Puckaway Lake, Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed (UF10)
Puckaway Lake, Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed (UF10)
Puckaway Lake - North Beach (158700)
0.02 Miles
0 - 0.02
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.
Shallow Lowland
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.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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.


Puckaway Lake, in the Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes and Fox River - Berlin Watersheds, is a 5,013.45 acre lake that falls in Green Lake and Marquette Counties. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Green Lake County Lake Puckaway T-15-N, R-11, 12-E, Sections--Many Surface Acres = 5,433; S.D.F. = 2.09 Maximum Depth = 5 feet.

Lake Puckaway is a very shallow widening of the Fox River located in the southwestern part of the county. Silt, muck, and sand are major bottom materials. The Princeton Dam on the Fox River plays an important roll in regulating the levels of Lake Puckaway. In the past there has been much controversy concerning the maintenance of water levels at different times of the year. The lake must be lowered during the winter for flood control purposes and property owners claim this damages fishing and affects the operation of septic tanks. Because the lake is so shallow, there are large expanses of emergent vegetation, of which wild rice is a component. Large numbers of different species of ducks and geese use the lake for nesting and resting. Lake Puckaway is considered to be one of the best coot lakes in the state. Waterfowl hunting pressure is heavy and has resulted in a very high concentration of lead shot in the bottom sediments. The lakeprovides excellent winter and summer fishing, especially for northern pike and panfish. Northern pike, walleye, perch, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, channel catfish, black bullhead, and carp are the most common fish present. White crappie, pumpkinseed, white bass, yellow bass, flathead catfish, white sucker, burbot, sheepshead, and rock sturgeon are also present. Four public access sites with boat ramps are located in the Village of Marquette. Other access sites are located two miles west of Marquette and on the north shore in Marquette County. Development is limited to the Village of Marquette on the south shore and numerous cottages on the north shore. In all, 137 dwellings and two resorts are present. Approximately 50 percent of the shoreline is in wild or semi-wild state.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Puckaway Lake, Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed (UF10) Fish and Aquatic LifePuckaway Lake, Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed (UF10) RecreationPuckaway Lake, Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes Watershed (UF10) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Puckaway Lake North Beach was assessed for the 2018 listing cycle; E. coli data sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. This beach was meeting this designated use and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Puckaway Lake (WBIC 158700) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids in 2010. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus and chlorophyll 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 existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Puckaway Lake (158700) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus and sediment/total suspended solids in 2010. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, exceeded Fish and Aquatic Life use, and chlorophyll data exceeded REC and FAL thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

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.



Lake Management Plan Implementation
Lk Puckaway P&R Dist proposes to conduct a Lake Management Plan Implementation project. Project deliverables include the following: 1) Employ plan implementation coordinator; 3 year term; 2) Public landing Kiosk Management at 3 Public landings, newsletter development, Fact sheet distribution, Lake plan implementation forums 2x/year, Bi-annual regional news releases on progress of plan implementation, Annual status reporting to assc partners & media; 3) Evaluate existing system of gauging stations while maintaining present monitoring schedule, including review for possible enhancements; rapid reporting & graphing, telemetric feasibility, number of stations/locations & estimate of costs; 4) Macro-Scale monitoring strategy will utilize summer aerial photography obtained from FFSA & 3 areas of the lake, Maiden Island, Bluebill Bay & Dead River, will be indexed using a Point-Intercept layout; 5) Radio-telemetry tagging of carp will be implemented; 6) Plot will be established to evaluate the rate of success between natural germination/expansion & artificially enhanced plant beds. Live plants will be planted & evaluated in a manner consistent with the micro-scale monitoring techniques; 7) Landing kiosks will include Lake Zone maps & channel marker buoys will be placed in the identified navigational lanes in the east basin; 8) USAOC & DNR Dam Safety Engineers to determine what modification will be permitted to the current structure, and/or what requirements need to be met; 9) Estimate nutrient & sediment loads from subwatershed areas draining the 805 sq mi watershed; 10) Demonstrate restorations & employ a 10 year natural shoreline restoration program with 10 demonstration sites will be developed & promoted; 11) Appraise existing tern habitat condition & complete tern management planning. Implement a variety of protection measures; 12) Methodology similar to DNR CHD methods will be employed.
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment, Inventory
Green Lake County will conduct a land use and environmental resource inventory of the watershed surrounding Green Lake, Little Green Lake, and Lake Puckaway. The information from the study will be used to update the existing zoning and shoreland protection ordinances and to assess the need for a storm water management ordinance in the County, the stormwater management ordinance, if its need is determined, will be written

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

Puckaway Lake is located in the Buffalo and Puckaway Lakes watershed which is 225.11 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (28.70%), wetland (27.90%) and a mix of forest (24.60%) and other uses (18.80%). This watershed has 305.16 stream miles, 5,877.75 lake acres and 35,513.76 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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

Puckaway Lake - North Beach is considered a Shallow Lowland 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.

Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.