Fish and Aquatic Life
Big Lake T42n R06e S04, in the Manitowish River Watershed, is a 827.08 acre lake that falls in Vilas County. 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 Big Lake, T-42-N, R-6-E, Sections 4, 5, 6,
Big Lake is a highly fertile drainage lake, of multiple use capacity. It has acid clear water which is moderately transparent, and a shore line bottom type of mostly sand and gravel. It is considered to be a muskellunge and walleye lake with both walleye and muskellunge considered to be abundant in this water. Bass and pan fish are also common. Public use opportunities on this lake are excellent and the lake has not only a park area but a town landing and navigable water access as well. There are seven resorts and three boat rental facilities. There is also a public campground on the lake. In addition to the aforementioned facilities, the lake also has two picnic areas. The aesthetic quality of this lake is excellent. Beaver are present and ducks use the lake on their fall migration to some extent.
Area = 85O Surface Acres, Maximum Depth = 65 feet
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|
|2334700||Big Lake||10006427||Big Lake||8/29/2000||6/16/2020||Map||Data|
|2334700||Big Lake||643479||Big Lake - West Basin||Map||Data|
|2334700||Big Lake||643225||Big Lake (T42 R06 S04) - Deep Hole||8/10/1984||8/31/2021||Map||Data|
|2334700||Big Lake||10018839||Big Lake -- Hwy K Access||6/1/2008||5/21/2022||Map||Data|
|2334700||Big Lake||10018692||Big Lake -- Access at Big Lake Campground||11/5/2010||7/20/2021||Map||Data|
Big 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.