Fish and Aquatic Life
The high total phosphorus levels in Spirit and North Spirit Lakes appear to be mostly naturally occurring. The watershed is fairly small and mostly undeveloped other than the shoreline. High groundwater TP concentrations are present in much of Taylor County. [suggestion to] sample some shoreline residential wells for TP. Wetlands also seem to contribute to higher TP's in this area.] CR 2009
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1983, Surface Water Resources of Price County Spirit Lake T32N,T34N, R3E, Sec. 5, 32. Surface area 126.4 acres, maximum depth = 9 ft, MPA = 47 ppm, Secchi disk = 5 ft. Spirit Lake is a soft water, drainage lake with a 2-ft head water level control structure on the outlet. The lake is located on the Price-Taylor County line and has an outlet flow of 8.2 ft(3)/sec. It has an occasional partial winterkill. The lake is the headwaters of the Spirit River and receives flow from two feeder streams, one each from the north and south. Its fish population consists of muskellunge, perch, largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, pumpkinseeds, black and yellow bullheads, white suckers, redhorse and minnows. The lake shoreline is 70% upland, 20% sedge swamp and 10% tag alder swamp. Steep bank is found along 65% of the shoreline. State Highway 102 runs along the east shore of the lake. The littoral bottom of Spirit Lake is 65% gravel, 15% sand and 20% muck, Aquatic vegetation is common throughout the lake. Wildlife use is confined to a few nesting and migratory ducks. Private development consists of 2 resorts, 3 boat rentals and 35 cottages and homes. the dam is the only public frontage and is owned by the Town of Spirit.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Spirit Lake (WBIC 1513000) was placed on the impaired waters list for Mercury in 1998 and total phosphorus in 2012. 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. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Spirit Lake (1513000) was placed on the impaired waters list for Mercury in 1998 and total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, and chlorophyll data exceed REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data do not exceed Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
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.
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|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||10041960||Spirit Lakes - Outlet (SW-3)||5/31/2014||10/11/2014||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||10019372||Spirit Lake -- Access Nr State Hwy 102||9/9/2004||7/27/2019||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||613123||Spirit Lake - Inlet 2||10/29/1973||10/9/1974||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||613124||Spirit Lake - Deep Hole||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||513097||Spirit Lake - Deep Hole||6/12/1986||8/21/2022||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||613076||Little Spirit Lake - Deepest Spot||7/17/1973||8/29/2017||Map||Data|
|1513000||Spirit Lake||10014602||Spirit Lake||11/4/1995||7/26/2021||Map||Data|
Spirit Lake is located in the Spirit River watershed which is 169.02 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (57.40%), wetland (35.40%) and a mix of grassland (3%) and other uses (4.30%). This watershed has 198.41 stream miles, 1,045.63 lake acres and 27,054.41 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Low for runoff impacts on lakes and Low for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Low. 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.