White Ash Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06)
White Ash Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06)
White Ash Lake (2628600)
147.08 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.
Shallow Lowland
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.
2020
Poor
 
This lake is impaired
Eutrophication, Excess Algal Growth
Total Phosphorus
 
Polk
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.
Shallow Lowland
Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. 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.
FAL
Fish and Aquatic Life - waters that do not have a specific use designation subcategory assigned but which are considered fishable, swimmable waters.
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

White Ash and North White Ash Lakes are connected and are located along and adjacent to the Apple River. The feasibility study conducted for this lake district in 1980 documented these lakes as shallow, sediment filled basins that are eutrophic in nature with no quick-fix solutions to the weed and algae problems.

High priority should be accorded these lakes for developing a long range lake management plan predicated on the priorities and needs of the lake community and tempered by the demand to protect the natural resource values that presently exist. The funding of practices that could reasonably implement the recommendations of the 1980 study, subject to the aforementioned conditions, should also receive a high priority.

Date  1992

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

White Ash Lake is a lake situated on the Apple River with a navigable inlet and a navigable outlet (2.7 cfs). Fish species present include northern pike, largemouth bass, pan fish and bullheads. Public frontage on the lake consists of one access road (430 feet) with parking and two unimproved platted access roads (461 feet and (60 feet). There is one boat rental and 14 cottages on the lake. One hundred two acres of predominantly wooded wetlands adjoin it. Mallards and wood ducks nest here. Puddle ducks and even greater numbers of diving ducks and coots use this lake during migratory seasons.

White Ash Lake T34N, R16W, Sec. 11, 2 Surface Acres = 144.1, S.D.F. = 1.50, Maximum Depth 15 ft., M.P.A. 93

Date  1965

Author   Aquatic Biologist

White Ash Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) Fish and Aquatic LifeWhite Ash Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) RecreationWhite Ash Lake, Upper Apple River Watershed (SC06) Fish Consumption

General Condition

This water was not recommended for 2010 listing; this lake is likely to be naturally eutrophic. White Ash Lake is high in both Total Phosphorus and TSI-chlorophyll. The Average Total Phosphorus is 0.12 mg/l (2007-2008), which exceeds the threshold of .04 mg/l for shallow lowland lakes. Using the Carlson TSI calculation for 2004-2008, average TSI-chlorophyll is 73, which also exceeds the threshold of 71 for shallow lowland lakes. However, there are several sources of documentation that Polk County has both higher than normal groundwater phosphorus concentrations and high soils/geologic phosphorus concentrations, with high-nutrient glacial outwash till. These contribute to naturally eutrophic conditions in many of the lakes in the area.

Previous White Ash Lake monitoring, modeling, and management planning efforts are limited, outdated, and tend to focus only on aquatic plants. As resources allow, we recommend additional monitoring & investigation into whether there are any anthropogenic sources that may be contributing to phosphorus levels (e.g., sediment core, etc.). Additionally, this lake currently has high macrophyte growth rather than being algae dominated. The lake needs to be managed properly to maintain the macrophyte-driven system and prevent it from converting to an algae-driven system. Since extensive harvesting programs have been initiated on North White Ash, monitoring to determine whether Secchi & chlorophyll concentrations have changed post-harvesting would also be beneficial.

Date  2009

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Impaired Waters

White Ash Lake (WBIC 2628600) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. 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

White Ash Lake (2628600) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2012. The 2016 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, and chlorophyll data exceed REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data do not exceed Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in existing impaired waters listing is needed.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson

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

Monitor or Propose 303(d) Listing
Conduct Monitoring on White Ash Lake to determine TP in background for proposed actions on this water to be listed in 2012 based on criteria exceedances.
Aquatic Plant Management Plan
The lake needs to be managed properly to maintain the macrophyte-driven system and prevent it from converting to an algae-driven system. Since extensive harvesting programs have been initiated on North White Ash, monitoring to determine whether Secchi & chlorophyll concentrations have changed post-harvesting would also be beneficial. KLM

Management Goals

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

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

White Ash Lake is located in the Upper Apple River watershed which is 195.43 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (45.90%), agricultural (16.40%) and a mix of wetland (15.70%) and other uses (22.10%). This watershed has 138.62 stream miles, 7,663.43 lake acres and 16,247.07 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, High 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.

Natural Community

White Ash Lake is considered a Shallow Lowland 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.

Shallow lowland lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.