Fish and Aquatic Life
The 1,398-acre watershed of Bass Lake is relatively small compared to lake size; the watershed-to-lake ratio is approximately 3:1. This is a contributing factor in maintaining good water quality in Bass Lake (Hess et. al. 1997). The watershed has a mixture of land cover, but cropland is decreasing and developed acreage is increasing. Konkel
Author Aquatic Biologist
Bass Lake is a hardwater seepage lake managed for walleyes, largemouth bass and panfish. The panfish population includes bluegills, black crappies, perch, pumpkinseeds and yellow bullheads. Carp and white suckers are also present. Naturally fluctuating water levels are a problem for the cottage owner and aquatic life. Public access is had by use of a town road to the lake at its south end. Two boat liveries are available. About 65 per cent of the lakeshore is privately developed by a resort and 52 cottages. There is no public frontage on the lake other than the public access. Muskrats and nesting mallards and blue-winged teal utilize the 8 acres of "Scirpus" wetlands bordering the lake. Boating is restricted by local ordinance in motor size and use hours.
Surface Acres = 293.0 S.D.F. = 2.40 Maximum Depth = 37 feet
Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of St.Croix Co. Bass Lake - T. 30 N., R. 19 W., Sec. 14, 23, 26
Author Aquatic Biologist
Bass Lake is recommended as an Outstanding Resource Water to be included in NR 102 by Department staff. This is a high quality mesotrophic lake in western St. Croix county near the village of Sommerset. The residents around the lake have recognized the importance of protecting the good water quality that is present in the lake. The residents formed the Bass Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District in early 1987.
WDNR, the lake district and St. Croix county jointly conducted an EPA Phase I Diagnostic and Feasibility Study which was completed in 1992. This study was conducted to develop a comprehensive lake management plan which would protect this high value aquatic ecosystem. The study identified several current and potential threats which would ultimately degrade water quality if they are not controlled. The study found that full rural residential development can occur in the watershed and water quality can actually be improved if lake protection management activities are implemented throughout the watershed. An array of management recommendations were developed in the study and there full implementation will be critical for the long term protection of the Bass Lake ecosystem.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Bass Lake (T30N R19W S23) (2450500) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.
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.
Lake Management Plan Implementation
Bass Lake Management District is sponsoring a Lake Management Planning Implementation project aimed at reducing phosphorus loads and protecting and improving diverse aquatic life through shoreland restoration projects and BMP installations.
Lake Management Plan Development
St. Croix County proposes to hire a half-time staff for five years who will be located in the County Zoning office and will perform the zoning ordinance enhancement activities for the Bass Lake area.
Restoring buffer strips on the margins of cropland and streambanks, as well as shoreline buffer zones are important steps in protecting water quality and improving shoreline and littoral habitat.
The Bass Lake watershed should be considered a high priority for selection as a priority lakes project in the Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Program (Type B).
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|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563099||Bass Lake - N End Nr Cattle Pasture||7/17/1996||8/13/1996||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||10005402||Bass Lake (St. Croix County)||7/29/1992||8/19/2017||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||10049162||Bass Lake Pump SIte||7/20/2017||9/22/2021||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563058||Bass Lake - Middle Of Lake||6/28/1986||9/28/2021||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563165||Bass Lake - Bass Lake||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563101||Bass Lake - N End Deep Spot||7/17/1996||8/13/1996||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563102||Bass Lake - E Shore N Frog Pond||7/17/1996||8/13/1996||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563150||Bass Lake -- Public Access||6/23/2001||9/6/2021||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563153||Bass Lake - Nw Side||10/24/2018||10/24/2018||Map||Data|
|2450500||Bass Lake||563103||Bass Lake - S End Connected Pond||7/17/1996||8/13/1996||Map||Data|
Bass Lake is located in the Lower Willow River watershed which is 164.38 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (32.10%), forest (25.40%) and a mix of grassland (23.70%) and other uses (18.80%). This watershed has 99.33 stream miles, 2,139.74 lake acres and 2,482.81 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.