Fish and Aquatic Life
Sissabagama Lake, in the Couderay River Watershed, is a 805.40 acre lake that falls in Sawyer County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1969, Surface Water Resources of Sawyer County Sissabagama Lake, T38N, R9W, Section 5-8
A soft water, seepage lake with a normal outlet flow estimated at 0.2 cfs. It is the headwaters of Sissabagama Creek. The lake outlet has a one foot water control structure, privately owned, that stabilizes the level of the lake. The most common fishes present include muskellunge, walleye, perch, bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, and white suckers. Other species present include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, bullhead, and longnose gar. The panfish tend to be slow growing. The total of 265 acres of wetlands located along 10 percent of the lakeshore is predominately shrub swamp and bog. Nesting ducks are common, as well as good numbers of migrating waterfowl. Beaver and muskrats are present. An inlet channel connects Sissabagama Lake with nearby Mud Lake to the south. Sissabagmma Lake is an irregularly shaped multi-basin lake with several islands scattered through it. Four of these islands are state owned. There is a state owned public access site on the southwest bay. This access and the four state owned islands are the only public frontage. Commercial facilities include 10 resorts and boat rental places, and 41 cottages. There is also a commercial cranberry marsh adjacent to the lake.
Surface Acres = 719.0, Maximum Depth = 48 feet, M.P.A. = 34 ppm
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Sissabagama Lake (WBIC 2393500) was listed for excess algal growth in 2012. The 2018 assessments showed continued excess algal growth; new chlorophyll-a sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. Total phosphorus data were clearly below the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use listing thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Sissabagama Lake (2393500) was listed for Total Phosphorus and excess algal growth in 2012. This water was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; chlorophyll sample data partially exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, however, total phosphorus data were clearly below REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data were clearly below Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds. The TP listing is proposed for deletion, but the water will remain listed for excess algal growth.
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.
Monitor Targeted Area
Monitoring will be done to determine if there are controllable TP sources and whether the lake should be added to the 303d list. Monitoring and evaluation includes: 1. Analyze existing in-lake and cranberry bog discharge data. Evaluate the significance of internal TP loading. Develop a TP model for the lake. 2. Examine surficial and pre-development sediment samples to compare current and pre-development conditions. Paul Garrison has said he is willing to collect and analyze the samples. 3. Collect TP samples at 1 watershed stream on 5 dates. Flow estimates, and D.O. , temp. and pH measurements will also be made. 4. Collect TP samples from 10 residential wells to evaluate groundwater TP concentrations.
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|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||583128||Sissabagama Lake - North Basin||3/4/1999||8/13/2001||Map||Data|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||583063||Big Sissabagam Tributary - Near Stone Lake WI||7/25/1988||8/13/2001||Map||Data|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||583124||Sissabagama Lake - Deep Hole||7/25/1988||8/19/2019||Map||Data|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||10018781||Big Sissabagama Lake -- Access Off Hathaway Lane||7/20/2014||9/5/2021||Map||Data|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||10005590||Sissabagama Lake||4/7/1991||9/12/2017||Map||Data|
|2393500||Sissabagama Lake||10018780||Sissabagama Lake -- Access at W Side Of Lake||7/30/2010||7/30/2010||Map||Data|
Sissabagama Lake is located in the Couderay River watershed which is 212.25 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (64.90%), wetland (13.50%) and a mix of open (12.90%) and other uses (8.70%). This watershed has 211.96 stream miles, 18,300.76 lake acres and 14,697.69 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Low for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.