemical treatments for plant growth are not recommended in Friendship Lake.
4) Lake residents to restore natural shoreline around Friendship Lake.
5) Lake District to establish emergent plant beds for habitat and to stabilize the shore.
6) Lake District and DNR revise the harvesting plan to avoid beds of lily pads and large-leaf pondweed and to target Eurasian watermilfoil and common waterweed.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

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

Friendship Lake is located in the Little Roche A Cri Creek watershed which is 196.20 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (55.60%), agricultural (23.20%) and a mix of wetland (9.70%) and other uses (11.50%). This watershed has 108.40 stream miles, 12,554.07 lake acres and 18,156.97 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

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

Friendship 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.

Fisheries & Habitat

Friendship Lake is a mesotrophic lake with fair water quality and clarity.
Filamentous algae is abundant, especially in the 1.5-5ft depth zone. The aquatic plant community colonized more than three-quarters of the littoral zone to a maximum depth of 10.5 feet with the most abundant plant growth in the 1.5-5ft depth zone. The community is also characterized by average quality, good species diversity, an above average tolerance to disturbance and a serious lack of emergent plant growth.

Vallisneria americana is the dominant species within the plant community, especially in the 1.5-10ft depth zone. Elodea canadensis was sub-dominant, especially in the 0-1.5ft depth zone. A healthy aquatic plant community is important because it can improve water quality, provide valuable habitat resources for fish and wildlife, resist the spread of non-native species and check excessive growth of tolerant species that could crowd out the more sensitive species, thus reducing diversity.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist