Fish and Aquatic Life
Bear Lake, in the East Fork Chippewa River Watershed, is a 184.13 acre lake that falls in Ashland County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1966, Surface Water Resources of Ashland County Bear Lake, T41N, R3, 4W, Sections 31, 36
A soft water, natural drainage lake on the East Fork of the Chippewa River. Its outlet flow is estimated at 250 cubic feet per second. The main fish population is composed of muskellunge, walleye and perch. Species which are less abundant are smallmouth bass, bluegills, black crappies, rock bass, pumpkinseeds, bullheads, white suckers and redhorse . It has a shoreline of predominantly sand with some gravel and minor areas of rock and muck. An extensive marsh borders the old river channel bay on the north side of the lake and provides about 130 acres of sedge and grass wetlands for nesting puddle ducks and mergansers. There is also some use by muskrats. Its private development consists of a resort and boat rental and fourteen cottages. A total of 3.13 miles of public frontage on the northeast shore is in Chequamegon National Forest Land. At present it does not have a public access.
Surface Acres = 219.7, Maximum Depth = 8 feet, M.P.A. = 43 ppm, Secchi Disk = 4 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|
|2403200||Bear Lake||024001||Bear Lake - Deep Hole||7/17/1979||7/17/1979||Map||Data|
|2403200||Bear Lake||10000552||Bear Lake||10/18/1994||9/12/2017||Map||Data|
Bear Lake is located in the East Fork Chippewa River watershed which is 305.16 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (63.90%), wetland (32.70%) and a mix of grassland (1.60%) and other uses (1.70%). This watershed has 310.53 stream miles, 2,431.41 lake acres and 65,073.81 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.