Fish and Aquatic Life
Chetek Lake, in the Lake Chetek Watershed, is a 923.37 acre lake that falls in Barron County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1964, Surface Water Resources of Barron County Lake Chetek T33N, RIOW, Sections - several
A soft water drainage lake with its level held by a 10-foot public utility dam operated by Northern States Power Company. Fish populations consist of walleyes, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegills, black crappies and bullheads. Excessive algae growth is a problem. Three public roads provide access to the lake for boat launching. Six other platted access points provide walking trails to the lake. A total of three boat liveries, 177 cottages and homes and a Bible camp constitutes its private development. Besides the access points, there is no other public frontage on the lake, except a city park on the south side that has swimming and picnicking facilities.
Surface Acres = 683.0, S.D.F. = 2.43, Maximum Depth = 22 feet
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Lake Chetek was documented as having hypereutrophic total phosphorus levels in 1996. Sediments and nutrients which may drive algae blooms to the point of being dominated by blue-greens which have the potential to produce toxins as well as suppress D.O. levels. Much of this can be attributed to nonpoint source runoff from agricultural sources.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Chetek Lake was recently evaluated during the ten-year period of 2009 through 2018 for results that were reported to the USEPA for the 2020 Clean Water Act condition report. The waterbody is considered impaired, or in poor condition for designated uses which include the quality of fish and aquatic life, recreational use, and public health and welfare (fish consumption and related). Pollutants or problems encountered during sampling (impairments) are determined based on water quality standards outlined in Wisconsin 2020 Consolidated Assessment and Listing Methodology (WisCALM). Assessment results show water conditions that are potentially harmful for Aquatic Life and Recreation uses due to values for chlorophyll that fall into the range expected for an aquatic community in poor health, therefore this water is listed as impaired.
Assessment results during the 2020 listing cycle show chlorophyll levels that indicate impairment to Aquatic Life and Recreation uses. Based on the most updated information, the impairment of excess algal growth was added to this water in 2020. It had previously been listed in 2006 for eutrophication caused by total phosphorus. In 2020, this listing was changed to category 5W because this lake is part of the DNR-approved watershed restoration plan: A Water Quality Strategy for the Land and Waters of the Red Cedar River Basin.
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.
Lakes Planning Grant
Lake Management Plan Development
Information and Education
Monitor Invasive Species
Nutrient Budget Development
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
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|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||033225||Lake Chetek - N. Of River Entrance||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10041627||Lake Chetek Access||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||033226||Lake Chetek - Entrance To River||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10018522||Lake Chetek -- Access||10/16/2007||8/14/2013||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10018513||Lake Chetek -- Access||7/18/2007||8/28/2015||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10018514||Lake Chetek -- Access||10/16/2007||5/21/2011||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10014942||Chetek Lake Chain_General Lake Station||8/8/2007||8/8/2007||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10030256||Lake Chetek at Lakeview Drive||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||033120||Chetek Lake - Deep Hole||9/12/1973||8/10/2018||Map||Data|
|2094000||Lake Chetek||10000762||Lake Chetek||4/11/1990||8/19/2017||Map||Data|
Lake Chetek is located in the Lake Chetek watershed which is 212.00 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (48.80%), agricultural (19.70%) and a mix of grassland (14.50%) and other uses (17.00%). This watershed has 270.25 stream miles, 2,008.86 lake acres and 10,678.22 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.