Fond Du Lac, Winnebago
Fish and Aquatic Life
Rush Lake, in the Fox River Watershed, is a 2,728.66 acre lake that falls in Fond du Lac and Winnebago Counties. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1975, Surface Water Resources of Winnebago County Rush Lake, T17N,R14E, Several Area = 3,070 acres, Depth = 5 feet, Secchi Disk = 5 feet.
Rush Lake is a large marshy basin lying between two low lying hills in western Winnebago County. The water is clear, hard, and highly productive. Water is supplied through seepage, drainage, and spring flow and water levels are maintained in part by a dam with a height of 5 head feet located on Waukau Creek, the outlet stream. Detritus along with small amounts of gravel and hardpan are major bottom materials. Aquatic vegetation is abundant with rushes and chara being the most common species. Water lilies are also common. Rush Lake is subject to winterkills nearly every year and as such does not provide much sport fishing. Each spring many fish species move up Waukau Creek from the Fox River to spawn in Rush Lake. Since fish, namely walleye and northern pike, produced from this spawning activity would normally die following winter, it was decided to crop as many game fish as possible and stock them into other waters throughout the state. Since 1956 literally thousands of game fish have been taken for restocking. From a fish management point of view, then, Rush Lake is best suited as a game fish rearing pond. Rush Lake, being a shallow highly productive lake, is an excellent wildlife area. Thousands of waterfowl stop at the lake during their spring and fall migrations. Hunting pressure is very heavy during waterfowl season with opening day car counts exceeding 700 during recent years. Altercations between hunters and local property owners over who can hunt where, are commonplace. Lead shot deposition in bottom sediments resulting from years of heavy hunting pressure has created still yet another problem. Waterfowl, especially geese, ingest lead while feeding and as a result often die from lead poisoning. Hazing operations have been carried on during peak migration periods in an attempt to scatter geese from the area. Recent studies by University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh biologists indicate that Rush Lake probably contains the greatest concentration of nesting red- necked grebes in Wisconsin. In addition to waterfowl many aquatic birds such as rails, terns, gulls, and herons are common in the area. Aquatic furbearers such as mink and muskrats are common in the 4,300 acres of adjoining wetlands. Deer are also common. Developments are limited to 31 cottages and dwellings. Public access is available from two state owned access sites. Access is inadequate.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
3 water quality sampling events (July 15 - Sept. 15), 1 Plant Survey (modified Point Intercept), 1 AIS Survey PI plant survey will be modified because Rush Lake is basically a deep marsh.
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|
|141400||Rush Lake||10038268||Rush Lake||7/20/2012||7/20/2012||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10042725||Rush Lake NE Outlet Channel - 7||4/15/2002||4/15/2002||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10007489||Rush Lake||7/27/1999||10/11/2018||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10042670||Rush Lake NE Outlet Channel||4/15/2002||4/15/2002||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10046861||Rush Lake - South End||1/1/2015||8/30/2020||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10042691||Rush Lake NE Outlet Channel - 5||4/15/2002||4/15/2002||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10046710||Phragmites Occurrence - Rush Lake||7/15/2015||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10051130||Rush Lake - North ||8/2/2017||8/28/2019||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039901||Rush Lake - Outlet Channel - RL-PS20A||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039903||Rush Lake - Outlet Channel - RL-PS10A||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10020286||Rush Lake -- South Boat Landing||7/1/2011||10/4/2020||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10042742||Rush Lake NE Outlet Channel - 8||4/15/2002||4/15/2002||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||714003||Rush Lake - Deepest Spot||8/2/1979||10/11/2005||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039900||Rush Lake - Outlet Channel - RL-PS10B||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039905||Rush Lake - South Boat Landing Channel - RL-C2||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039902||Rush Lake - Outlet Channel - RL-PS15||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10039904||Rush Lake - Outlet Channel - RL-PS20B||5/21/2003||5/21/2003||Map||Data|
|141400||Rush Lake||10042690||Rush Lake NE Outlet Channel - 4||4/15/2002||4/15/2002||Map||Data|
Rush Lake is located in the Fox River watershed which is 119.76 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.60%), wetland (18.40%) and a mix of grassland (13.90%) and other uses (10.10%). This watershed has 236.73 stream miles, 3,102.34 lake acres and 13,826.50 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.