Fisher Lake, Flambeau Flowage Watershed (UC14)
Fisher Lake, Flambeau Flowage Watershed (UC14)
Fisher Lake (2307300)
441.21 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.
Shallow Lowland
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 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.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.
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.


Fisher Lake is a soft water drainage lake having slightly acid, medium brown water of low transparency. There are three inlet streams, Pardee Creek, Turtle River, and the creek from Beaver Lake. Only the Turtle River affords any practical boating use. The outlet stream, Turtle River, is navigable and is tributary to Spider Lake. There is a water control structure, Shay Dam, having a head of five feet located one mile downstream from Fisher Lake. Sand is the predominant littoral material (52 percent), with muck (35 percent), gravel (7 percent), and some rubble. The shoreline is predominantly upland (90 percent), with the balance being wetland of the shrub-swamp type. Fish inhabiting this lake are northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, rock bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, northern redhorse, white sucker, black bullhead, log perch, Johnny darter, blunt-nosed minnow, common shiner, and golden shiner. Waterfowl use this lake on their spring and fall migrations and nesting waterfowl may use this area. Beaver and muskrat are present. Moderate amounts of aquatic vegetation are found in the bays and along the shoreline. There are 45 dwellings and three resorts located on the shoreline. Access with parking from an improved launching ramp is available from a county facility. Navigable water access is also possible via the Turtle River as well as that of the unimproved or difficult type without parking from a town road that crosses the inlet between Fisher and Catherine Lakes. Iron County Forest lands front on this lake, having 0.7 mile of frontage. There is a modest water level fluctuation, having a range of about two feet and attributed to the water control structure on the outlet stream (Shay Dam). On June 15, 1967, the upper thermocline depth was at 14 feet. Below 19 feet the oxygen content was less than two parts per million.

Surface Acres = 452.4, S.D.F. = 3.62, Maximum Depth = 25 feet

Source:1970, Surface Water Resources of Iron County,WI:WI-DNR Fisher Lake, T44N, R4E, Section 35

Date  1970

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Fisher Lake, Flambeau Flowage Watershed (UC14) Fish and Aquatic LifeFisher Lake, Flambeau Flowage Watershed (UC14) RecreationFisher Lake, Flambeau Flowage Watershed (UC14) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Fisher Lake (WBIC 2307300) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and the Fish and Aquatic Life use. New chlorophyll-a sample data were clearly below the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting these designated uses and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

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.



Drawdown of Water
Drawdown to begin on Oct. 1st, 2011 with a target of lowering the water level 4 feet (Elevation of 81.3 down to 77.3), at a rate not to exceed 6 inches per day. The reduced water level should be retained throughout the winter, with refill starting around March 15, 2012.

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

Fisher Lake is located in the Flambeau Flowage watershed which is 247.18 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (56.80%), wetland (28.20%) and a mix of open (14.10%) and other uses (0.90%). This watershed has 190.98 stream miles, 10,199.06 lake acres and 43,978.35 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

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

Fisher Lake is considered a Shallow Lowland 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.

Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Maps of Watershed