Fish and Aquatic Life
Bear Lake is a 1,358-acre drainage lake just north of Haugen. The Bear Lake State Wildlife Area is on the northwest shore of Bear Lake. Ths high quality aquatic resource has been classified as an outstanding resource water under the provisions of Chapter NR 102.10 of the Wis. Adm. Code. The Bear Lake Association was awarded a lake management planning grant in 1991 to conduct a study that included water quality monitoring, a survey of aquatic vegetation, watershed land use delineation and a public opinion survey. Preliminary results of the study indicate Bear Lake has good water quality with Trophic State Index values in the range of 50. A volunteer has been collecting water clarity data onBear Lake since 1986 under the self-help lake
monitoring program. Fish tissue analysis for mercury resulted in a fish consumption advisory for walleye in the range of 18 to 22 inches (Category 2). The lake is susceptible to any increase in phosphorus loading and is a hgh priority for protection management.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1964, Surface Water Resources of Barron County Bear Lake T36, 37N, R12, IIW, Sections several
A hard water drainage lake with an outlet, Bear Creek, having a 13 -foot water control structure on it controlled by the Northern States Power Company. Bear Lake also lies partly in Washburn County. The most common fish species include walleyes, northern pike, largemouth bass perch, bluegills, black crappies, rock bass, pumpkin seeds, yellow bullheads and suckers. Other species present include smallmouth bass, redhorse and bullhead. About 875 acres of predominantly tamarack swamp and leatherleaf bog adjoin the lake. These and other marshy wetlands provide habitat for muskrats, beaver, nesting puddle ducks, mergansers, coot and loon. Larger numbers of diving ducks, coots and Canada geese along with puddle ducks use the lake during migratory season. Private and commercial development numbers six resorts, three boat rental places, 102 cottages and a Boy Scout Camp of the Chippewa Valley Council. There are nine town and county access roads on the lake and additional public frontage is owned by Barron and Washburn Counties, partly in County Forest, for a total of 2.13 miles of public frontage. The majority of the lakeshore frontage is covered by upland hardwood vegetation.
Surface Acres = 1,345.0, S.D.F. = 2.58, Maximum Depth = 100 feet
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Bear Lake (WBIC 2105100) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use, however chlorophyll-a sample data did not exceed the REC or FAL use thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Bear Lake (2105100) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use, however, chlorophyll data only exceeded FAL thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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|
|5517729||Unnamed||10035269||Bear Creek - Area of Open Water||6/29/2010||6/29/2010||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10018515||Bear Lake - Access off 28 3/4 Ave||7/30/2009||7/11/2021||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10018537||Bear Lake -- Access at E Side Lake near End Of 18th St||8/29/2012||8/29/2012||Map||Data|
|2104000||Bear Creek||10050769||Bear Lake||7/12/2013||8/13/2013||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10020141||Bear Lake -- Access Off 16th St||8/19/2005||8/19/2005||Map||Data|
|2104000||Bear Creek||10035269||Bear Creek - Area of Open Water||6/29/2010||6/29/2010||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10018546||Bear Lake -- Access at Along Bear Lake Rd||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10000644||Bear Lake||4/14/1990||3/30/2021||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10050769||Bear Lake||7/12/2013||8/13/2013||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||033139||Bear Lake - Deep Hole||6/10/1986||6/11/2021||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10050717||Bear Lake Near 28th Ave||8/8/2007||8/8/2007||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10018547||Bear Lake -- Access at NW Side Of Lk Bear Lake Landing Rd||7/6/2013||7/11/2021||Map||Data|
|2105100||Bear Lake||10018516||Bear Lake - Access off 29 1/4 Avenue||8/1/2010||8/5/2015||Map||Data|
Bear Lake is located in the Brill and Red Cedar Rivers watershed which is 297.68 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (49.40%), agricultural (20.30%) and a mix of grassland (10.70%) and other uses (19.60%). This watershed has 264.90 stream miles, 6,282.34 lake acres and 15,832.05 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Medium 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.