Little Green Lake, Upper Grand River Watershed (UF12)
Little Green Lake, Upper Grand River Watershed (UF12)
Little Green Lake (162500)
462.42 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.
Shallow Seepage
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
Low DO, Degraded Habitat, Excess Algal Growth, Elevated pH , Eutrophication
Total Phosphorus
Green Lake
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 Seepage
Shallow seepage 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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.


Little Green Lake, in the Upper Grand River Watershed, is a 462.41 acre lake that falls in Green Lake County. 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

Little Green Lake, T-15-N, R-13-E, Sections 29, 32
Surface Acres = 466; S.D.F. = 1.39 Maximum Depth = 24 feet
Little Green Lake is also a very popular recreation lake.
Bottom materials consist of sand and muck, but some gravel and
rubble areas are also present. The water is clear, hard, and
subject to severe algae blooms. The lake is best known for
muskellunge and bluegill, but walleye, perch, and largemouth bass
are also present. Other fish include pumpkinseed, smallmouth bass,
and black bullheads. In addition to fishing the lake is used for
boating, sailing, water skiing, and swimming. The lake had some
problems in the past. Excessive algae and aquatic vegetation
growths have required chemical treatment. The decomposition of
algae blooms has caused major summerkills of fish. In 1956, the
lake was treated with toxaphene to remove the undesirable fish
population including carp and was subsequently restocked with its
present fishery. Since Little Green is heavily developed there is
a danger of valuable spawning areas and marshlands being destroyed
and cause severe and permanent damage to the quality of the lake.
Developments include two resorts and 125 dwellings. There are nine
boat liveries. Public access consists of Veteran's Park, developed
by the City of Markesan; two town access sites with parking and
boat ramps; and one town road providing walk-in access.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Little Green Lake, Upper Grand River Watershed (UF12) Fish and Aquatic LifeLittle Green Lake, Upper Grand River Watershed (UF12) RecreationLittle Green Lake, Upper Grand River Watershed (UF12) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Little Green Lake (WBIC 162500) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2006. 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 existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Little Green Lake (162500) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2006. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, but not Fish and Aquatic Life use, and chlorophyll data exceeds both 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.



Land Acquisition
The Little Green Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District proposes to purchase 45.61 acres of land known as the Scharschmidt property to help prevent nutrient loading into Little Green Lake.
Habitat Restoration - Lake
The Little Green Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District proposes to install a circulation system consisting of compressors, air delivery lines, filter system, and a housing structure. The circulation system is designed to ensure sufficient oxygen concentrations in the deep-water areas of the lake.
Best Management Practices, Implement
The Little Green Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District proposes to design and construct three water and sediment control basins in the east subwatershed of Little Green Lake.
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

Little Green Lake is located in the Upper Grand River watershed which is 61.96 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (78.50%), grassland (8.80%) and a mix of wetland (5.50%) and other uses (7.30%). This watershed has 85.07 stream miles, 41.45 lake acres and 2,973.87 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.This water is ranked High Lake for individual Lakes based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Little Green Lake is considered a Shallow Seepage 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 seepage lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Maps of Watershed