Sidie Hollow Lake, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02)
Sidie Hollow Lake, Bad Axe River Watershed (BL02)
Sidie Hollow Lake (1641400)
38 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.
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.
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.


Sidie Hollow Lake is one of the few lakes in this watershed. Sidie Hollow Lake is 35 acres, with a maximum depth of 22 feet. This lake is located just south of Viroqua near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Bad Axe River and surrounded by Vernon County land known as Sidie Hollow Park. This lake was assessed for Fish and Aquatic Life uses in 2009 and considered "fair" based on satellite derived trophic state index data.

The lake is considered "eutrophic". Historical reports indicate that Sidie Hollow Lake is an impoundment constructed under the PL-566 conservation program. In the 1970's the water was clear, hard, alkaline, and considered to have moderate transparency. Today the lake is documented as "murky", although it drains to the South Fork of the Bad Axe River, a class III trout water. A 2003 fish survey of Sidie Hollow Lake documented largemouth bass, bluegill, brown trout, brook trout, yellow perch, black crappie and white sucker. Netting also documented both painted and snapping turtles.

Aquatic plant surveys were conducted on Sidie Hollow Lake in 1994 and again in 2005. From these surveys it was noted that the aquatic plant growth is distributed throughout Sidie Hollow Lake, over 66% of the lake, to a maximum rooting depth of 15 feet. The plant community is characterized by a fair diversity of plant species, and above average quality plant community for Wisconsin lakes, and a very high quality for the Driftless Region lakes. Filamentous algae increased in the lake since 1994 and the dominant plant species was coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum) in both 1994 and 2005.

An early spring snowmelt event took place on March 8-9, 2005 in south western Wisconsin. Manure spreading of farm fields was prevalent during this unusually early warm spell. Runoff of snowmelt with recently applied manure caused a major fish kill of Jersey Valley Lake, an impoundment in a neighboring watershed. This event prompted monitoring of Sidie Hollow Lake. The lake did have an area of depressed dissolved oxygen (3.1 mg/l) at the deepest point, but no fish kill.

Date  2010

Author  Cynthia Koperski

Historical Description

Sidie Hollow Lake, T12N, R5W, Section 10 Surface Acres = 38.0, S.D.F. = 2.24, Maximum Depth = 22 feet.
This is another impoundment constructed under the PL-566 conservation program. The water is clear, hard, alkaline, ahd has moderate transparency. The impoundment is managed for brown trout, largemouth bass, and bluegill. The county maintains a park at the lake, and parking and a boat launch are available. Mallards and teal nest here, and migrating puddle and diving ducks use the water.

From: Klick, Thomas A. and Threinen, C.W. Lake and Stream Classification Project. Surface Water Resources of Vernon County. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI.

Date  1973

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin


Shoreland Ordinance
Vernon County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.
Lakes Planning Grant
Coe Hollow Creek, Sidie Hollow Lake Grants
Engage Volunteers in Monitoring/Restoration
Coe Hollow Creek, Sidie Hollow

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

Sidie Hollow Lake is located in the Bad Axe River watershed which is 195.49 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (40%), agricultural (29.60%) and a mix of grassland (24.60%) and other uses (5.80%). This watershed has 468.27 stream miles, 489.81 lake acres and 2,552.28 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

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

Natural Community

Sidie Hollow Lake is considered a Reservoir 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.