Fish and Aquatic Life
Approximately two miles downstream of the Angelo Pond dam is Perch Lake. This lake was created by a dam built in 1865 and is currently owned by the City of Sparta. The city leases the dam to a private company for the production of hydroelectric power. Similar to the Angelo Pond dam, water levels at this dam are managed as run of river. This dam creates a 33 acre impoundment that is surrounded by a public golf course and a city park. A boat ramp is located in the city park. The lake was hydraulically dredged in the early 1980’s which increased the average depth to between six and nine feet. However, the benefits of the lake dredging were short lived. By 1992, the community began assessing lake management tools to reduce the nuisance aquatic plants and shallow depths. The lake was drawn down in the winter of 1999 to prepare for mechanical dredging in 2000. The lake could not be drawn down low enough to allow sufficient drying of the sediments to support large equipment. Consequently, the lake was filled in 2000 and hydraulic dredging was then undertaken. Sediment removed from the lake was placed in certain areas of the adjacent golf course. Due to the drawdown in 1999, stocking of Perch Lake will take place over the next few years with northern pike, largemouth bass and assorted panfish.
Part of the recent dredging project included the excavation of a sediment trap in the La Crosse River immediately upstream of Perch Lake. The City of Sparta must monitor this trap for sedimentation and dredge it on a regular basis in order to reduce the frequency of expensive lake dredging. A self-help volunteer monitor would be beneficial in determining water quality of Perch Lake. Involving local citizens in monitoring and understanding the issues affecting Perch Lake would be beneficial to all involved. A local school may be interested in conducting both the sediment trap and water quality monitoring as part of a long term curriculum. Perch Lake is considered a high priority to receive a lakes planning grant to assess nonpoint source pollution affecting the lake.
Author Aquatic Biologist
A soft water drainage impoundment located on the La Crosse River. The water is alkaline, has a light brown color and a low transparency. The dam is owned by the City of Sparta and it has an 8 foot height. Common fish species taken by anglers are largemouth bass and bluegill. Other species present include northern pike, black crappie, pumpkinseed, bullhead, and brown and rainbow trout. Carp are also present but are not a problem at present. A chemical fish eradication project was conducted in 1957 to reduce, and if possible eliminate, carp and white sucker. Aquatic vegetation has been a problem and control measures have been taken. A public park is located on the lake and boat launching facilities are available. Migrating waterfowl use the lake.
Source: 1969, Surface Water Resources of Monroe County Perch Lake, T17N, R4W, S13 Surface Acres = 32.6, S.D.F. = 3.00, Maximum Depth = 10 feet.
Author Aquatic Biologist
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|
|1659900||Perch Lake||423124||Perch Lake - Deep Hole||7/24/1973||2/6/1975||Map||Data|
|1659900||Perch Lake||10017877||Perch Lake -- Access||8/19/2018||8/19/2018||Map||Data|
|1659900||Perch Lake||10041437||Perch Lake - Boat Landing||Map||Data|
|1659900||Perch Lake||10004114||Perch Lake||8/8/2001||9/2/2016||Map||Data|
Perch Lake is located in the Upper La Crosse River watershed which is 126.12 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (62.40%), grassland (11.90%) and a mix of agricultural (9.80%) and other uses (16.10%). This watershed has 167.76 stream miles, 207.50 lake acres and 4,875.27 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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.