Fish and Aquatic Life
Big Cedar Lake, in the Cedar Creek Watershed, is a 936.97 acre lake that falls in Washington County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Washington County Big Cedar Lake T10N, R19E, Surface Acres = 1,004, S.D.F. 2.25, Maximum Depth= 105 feet.
A large, elongate, glacial lake, occupying a valley between two high ridges left by the retreating Green Bay glacier. The lake consists of a deep south basin connected by a broad shallow terrace to a shallower north basin. Springs and seepage are major water sources and Cedar Creek originates here. Managed for largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, panfish, and cisco. Yellow perch, bluegill, and black crappie are abundant panfishes. A sturgeon was caught here in 1961. Trout were stocked on an experimental basis in 1954 and 1955; inadequate harvest and lack of suitable public access resulted in the discontinuation of this program. Weed growth and stunted panfish are listed as major use problems, however, the lake morphometry somewhat lessens their importance. This is the largest lake in Washington County, yet has only limited access (see access map). About 100 acres of grass and tamarack marsh adjoin the lake at its northern end, encircling neighboring Gilbert Lake. Mallards, blue-wing teal, wood ducks, and Florida gallinule have been observed to nest here, and both puddle and diving ducks are common sights in spring and fall migration. High development of the shore line for home sites and increased spring and summer boating activity have reduced use of the lake for nesting in recent years. Hunting is permitted but enjoyed mostly by frontage owners.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Big Cedar Lake (25300) 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 was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the 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.
Two sediment cores were taken at Big Cedar Lake in 1998. Diatom analysis was done.
Phase 3 of Lake Classification Project. Public Hearing and Ordinance revision adoption for the lakes in Washington County. Dissemination of proposed ordinance changes to the other local units of government. Enforcement of revised zoning provisions related to shorelands, wetlands, and floodlands through current channels. Information to public of changes in Washington County codes by meetings, publicity, pamphlets, and brochures.
Through this project Washington County will develop a waterbody classification system; review and revise shoreland-wetland and floodplain ordinances; and refine the ordinance provisions governing shorelands, wetlands and floodlands, incorporating the waterbody classification into them.
The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation will acquire 103 acres of land situated within a major subwatershed of and that drains toward Big Cedar Lake.
The Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, Inc. will acquire approximately 1.997 acres of land situated on the northwest shoreline of Big Cedar Lake in the town of West Bend, to reduce sedimentation and nutrient flows to the lake and to provide a safe public access to the 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|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10017622||Big Cedar Lake -- Access at The End Of Gonring Dr||5/16/2003||8/17/2021||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10053998||Cedar Lake - Access at Yacht Club Drive||7/17/2020||8/13/2021||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10017619||Big Cedar Lake -- Ramp Off Cedar Park Drive||8/27/2008||6/16/2020||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10017623||Big Cedar Lake -- Access Off S Hacker Dr||5/24/2008||7/14/2019||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||673206||Big Cedar Lake - Deep Hole - South Basin||9/18/1980||2/3/2021||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||673226||Big Cedar Lake at North Basin||5/28/1986||9/29/2020||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10033723||Big Cedar Lake - Landing at Paradise Drive||4/11/2011||4/11/2011||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||673263||Big Cedar Lake - South Site Near West Bend WI||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10007122||Big Cedar Lake||6/1/1986||8/20/2019||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10014829||Big Cedar Lake||5/5/2009||8/11/2021||Map||Data|
|25300||Cedar Lake||10041160||Big Cedar Lake Northern Basin Deep Site||2/15/1988||8/24/2010||Map||Data|
Cedar Lake is located in the Cedar Creek watershed which is 129.26 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (33.50%), grassland (18.90%) and a mix of wetland (17.70%) and other uses (29.90%). This watershed has 176.82 stream miles, 1,897.46 lake acres and 13,111.81 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked High for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.