Altoona Lake, Lower Eau Claire River Watershed (LC14)
Altoona Lake, Lower Eau Claire River Watershed (LC14)
Lake Altoona (2128100)
719.87 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.
Impounded Flowing Water
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.
2020
Poor
 
This lake is impaired
Impairment Unknown, Excess Algal Growth
Unknown Pollutant, Total Phosphorus
 
Eau Claire
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.
No
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.
No
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.
Yes

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.
Impounded Flowing Water
This classification includes waterbodies created by dams (mill ponds, reservoirs, flowages, and other impoundments) with a residence time of 14 days or more (under summer (June – Sept) mean low flow conditions with a 1 in 10 year recurrence interval (US EPA 2000)). Many natural lakes also have dams or water level control structures. However, to be included in the Impounded Flowing Waters category, the dam or water level control structure, must account for more than half of a waterbody’s maximum depth. Impoundments with a residence time of less than 14 days should be covered under the rivers and stream assessment methodology process.
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.
FAL
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.

Overview

Lake Altoona is a highly eutrophic impoundment on the Eau Claire River. The impoundment experiences frequent summer algal blooms and has an extremely hgh sedimentation rate. The impoundment is an important recreational resource for the Eau Claire area and is heavily used for swimming, fishng and boating (WDNR). The Lake Altoona Protection and Rehabilitation District is completing a lake planning program to control sedimentation in the lake. The lake district has received two lake management planning grants to assist ths project. The sediment control plan will develop a plan to trap approximately 50,000 to 60,000 cubic yards of sand annually, with project construction planned to begin in 1995. An aquatic plant survey was conducted on Lake Altoona in August, 1990. Nineteen species were documented, but their distribution was limited to a few key are& (Borman and ~onk;l 1994). Drawdown of the lake to facilitate dredging will likely have minimal impact to aquatic plants because the species present are drawdown-tolerant (Borman 1994).

Date  1996

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1964, Surface Water Resources of Eau Claire County Altoona Lake, T27N, R89W, Sections 13,14,23,24,18,19

A soft water, drainage impoundment on the Eau Claire River. It has a 27-foot water control structure on its outlet, owned by Eau Claire County. The most common fish species here are walleyes, smallmouth bass and black crappies. Other species present include muskellunge, perch, bluegills, white crappies, pumpkinseeds and brown bullheads. The most common species of rough fish are carp (a problem to its fishery management), white suckers, quillback, and golden, northern, and silver redhorse. Another use problem for the lake is excessive algae growth during the summer months. Nesting ducks in the lake area include mallards, blue-winged teal and wood ducks. Other diving ducks, puddle ducks and coots use the lake during migratory seasons. Private development consists of one resort, two boat rental places, and 90 cottages and dwellings. A county park on the south shore provides picnicking, swimming and access to the lake. Access may also be had on the north side of the lake at two town road accesses. Total public frontage amounts to 0.4 miles of public shoreline.

Surface Acres = 783.0, S.D.F. = 2.66, Maximum Depth = 27 feet

Date  1964

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Altoona Lake, Lower Eau Claire River Watershed (LC14) Fish and Aquatic LifeAltoona Lake, Lower Eau Claire River Watershed (LC14) RecreationAltoona Lake, Lower Eau Claire River Watershed (LC14) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Lake Altoona (WBIC 2128100) was placed on the impaired waters list for Excess Algal Growth in 2016. This water was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll-a sample data clearly exceeded the REC use thresholds, but no criteria was available for the FAL use. The 'Unknown Pollutant' was proposed for replacement with a Total Phosphorus listing.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Lake Altoona (2128100) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; chlorophyll sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, however, total phosphorus data do not exceed REC thresholds. This water is considered impaired.

Date  2016

Author  Aaron Larson

Condition

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.

Reports

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

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

Altoona Lake is located in the Lower Eau Claire River watershed which is 216.31 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (44.70%), agricultural (30%) and a mix of grassland (16.20%) and other uses (9.00%). This watershed has 414.24 stream miles, 937.46 lake acres and 10,770.45 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

Lake Altoona is considered a Impounded Flowing Water 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.

This classification includes waterbodies created by dams (mill ponds, reservoirs, flowages, and other impoundments) with a residence time of 14 days or more (under summer (June – Sept) mean low flow conditions with a 1 in 10 year recurrence interval (US EPA 2000)). Many natural lakes also have dams or water level control structures. However, to be included in the Impounded Flowing Waters category, the dam or water level control structure, must account for more than half of a waterbody’s maximum depth. Impoundments with a residence time of less than 14 days should be covered under the rivers and stream assessment methodology process.