Spider - Clear Lake, Lake Chippewa Watershed (UC22)
Spider - Clear Lake, Lake Chippewa Watershed (UC22)
Spider - Clear Lake (2435700)
1194.32 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.
Deep 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.
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.
Deep Seepage
Deep seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. 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.
Default FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - Default Waters do not have a specific use designation subcategory but are considered fishable, swimmable waters.


Spider - Clear Lake, in the Lake Chippewa Watershed, is a 1,194.30 acre lake that falls in Sawyer County. This lake is an outstanding/exceptional resource water under NR102 under the Fisheries Program. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1969, Surface Water Resources of Sawyer County Spider Lake, T42N, R7W,

A hard water, drainage lake with an outlet, Spider Creek, flowing into the North Fork of the Chief River. The normal estimated flow of the outlet is 2.5 cfs. A one-foot head, water control structure privately operated stabilizes the level of the lake. Spider Lake is comprised of three major basins, Big Spider - 745 acres, Little Spider - 410 acres, and Clear Lake 300 acres. There is also a channel to nearby Fawn and North Lakes. The most abundant fish species in Spider Lake are walleye, muskellunge, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, rock bass, and white suckers. Other species present include smallmouth bass, black crappies, pumpkinseeds, bullheads, and various minnows. About 85 percent of the shoreline is hard bottom composed of sand, gravel, rubble and boulder. The remaining 15 percent borders tamarack bog, tag alder, shrub swamp, and sedge meadow wetlands and has a muck bottom. The wetlands on the immediate drainage area of the lake totals 430 acres and provides netting habitat for ducks. A considerable number of other waterfowl are found here during migration periods. commercial facilities include 15 resorts and two private campgrounds. There are also 99 cottages and dwellings on the lake. A public access is located at the outlet on the west side of Spider Creek. Public frontage includes the shoreline at the present access site and three additional undeveloped platted accesses and the shoreline of 12 islands owned by the Department of Natural Resources. A local ordinance restricts fast boating to mid-day hours.

Surface Acres = 1,454.3, Maximum Depth = 60 feet, M.P.A. = 59 ppm, Secchi Disk = 12 feet

Date  1969

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Spider - Clear Lake, Lake Chippewa Watershed (UC22) Fish and Aquatic LifeSpider - Clear Lake, Lake Chippewa Watershed (UC22) RecreationSpider - Clear Lake, Lake Chippewa Watershed (UC22) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Spider - Clear Lake (WBIC 2435700) was assessed during the 2018 listing cycle; new total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a sample data were clearly below the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was meeting these designated uses and was not considered impaired.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek


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.



Habitat Restoration - Shoreland
Practices include: two 350 ft2 native plantings, one fish sticks project, one rain garden, one diversion practice, and one rock infiltration practice on 1 property.
Best Management Practices, Implement
Spider Chain of Lakes Association will implement best practices described in Wisconsin's 2014-2017 Healthy Lakes Implementation Plan. Practices include: two 350 ft2 native plantings, one fish sticks project, one rain garden, one diversion practice, and one rock infiltration practice on 1 property. The best practices require a contract to remain in effect for 10 years and must include minimum operation and maintenance requirements and data collection as described in grant condition #16.
Educate and engage residents
The Town of Spider Lake proposes to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan to guide the community in establishing the long range goals, Town ordinances, and the organization of Town Government and citizen groups to protect and enhance the quality of water in our lakes and the natural lake ecosystems.

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

Spider Lake is located in the Lake Chippewa watershed which is 182.90 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (69.10%), open (16.50%) and a mix of wetland (12.70%) and other uses (1.60%). This watershed has 117.68 stream miles, 4,827.59 lake acres and 14,304.38 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

Spider - Clear Lake is considered a Deep 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.

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