Fish and Aquatic Life
, in the St. Germain River Watershed, is a 1,621.72 acre lake that falls in Vilas County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Vilas County St. Germain (Big) Lake T-40-N, R-8-E, Sections 19, 20
Big St. Germain is a drainage lake of moderate fertility. It has alkaline, clear water of moderate transparency. The bottom material consists chiefly of sand, with some gravel, rock and muck. Both the inlet and the outlet streams are considered navigable. The principal fish species present in the lake are muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, large and smallmouth bass and pan fish. The lake has a fluctuating water level problem which is created by a water control structure, three feet in height located at the outlet of Fawn Lake, which is down river from Big St. Germain. Presently, there is no public access to this lake except by navigable water. Public use facilities include 11 resorts with boat rentals. There is one commercially operated campground and 38 cottages are located on the shore line. The lake is of little significance to fur bearers. The lake is used by mallard, black and bluewing teal ducks as a nesting site. The lake is also of value to ducks on the spring and fall migration, as well as to coots and Canada geese. The lake is one of the more popular diving duck hunting areas.
Area = 1,463 Surface Acres, Maximum Depth = 35 feet
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Big Saint Germain Lake (WBIC 1591100) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. 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
Big Saint Germain Lake (1591100) 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 and Fish and Aquatic Life use, chlorophyll data only exceed REC thresholds, not FAL. Based on the most updated information, the impairment of Excess Algal Growth was added.
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.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
Town of St. Germain proposes an extensive land and water resource protection program that includes the areas in and around Big and Little St. Germain, Lost Lake and other area water resources. This project will be a broad based long term cooperative planning effort involving the St. Germain Planning Committee, town officials, UW-Extension office and concerned citizens.
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|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10018761||Big Saint Germain Lake -- Boat Ramp||7/31/2005||10/3/2019||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10033925||Big St. Germain -- Private Access off South Shore Drive||6/14/2011||6/14/2011||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10042272||Big St. Germain Lake - Eastern Part Of Lake||6/17/2014||7/22/2015||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10005987||Big St. Germain Lake||7/27/1999||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10042271||Big St. Germain Lake - North Of Bradford Point||6/17/2014||7/22/2015||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||10033924||Big St. Germain -- Private Access off Forest Drive||6/14/2011||6/14/2011||Map||Data|
|1591100||Big Saint Germain Lake||643051||Big St Germain Lake - Deep Hole||9/5/1979||9/30/2019||Map||Data|
Big Saint Germain Lake is located in the St. Germain River watershed which is 70.11 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (74.60%), open (13.90%) and a mix of wetland (10.70%) and other uses (0.80%). This watershed has 39.57 stream miles, 3,101.31 lake acres and 5,357.65 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.