Fish and Aquatic Life
Bear Trap Lake, in the Balsam Branch Watershed, is a 247.45 acre lake that falls in Polk County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
These connected lakes have a strong Lake Association and an active Sanitary District.
Presently, the association is half way through with a comprehensive lake and incoming stream
water quality assessment study. This project is being funded under the lakes Planning Grants
Depending on the results of the "feasibility study", Wapogasset and Beartrap Lakes should
receive high priority for Implementation Grants funding or possibly NPS Priority Lakes or Small
Scale Watershed projects dependent on the study results.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of Polk County Beartrap Lake T33N, R17W, Sec. 25, 36 Surface Acres = 244.4, S.D.F. = 1.62, Maximum Depth = 25 ft., M.P.A. = 106 This lake is connected to Wapogasset Lake by a navigable channel. Fish species present include, northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, bluegills, perch, black crappies, rock bass, pumpkinseed and bullheads. Public frontage on the lake consists of an access road (50 feet) without a parking area and three unimproved platted access roadways having a frontage of 160 feet. There are three resorts and 65 cottages developing 40 per cent of the lake shore. Extensive boating use is made of this lake. Nesting ducks include mallards and bluewing teal. Migrating waterfowl make little use of the lake, the species are mainly coots, with some puddle and diving ducks.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Bear Trap Lake (WBIC 2618100) was placed on the impaired waters list for excess algal growth in 2014. The 2018 assessments showed continued excess algal growth; new chlorophyll-a sample data exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use. Total phosphorus data were clearly below the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use listing thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.
Author Ashley Beranek
Bear Trap Lake (2618100) was placed on the impaired waters list for excess algal growth in 2014. The 2016 assessments showed continued excess algal growth; chlorophyll sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, however, total phosphorus were clearly below REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data were clearly below Fish and Aquatic Life listing thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.
Author Aaron Larson
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.
ATTAINS Alternative Restoration Approach
The Lake Wapogasset & Bear Trap Lake Sanitary District is proposing to conduct an aluminum sulfate (alum) application to the waters of Bear Trap Lake in Polk County. This lake management procedure has been recommended in a previous Lake Management Planning Grant project report as a method to decrease the level of late summer phosphorus concentrations in the lake due to the in-lake recycling of nutrients from the bottom sediments.
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|
|2618100||Bear Trap Lake||10004985||Bear Trap Lake||8/7/2001||7/6/2018||Map||Data|
|2618100||Bear Trap Lake||493122||Bear Trap Lake - Deep Hole||9/12/1973||8/30/2019||Map||Data|
|2618100||Bear Trap Lake||10018191||Bear Trap Lake -- Access||7/5/2008||6/6/2019||Map||Data|
Bear Trap Lake is located in the Balsam Branch watershed which is 104.07 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (31.60%), agricultural (28.40%) and a mix of grassland (18.70%) and other uses (21.30%). This watershed has 63.62 stream miles, 6,301.67 lake acres and 5,248.51 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.This water is ranked High Lake for individual Lakes based on runoff problems and the likelihood of success from project implementation.