Eau Claire Lake, Black and Hay Creeks Watershed (LC15)
Eau Claire Lake, Black and Hay Creeks Watershed (LC15)
Eau Claire Lake (2133200)
870.12 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.
This lake is impaired
High Phosphorus Levels, Excess Algal Growth
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.
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 Lowland
Shallow lowland 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.
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 Claire Lake, in the Black and Hay Creeks and Lower Eau Claire River Watersheds, is a 1,359.93 acre lake that falls in Eau Claire County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1964, Surface Water Resources of Eau Claire County Eau Claire Lake, T26N, R6W, Sections 23,4,5,10,11

A soft water impoundment on the Eau Claire River. It has a 25-foot water control structure on its outlet, owned by Eau Claire County. It is the largest single body of water in Eau Claire County. The most common fish species here are walleye, muskellunge, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, perch, bluegills, and black crappies. Other species present include white crappies, rock bass, pumpkinseeds, black, brown and yellow bullheads. The rough fish population includes carp (a problem to fishery management), white suckers, quillback, and northern redhorse. The minnow species are golden shiners, spotfin shiners, northern brook silversides and johnny darters. About 10 acres of marshy wetlands provide habitat for muskrats, nesting mallards, blue-winged teal and wood ducks. Other ducks, coots and, occasionally, Canada geese also use the lake during migratory seasons. A county park providing swimming facilities, picnicking area, tent camping and public access is located on the southeast side, and the county has applied to the department for aid in construction of an access on the northeast end. The entire lakeshore of 24.25 miles, including 5.6 miles of shoreline on 17 islands with 60 acres, is owned by Eau Claire County. The county leases building rights to individuals. This private development includes a resort, three boat rental places and 88 cottages and dwellings.

Surface Acres = 860.0, S.D.F. = 5.91, Maximum Depth = 25 feet

Date  1964

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Eau Claire Lake, Black and Hay Creeks Watershed (LC15) Fish and Aquatic LifeEau Claire Lake, Black and Hay Creeks Watershed (LC15) RecreationEau Claire Lake, Black and Hay Creeks Watershed (LC15) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Eau Claire Lake (WBIC 2133200) was listed for total phosphorus in 2016. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; 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 thresholds, but only nearly exceeded the FAL use thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Eau Claire Lake (WBIC 2133200) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, and chlorophyll data exceed REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data do not exceed Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds.

Date  2015

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.



Lake Management Plan Development
The Lake Eau Claire Association proposes to implement practices called for in the lake management plan developed for Lake Eau Claire in Eau Claire County. Major project elements to include: a) establishment of sediment traps, b) installation of aerator, c) re-establishment of habitat including course woody debris d) water quality sampling and analysis.
Shoreland Ordinance
Eau Claire County proposes to amend or create a shoreland zoning ordinance that complies with the requirements of NR 115, Wisconsin Administrative Code (as revised effective February 1, 2010) and retain existing regulations that exceed the water resource protections of NR 115 or are specific or unique to local needs.

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

Eau Claire Lake is located in the Black and Hay Creeks watershed which is 159.89 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (63.80%), agricultural (16.90%) and a mix of wetland (9.60%) and other uses (9.60%). This watershed has 289.15 stream miles, 1,005.46 lake acres and 19,247.91 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and Medium for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of Medium. 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

Eau Claire Lake 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.