Lake Eau Galle, Eau Galle River Watershed (LC03)
Lake Eau Galle, Eau Galle River Watershed (LC03)
Lake Eau Galle (2056600)
359.81 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.
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.


Eau Gale Lake is a 150-acre flood control impoundment on the Eau Galle River near Spring
Valley. The Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station has intensively monitored
this aquatic ecosystem since 1981. The reservoir receives large amounts of nutrients and sediments
from its agricultural watershed. The reservoir experiences frequent summer algal blooms and
extensive aquatic plant growth in shallow areas. The control of sediment, nutrients and storm
water runoff is critical if water quality is to be improved in the reservoir (Barko; James)
Fish from Lake Eau Galle at Spring Valley were tested for mercury. All fish were below the
mercury advisory criteria. Additional fish should be sampled for the presence of PCBs (Amrhein).

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist


The operation of a hydropower plant at the dam in Eau Galle causes significant daily flow
fluctuation in violation of federal requirements. Attempts by the operator to bring the facility into
compliance have not been totally successful. The fluctuations affect aquatic habitat and may affect
water quality as well. WDNR continues to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) to bring the facility into compliance (LaLiberte).
Fish from Lake Eau Galle at Eau Galle were tested for mercury. All fish were below the mercury
advisory criteria, but need to be assessed for the presence of PCBs (Amrhein).
WDNR has very little water quality data for this lake. A lakes planning grant would be useful for
developing a management plan and conducting a land use assessment.

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1962, Surface Water Resources of Dunn County

Eau Galle 2-16 T26N, R14W, Sec. 2
Surface Acres = 1.0, S.D.F. = 1.29, Maximum Depth = 5 feet

A hardwater, seepage lake, landlocked and having no manageable fish
population due to winterkill conditions. Public frontage, private
development and wetlands are also lacking. A few migrant ducks may be
found here.

Lake Eau Galle T26N, R13, 14W, Sec. 19, 30, 31, 24, 25, 36
Surface Acres = 343.2, S. D. F. = 2.81, Maximum Depth = 22 feet

A hardwater, drainage impoundment on the Eau Galle River. It has a
navigable inlet and a 30-foot head public utility dam (Wisconsin
Hydro-Electric Company, Northern States Power) on its outlet (67 cfs).
Hay Creek of Eau Galle Township also empties into the flowage. It is
managed for largemouth bass and pan fish. The pan fish group includes
bluegills, black crappies, white crappies, perch, white bass, black and
brown bullheads. Rough fish species include white suckers, carp,
northern and golden redhorse. The carp are a problem in the management
of this flowage. Public frontage consists of a park and access road
developed by the Eau Galle Sportsmen's Club. Private development
includes two resorts, three boat liveries and ten cottages. A small
wetland area of about two acres provides habitat for muskrats and nesting
blue-winged teal and wood ducks.

Date  1962

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Lake Eau Galle, Eau Galle River Watershed (LC03) Fish and Aquatic LifeLake Eau Galle, Eau Galle River Watershed (LC03) RecreationLake Eau Galle, Eau Galle River Watershed (LC03) Fish Consumption


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.


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

Lake Eau Galle is located in the Eau Galle River watershed which is 267.88 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (40.60%), forest (31%) and a mix of grassland (22.40%) and other uses (6.10%). This watershed has 519.34 stream miles, 251.50 lake acres and 3,943.12 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High 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

Lake Eau Galle 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.