Twin Lake, East, West Fork Chippewa River Watershed (UC23)
Twin Lake, East, West Fork Chippewa River Watershed (UC23)
Twin Lake, East (2429000)
112.32 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 Seepage
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.
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 Seepage
Shallow seepage 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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


Twin Lake, East, in the West Fork Chippewa River Watershed, is a 112.32 acre shallow stained lake that falls in Ashland County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1966, Surface Water Resources of Ashland County East Twin Lake, T43N, R4W, Section 22

A soft water, seepage lake with extensive bog areas on the east and south shores. A small outlet with an estimated flow of 0.1 cubic feet per second is the headwaters of the Torch River. The most common fish species are muskellunge, perch and pumpkinseeds. Largemouth bass, black crappies, bullheads, white suckers and golden shiners are also present. Its waterfowl use is limited to the nesting of a few mallards and blue-winged teal. Muskrat and beaver use is insignificant. Private development consists of two cottages. Camping facilities and an access road are provided by the Forest Service and 1.51 miles of the shoreline is Chequamegon National Forest Land.

Surface Acres = 110.0, Maximum Depth = 15 feet, M.P.A. = 18 ppm, Secchi Disk = 4 feet

Date  1966

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Twin Lake, East, West Fork Chippewa River Watershed (UC23) Fish and Aquatic LifeTwin Lake, East, West Fork Chippewa River Watershed (UC23) RecreationTwin Lake, East, West Fork Chippewa River Watershed (UC23) Fish Consumption


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 Fish Community
Conduct periodic monitoring of the fishery in East Twin Lake and change management direction as needed. A fishery is always changing as year class failures and/or angler harvest can disrupt the balance and necessitate the need for additional management activities. A spring shocker run (late-May) every 2 to 3 years is recommended to keep abreast of the status of the fishery in East Twin Lake. The Chequamegon/Nicolet National Forest contract fisheries program will incorporate this run into its annual work plans.
Habitat Restoration - Lake
Maintain the undeveloped and wild nature of the shoreline. Any type of work or development near the shoreline should follow the guidelines for riparian management zones as described in "Wisconsin's Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality" (PUB-FR-093 95).
Fish Management, Access
Continue to manage East Twin Lake as a panfish and trophy largemouth bass fishery. Retain the 18-inch, 1 daily bag and the later opener for largemouth bass as this has provided for a quality angling opportunity. The supplemental stocking of bass fingerlings should be discontinued as natural reproduction and recruitment have increased and should sustain the fishery. The current harvest regulation for panfish of a 25 daily bag was sufficient to maintain and enhance the populations.
Fish Management, Access
Maintain the liberal 28-inch minimum length limit for muskellunge in East Twin Lake. The lake does not provide suitable habitat or forage for this trophy species and it is desirable to have 4 as low a density as possible. It's likely that the species will always maintain a presence in the lake -- but no efforts should be exerted toward increasing their numbers.

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

East Twin Lake is located in the West Fork Chippewa River watershed which is 284.78 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (62%), wetland (33.60%) and a mix of open (4.30%) and other uses (0%). This watershed has 256.71 stream miles, 6,208.10 lake acres and 60,035.54 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.

Natural Community

Twin Lake, East is considered a Shallow Seepage under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and 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 seepage lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Fisheries & Habitat

East Twin Lake is a 110-acre, shallow, stained, drainage lake in west-central Ashland County. A fishery survey in 1989 concluded that the lake contained an unbalanced fishery with abundant, slow-growing panfish populations, a low to moderate density of largemouth bass, and low numbers of larger (>27"), slow-growing musky. A 4-year program of stocking 3"+ largemouth bass fingerlings (1984-87) was considered partially successful in enhancing the bass population. The numbers of bass had increased over those found in previous surveys, the bass achieved good growth rates, and fair numbers reached quality size (>12 inches).

However, the bass population was still considered low and natural reproduction had yet to provide adequate recruitment to further build the population. This, in turn, had failed to impact the panfish populations and they remained abundant and slow-growing (bluegill were the predominant panfish, followed in abundance by pumpkinseed, black crappie, and then yellow perch). In addition, musky were present in the lake but the majority of fish were larger (>27"), slow-growing individuals and it was believed that natural reproduction was not sustaining the population (musky management was discontinued following a 1982 survey).

Date  2016

Author   Aquatic Biologist