Poygan Lake, Arrowhead River and Daggets Creek,Pine and Willow Rivers,Walla Walla and Alder Creeks Watershed (WR01)
Poygan Lake, Arrowhead River and Daggets Creek,Pine and Willow Rivers,Walla Walla and Alder Creeks Watershed (WR01)
Poygan Lake (242800)
14024.40 Acres
Natural Community
Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results that use predicted flow and temperature based on landscape features and related assumptions. Ranges of flow and temperature associated with specific aquatic life communities (fish, macroinvertebrates) help biologists identify appropriate resource management goals. Wisconsin Natural Communities.
Shallow Lowland
Year Last Monitored
This is the most recent date of monitoring data stored in SWIMS. Additional surveys for fish and habitat may be available subsequent to this date.
This lake is impaired
Degraded Habitat, High Phosphorus Levels, Turbidity, Excess Algal Growth
PCBs, Total Phosphorus, Sediment/Total Suspended Solids
Waushara, Winnebago
Trout Water 
Trout Waters are represented by Class I, Class II or Class III waters. These classes have specific ecological characteristics and management actions associated with them. For more information regarding Trout Classifications, see the Fisheries Trout Class Webpages.
Outstanding or Exceptional 
Wisconsin has designated many of the state's highest quality waters as Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs) or Exceptional Resource Waters (ERWs). Waters designated as ORW or ERW are surface waters which provide outstanding recreational opportunities, support valuable fisheries and wildlife habitat, have good water quality, and are not significantly impacted by human activities. ORW and ERW status identifies waters that the State of Wisconsin has determined warrant additional protection from the effects of pollution. These designations are intended to meet federal Clean Water Act obligations requiring Wisconsin to adopt an 'antidegradation' policy that is designed to prevent any lowering of water quality - especially in those waters having significant ecological or cultural value.
Impaired Water 
A water is polluted or 'impaired' if it does not support full use by humans, wildlife, fish and other aquatic life and it is shown that one or more of the pollutant criteria are not met.

Fish and Aquatic Life

Current Use
The use the water currently supports. This is not a designation or classification; it is based on the current condition of the water. Information in this column is not designed for, and should not be used for, regulatory purposes.
Shallow Lowland
Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.
Attainable Use
The use that the investigator believes the water could achieve through managing "controllable" sources. Beaver dams, hydroelectric dams, low gradient streams, and naturally occurring low flows are generally not considered controllable. The attainable use may be the same as the current use or it may be higher.
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
Designated Use
This is the water classification legally recognized by NR102 and NR104, Wis. Adm. Code. The classification determines water quality criteria and effluent limits. Waters obtain designated uses through classification procedures.
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent forage fishery. Representative aquatic life communities associated with these waters generally require cool or warm temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that do not drop below 5 mg/L.


Poygan Lake, in the Arrowhead River and Daggets Creek, Pine and Willow Rivers and Walla Walla and Alder Creeks Watersheds, is a 14,024.10 acre lake that falls in Waushara and Winnebago Counties. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist


Fish Management, Access
The Lake Poygan Sportsman's Club will build and install a mechanical carp barrier and rock berm at the mouth of Pages Slough, Lake Poygan. The rock berm will be approximately 300 feet in length with a fifty-foot base and 6 foot top deck. A ramp walk will be installed within the berm for access. This walk will be 50 feet in length and 24 feet wide.
Aquatic Plant Management Project
The Lake Poygan Sportsman's Club proposes to conduct a Common Reed Grass stand restoration project on Lake Poygan. The project will ecologically characterize the structural and functional aspects of common reed grass stands, as well as develop information necessary for the management, protection and rehabilitation of mid-lake wetlands.
Monitor Targeted Area
Lake Poygan, Pages Slough; document degradation, identify extent.(WTSO) Mark Sesing. 1. # of sample sites 3 2. # of of sampling events. 2 3. Date sample collection complete. 08/30/2007 4. Date of complete data entry. 08/30/2007 5. Date of final report. 12/31/2007

Management Goals

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

Monitoring Projects

Watershed Characteristics

Lake Poygan is located in the Arrowhead River and Daggets Creek watershed which is 142.91 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (45.40%), wetland (22.50%) and a mix of grassland (15.80%) and other uses (16.40%). This watershed has 246.26 stream miles, 4,646.49 lake acres and 18,649.27 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. 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.

Natural Community

Poygan Lake is considered a Shallow Lowland under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model resultsand DNR staff valiation processes that confirm or update predicted conditions based on flow and temperature modeling from historic and current landscape features and related variables. Predicated flow and temperatures for waters are associated predicated fish assemblages (communities). Biologists evaluate the model results against current survey data to determine if the modeled results are corect and whether biological indicators show water quaity degradation. This analysis is a core component of the state's resource management framework. Wisconsin's Riverine Natural Communities.

Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.