Fish and Aquatic Life
Mercer Lake is a medium hard water drainage lake having slightly alkaline, light brown water of moderate transparency. There are two inlet streams, one from Tahoe lake which affords little or no boating use and the other from Grand Portage Lake which is navigable to small craft except for an obstruction beneath the road bridge. The outlet stream, Little Turtle River, is in fact navigable to small craft and is tributary to the Flambeau Flowage. Sand is the predominant littoral material (50 percent) with rubble (25 percent), muck (20 percent) and a few boulders. The shoreline is predominantly upland (85 percent) with the balance being wetland of the bog-coniferous type. Muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, lake sturgeon, perch, bluegill, black crappie, rock bass, pumpkinseed, black bullhead, white sucker, and redhorse inhabit this lake. Lesser scaup, bluewinged teal, hooded merganser, and wood duck utilize this lake on their spring and fall migrations. It is probable that the lake is also utilized by nesting waterfowl. Emergent and submergent vegetation is moderate to dense and the lake is considered to have an aquatic weed problem. There are 65 dwellings, 6 resorts and a church located on the shoreline. Public access with parking is available as well as that of the navigable water type. Iron County has some acreage on the north shore having 0.48 mile of frontage. Sewage effluent from the Village of Mercer is released into this lake near its outlet. Although this is treated effluent, increased nutrient levels can be anticipated in the discharge area. This probability may enhance the development of aquatic plants to even greater problem proportions.
Surface Acres = 183.6, S.D.F. = 2.20, Maximum Depth = 24 feet
Source:1970, Surface Water Resources of Iron County,WI:WI-DNR Mercer Lake, T43N, R3E, Section 36
Author Aquatic Biologist
Mercer Lake (2313600) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.
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.
Lake Management Plan Development
The Mercer Lake Association in cooperation with the Town of Mercer and the US Geological Service (USGS) will conduct a lake/watershed evaluation and develop a final lake/watershed management plan.
Water Quality Planning
Evaluate recommendations from Mercer Lake Management (2014) and identify key recommendations for management.
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|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022091||Mercer Well 6 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||5/20/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||263005||Mercer Lake - Mercer S D No 1 Stp||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||264024||Mercer Chain Lake - Mercer Chain Lake||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||263129||Mercer Lake at Max Point Of Depth||7/27/2000||8/27/2010||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022087||Mercer Well 2 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022086||Mercer Well 1 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022092||Mercer Well 7 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10037900||Mercer Lake in Outlet Bay at Mercer WI||9/9/2008||10/7/2008||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022088||Mercer Well 3 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||263177||Mercer Lake - Home Base||9/10/2004||8/26/2016||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022090||Mercer Well 5 At Mercer WI||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10014629||Mercer Lake||9/25/2004||5/3/2022||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022089||Mercer Well 4 At Mercer Wi ||6/16/2008||9/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||263126||Mercer Lake - Deep Hole||8/28/2001||8/28/2021||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10019721||Mercer Lake -- Access||6/20/2008||6/21/2010||Map||Data|
|2313600||Mercer Lake||10022388||Mercer Lake West Basin Deep Hole||3/20/2008||9/16/2009||Map||Data|
Mercer Lake is located in the Flambeau Flowage watershed which is 247.18 mi². 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.