Fish and Aquatic Life
Shell Lake, in the Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River Watershed, is a 2,513.31 acre lake that falls in Washburn 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 not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Shell Lake is the largest (2580 acres) landlocked lake in the state. This high quality body of
water has been nominated for the "Outstanding Resource Water" designation. A lake district
was formed around this lake and a feasibility study was conducted in 1982. The
recommendations from this study emphasized protection measures but also included nutrient
reduction from the urban and agricultural areas in the watershed. This lake community should
be urged to develop a comprehensive lake management plan and assisted in implementing any
protection or nutrient reduction measures possible.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Shell Lake (2496300) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll sample data were clearly below FAL use listing thresholds and did not exceed REC listing thresholds. 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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
The City of Shell Lake is sponsoring a three-year Water Quality Improvement Project including the following activities: water quality study with response monitoring & paleolimnological component; runoff best management practice (BMP) installation at the Industrial Park & City Park; lake access restorations.
Shoreland Monitoring, Assessment, Inventory
Washburn County will implement an assistance project to work with Shell Lake lakeshore owners, as the water level recedes, to return as much waterfront as possible to its natural condition through planted restoration projects and through protection of areas that will regenerate naturally. Shell Lake has experienced flood conditions the past 3-4 years as a result of unusually high water levels on this 2600 acre "seepage" lake.
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|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041527||Shell Lake Southeast Site||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10018254||Shell Lake -- Access Off Burgs Park Dr||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10006702||Shell Lake||8/18/1980||10/7/2020||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10018248||Shell Lake -- Access Nr Donovan Cove Rd||5/2/2009||5/2/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041528||Shell Lake Southcentral Site||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10018253||Shell Lake -- Access Nr West Lake Dr||5/1/2010||8/18/2021||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10039734||Shell Lake - Swimming Beach Memorial Park||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10020445||Shell Lake -- Access Nr Lake Dr||7/28/2007||7/20/2014||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041525||Shell Lake Northwest Site 2||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041526||Shell Lake Northeast Site||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041529||Shell Lake Southwest Site||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||663010||Shell Lake - Deep Hole||5/7/1976||9/9/2021||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||663120||Shell Lake - Deep Hole||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||663173||Shell Lake - Shell Lake||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10018247||Shell Lake -- Access Nr Lakedrive Spur And Lake Dr||7/21/2003||5/4/2008||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||664043||Shell Lake||7/23/1979||7/23/1979||Map||Data|
|2496300||Shell Lake||10041524||Shell Lake Northwest Site 1||8/18/2009||8/18/2009||Map||Data|
Shell Lake is located in the Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River watershed which is 166.67 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (56.10%), agricultural (12.10%) and a mix of grassland (11%) and other uses (20.70%). This watershed has 118.54 stream miles, 5,764.04 lake acres and 9,834.60 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Ranked for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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.This water is ranked High Lake for individual Lakes based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.