Fish and Aquatic Life
Trout Lake, in the Manitowish River Watershed, is a 3,864.21 acre lake that falls in Vilas County. This lake is an outstanding/exceptional resource water under NR102 under the Fisheries Program. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Vilas County Trout Lake, T-41-N, R-7-E, Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 17,
Trout Lake is a drainage lake of moderate fertility, having clear slightly alkaline water of high transparency. Bottom materials consist mainly of gravel and sand, with rock and some muck. Both the inlet and the outlet streams are considered navigable. Trout Lake is one of the deepest inland lakes in Wisconsin and the largest lake in Vilas County. The principal warm water species present are the muskellunge, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and pan fish. The lake also supports a cold water population composed of lake trout, rainbow trout, cisco and whitefish. The lake has a state forest area located on the shore line. Public access is possible by means of town and county roads with parking facilities, or by navigating either the inlet or outlet streams. Public use facilities consist of 12 resorts, one private resort, one boat rental establishment, two WCD camping areas, two youth camps, and several WCD picnic areas. There are 62 cottages located on the shore line. The University of Wisconsin has a Biology Research Station located on Trout Lake. Diving ducks use this lake on both their spring and fall migration. Canadian geese are known to use the lake on their fall migration. Even though there are commercial and private developments on the shore line, Trout Lake still retains excellent aesthetic qualities as approximately 96 per cent of the shore line is in public ownership.
Area = 3,870 Surface Acres, Maximum Depth = 115 feet, S.D.F. = 1.83
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10019741||Trout Lake -- Bardon Street Carry-in||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10005984||Trout Lake||5/1/1994||9/21/2017||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10014962||Trout Lake # 7||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10042278||Trout Lake - East of Zimmerman Island||6/17/2014||7/21/2015||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10042279||Trout Lake - East of Tripod Point||6/17/2014||7/21/2015||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10018694||Trout Lake - Access at Ben Bendrick (Lake Shore) Drive||6/4/2008||8/17/2015||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10018808||Trout Lake -- South Access||6/3/2007||8/9/2019||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||10018809||Trout Lake - HWY M and North Campground Access||11/5/2010||8/23/2019||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||152||Trout Lake - Trout Lake||7/21/1970||7/21/1970||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||643424||Trout Lake - Max Depth||6/17/2011||7/21/2015||Map||Data|
|2331600||Trout Lake||644048||Trout Lake - Trout Lake||8/20/1979||8/20/1979||Map||Data|
Trout Lake is located in the Manitowish River watershed which is 268.60 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (66.90%), wetland (19.10%) and a mix of open (13.30%) and other uses (0.70%). This watershed has 212.08 stream miles, 22,943.16 lake acres and 33,727.48 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.