Beaver Dam Lake, Main Basin, Hay River Watershed (LC05)
Beaver Dam Lake, Main Basin, Hay River Watershed (LC05)
Beaver Dam Lake, Main Basin (2081200)
1163.32 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.
Shallow headwater 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.
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.


Beaver Dam Lake is a 1,112-acre drainage lake at the headwaters of the Hay River. This lake has a complex aquatic system that contains at least seven distinct bays and basins that exhibit different water quality characteristics. The community around the lake has formed a lake management district and is actively involved in lake management programs. An initial lake management planning grant study conducted in 1991 and 1992 involved intensive water quality monitoring, a user survey and preliminary computer modeling efforts. The complexity of the lake's ecosystem emerged during this study and the lake district has engaged in a second lake management planning grant project to better define water quality characteristics of this hgh-quality lake. At present, the Trophlc State Indices for this lake range from 44 and 46 in the upper lake, to 54 and 58 in the lake basins east of Hwy. 63.

Beaver Dam Lake is partially surrounded by the city of Cumberland and is subjected to the stresses that accompany an urban environment. One small basin in the lake has developed a dense aquatic plant community, and the eastern portion of the lake exhibits dense algae blooms and is still recovering from problems resulting from a municipal wastewater discharge that has since been corrected. A fish consumption advisory exists for walleye larger than 18 inches in the lake. Recently, the exotic aquatic plant Eurasian water milfoil became established in a portion of the lake.

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1964, Surface Water Resources of Barron County Beaver Dam Lake T35, 36N, R13, 14W, Sections - several

A soft water seepage lake with an intermittent outlet to the headwaters of the Hay River. There is a one-foot water control structure on its outlet controlled by the City of Cumberland. The maximum depth of the lake is 106 feet and makes it the deepest lake in Barron County. The most common fish species found here are northern pike, walleyes, largemouth bass, perch, bluegills and black crappies. Bullheads, cisco, carp and white suckers are also common, and other species present include smallmouth bass, rock bass and pumpkinseeds. Habitat destruction by carp is a problem. Water chemistry analysis indicates some domestic pollution present. Approximately 110 acres in marshy wetlands provide habitat for muskrats and nesting puddle ducks. Other numbers of puddle ducks and diving ducks, coots and Canada geese also use the lake during migratory seasons. Eleven city and county roads provide public access to the lake and a city park of 42-1/2 acres provides camping, boat landing and swimming and picnic facilities. Public frontage on the lake amounts to 0. 88 miles of mainly city frontage. Commercial and private development includes eight resorts, eight boat rental places, 242 cottages and dwellings, mainly in the City of Cumberland, and an organizational camp.

Surface Acres = 1, 112.1, S.D.F. = 3.85, Maximum Depth = 106 feet

Date  1964

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Beaver Dam Lake, Main Basin, Hay River Watershed (LC05) Fish and Aquatic LifeBeaver Dam Lake, Main Basin, Hay River Watershed (LC05) RecreationBeaver Dam Lake, Main Basin, Hay River Watershed (LC05) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Beaver Dam Lake (2081200) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.

Date  2015

Author  Ashley Beranek


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.



Best Management Practices, Implement
Partnering with property owners, the applicant is sponsoring a grant to implement water quality and habitat best practices from Wisconsin's Healthy Lakes Implementation Plan. Best practices, including fish sticks, 350 sq. ft. native plantings, diversions, rock infiltration, and/or rain gardens, will be designed and installed according to the Healthy Lakes fact sheets, technical guidance and grant application.
Stormwater Planning, Implementation
The Beaver Dam Lake Management District is sponsoring a project to construct a storm water wetland facility. The project will also divert storm water away from Library Lake and into the wetland facility to treat the storm water.
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment, Inventory
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment or Inventory
Develop/Distribute Brochures/Literature
Information and Education
Lakes Planning Grant
Project Deliverable
design stormwater facilities, including wetlands, rain gardens, and swales, on recently-acquired property along the NW shore of Library Lake. The project also includes development of a Storm Sewer Outfall Maintenance Strategy and a lakewide shoreland habitat assessment for Beaver Dam Lake. Project deliverables include: final stormwater facility designs and copies of draft operation and maintenance plans if available; storm sewer outfall study results and maintenance strategy; lakewide shoreland habitat inventory spreadsheet, map, and photos; and any educational materials developed

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

Beaver Dam Lake is located in the Hay River watershed which is 289.60 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (38%), agricultural (30.20%) and a mix of grassland (20.60%) and other uses (11.20%). This watershed has 516.98 stream miles, 2,647.38 lake acres and 15,179.56 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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

Beaver Dam Lake, Main Basin is considered a Two-Story under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and 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 headwater lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.