Squaw Lake, Trout Brook Watershed (SC08)
Squaw Lake, Trout Brook Watershed (SC08)
Squaw Lake (2499000)
109.96 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 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.
2019
Poor
 
This lake is impaired
Eutrophication, Excess Algal Growth
Total Phosphorus
 
St. Croix
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.
No
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.
No
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.
Yes

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.
WWSF
Streams capable of supporting a warm waterdependent sport 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.
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.

Overview

Squaw Lake, in the Trout Brook Watershed, is a 109.96 acre lake that falls in Saint Croix County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

This water was assessed during the 2012 listing cycle, and total phosphorus sample data exceed 2012 WisCALM listing criteria for the fish and aquatic life and recreation uses. Based on the 2012 assessment, a recreation use impairment (excess algal growth) caused by total phosphorus was added to this listing

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Squaw Lake currently experiences hypereutrophic conditions including nuisance growths of filamentous algae, severe blue green algae blooms and frequent winterkill conditions. These impairments have significantly impacted the recreational usage of the lake. A paleolimnological assessment of the lake sediments for the time period from 1735 to 1985 indicate that severe water quality degradation has only occurred in the last 20 years.

A aeration system was installed in the lake to alleviate the winterkill problem in the winter of 1988 - 1989 to alleviate the winterkill problem. Previous to the installation of the aeration system the lake experienced severe winterkills on the average of every 7.5 years. Lake residents attempted to alleviate nuisance filamentous and blue-green algal growths using summer copper sulphate applications from 1969 to 1984. These management activities only treat the symptoms of the lakes hypereutrophic condition and not the causes of the problem.

The riparian property owners on the lake petitioned the Town of Star Prairie town board to form the Squaw Lake Rehabilitation and Management District in 1988. The lake district was formed to assist in developing and implementing lake management activities to address the causes of the hypereutrophic condition. A comprehensive lake management plan was developed by the Department in cooperation with the lake district in 1991. The lake management plan focus is recommendations which will significantly reduce nutrient loading to the lake, reduce nuisance algal growth, improve water clarity and provide protection of the shorelands.

Date  1992

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Historical Description

A softwater, seepage lake subject to an occasional partial winter freeze-out and also faced with a water fluctuation problem. It was treated in 1936 with toxaphene to remove its undesirable and unbalanced fish population. It has since been restocked with walleyes, largemouth bass, bluegills and pumpkinseeds and is nowmanaged for only those species. A public access is located on the southeast side of the lake. Other public frontage includes two platted public beach areas and a platted town road access to the lake. These have not, as yet, been developed for their intended use. Private development consists of 5 cottages and dwellings. A 4 acre sedge wetlands area provides habitat for muskrats and broods of mallards and blue-winged teal. Most of the beach area is sandy soil. Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of St.Croix Co. Squaw Lake - T. 31 N., R. 18 W., Sec 8, 17 Surplus Acres = 97.0 S.D.F. - 2.91 Maximum Depth = 22 feet

Date  1961

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Squaw Lake, Trout Brook Watershed (SC08) Fish and Aquatic LifeSquaw Lake, Trout Brook Watershed (SC08) RecreationSquaw Lake, Trout Brook Watershed (SC08) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Squaw Lake is listed on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) 1998 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. The Lake is nutrient (phosphorus (P)) impaired as a result of agriculture, internal loading and local land use, is listed as a medium priority water and external load sources are nonpoint source (NPS) dominated. The designated use for Squaw Lake is defined as a full recreation, warm water sport fishery water.

Water quality in Squaw Lake is generally poor to very poor, falling in the eutrophic to hypereutrophic category (see Nonpoint Source Control Plan for the St. Croix Lakes Cluster Priority Watershed Plan) for a complete description of physical features). Summer lake phosphorus levels are about 270 ug/l. Mats of filamentous algae cover a large portion of the lake bottom and summer algal blooms result in foul odors and an unsightly build-up of algae biomass on the shoreline. In addition, trophic conditions in the lake limit rooting depth for emergent vegetation used by the resident fish populations. As a result, these impairments impact the recreational/aesthetic value of the lake and stress sport fish populations. Squaw Lake is not currently meeting applicable narrative water quality criterion as defined in NR 102.04 (1); Wis. Admin. Code

Date  2000

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

Squaw Lake (WBIC 2499000) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 1998. The TMDL for total phosphorus was approved by the U.S. EPA in 2003. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Squaw Lake (2499000) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 1998. The TMDL for total phosphorus was approved by the U.S. EPA in 2003. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use, and chlorophyll data overwhelmingly exceeded FAL thresholds and exceeded REC thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

Impaired Waters

Squaw Lake is listed on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) 1998 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. The Lake is nutrient (phosphorus (P)) impaired as a result of agriculture, internal loading and local land use, is listed as a medium priority water and external load sources are nonpoint source (NPS) dominated. The designated use for Squaw Lake is defined as a full recreation, warm water sport fishery water.

Water quality in Squaw Lake is generally poor to very poor, falling in the eutrophic to hypereutrophic category (see Nonpoint Source Control Plan for the St. Croix Lakes Cluster Priority Watershed Plan) for a complete description of physical features). Summer lake phosphorus levels are about 270 ug/l. Mats of filamentous algae cover a large portion of the lake bottom and summer algal blooms result in foul odors and an unsightly build-up of algae biomass on the shoreline. In addition, trophic conditions in the lake limit rooting depth for emergent vegetation used by the resident fish populations. As a result, these impairments impact the recreational/aesthetic value of the lake and stress sport fish populations. Squaw Lake is not currently meeting applicable narrative water quality criterion as defined in NR 102.04 (1); Wis. Admin. Code

TMDL was approved by the EPA in 2000 for Squaw Lake, located in the Star Prairie Township, St. Croix County, Wisconsin, in the St. Croix River Basin. Squaw Lake is listed on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (WDNR) 1998 303(d) List of Impaired Waters. The Lake is nutrient (phosphorus (P)) impaired as a result of agriculture, internal loading and local land use, is listed as a medium priority water and external load sources are nonpoint source (NPS) dominated. The designated use for Squaw Lake is defined as a full recreation, warm water sport fishery water.

Date  2000

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Condition

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.

Reports

Recommendations

Lake Management Plan Development
34876419
Lake Management Plan Development
34876422
Runoff Grant - Targeted Runoff Rural
TMDL Implementation
TMDL Implementation for Squaw Lake, located in the Star Prairie Township, St. Croix County, WI, in the St. Croix River Basin. An Implementation Plan is needed.

Management Plans

Specific to this TMDL, Squaw Lake is part of a larger priority watershed project, St. Croix Lakes Cluster Priority Watershed Project, that is intended to clean-up several lakes experiencing similar impacts in adjoining watersheds. As part of a financing plan for priority watershed and priority lake projects, long-term cost sharing and local staff funding is committed to the St. Croix Lakes Cluster Priority Watershed Project.

In addition, as described in the priority watershed plan, specific sites within the Squaw Lake watershed have been designated as critical sites for enforcement under the provisions of s. 281.20 and 218.65, Wis. Stats. Landowners have three years to voluntarily enter into cost share agreements. If a landowner does not participate by the specified time, the WDNR may take enforcement action to order the installation of needed best management practices. Cost share assistance is also reduced by 50%. No
new or additional enforcement authorities are proposed under this TMDL.

Date  2012

Author  Lisa Helmuth

Monitoring

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

Squaw Lake is located in the Trout Brook watershed which is 91.06 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (33.90%), forest (32.40%) and a mix of grassland (20.50%) and other uses (13.10%). This watershed has 54.92 stream miles, 968.11 lake acres and 3,479.17 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.This water is ranked High Stream for individual Lakes based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.

Natural Community

Squaw Lake is considered a Deep Seepage 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 seepage lake describes the depth and hydrologic charactertistics of the lake. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Fish Stocking