Pickerel Lake, Lily River Watershed (WR19)
Pickerel Lake, Lily River Watershed (WR19)
Pickerel Lake (388100)
1272.37 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.
Forest, Langlade
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.


Pickerel Lake, in the Lily River Watershed, is a 1,272.35 acre lake that falls in Forest and Langlade Counties. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1977, Surface Water Resources of Forest County Pickerel Lake, T34N, R13E, Sec. 30 Surface Acres 1,299, Maximum depth = 14 feet, Secchi disk = 11 feet.

A medium hard water drainage lake having alkaline, clear water of moderate transparency. The inlet stream is drainage from Lake 28-7 and Crane Lake and the outlet, Pickerel Creek, flows to the Wolf River. The shoreline is mostly upland (55 percent) of mixed hardwoods and pine with the remainder being wetland of bog, meadow and shrub. The littoral material is diverse with muck (75 percent), sand (20 percent), gravel (3 percent) and rubble (3 percent). Fish present include northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, black crappie, pumpkinseed, black bullhead and white sucker. Submergent aquatic vegetation is dense while floating and emergent types are sparse. Most of the lake (70 percent) is shallow (2-5 feet) and the only deep portion forms a channel through the center of the lake basin. Aquatic weeds are a problem and the lake experiences heavy algae blooms. Shoreline use and development is heavy with 18 resorts, 6 boat rentals and 173 dwellings. Public access is good with two boat landings and navigable water access from both the inlet and outlet. Of the 8.14 miles of shoreline, 0.05 mile is public frontage.

Date  1977

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin


Habitat Restoration - Lake
The project will install an aeration system, monitor Dissolved Oxygen throughout the winter, and provide education on sources of nutrient loading into Pickerel Lake. The project will also include an education effort for safety of open water and sources of the problem which have lead to the need for lake aeration.

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 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

Pickerel Lake is located in the Lily River watershed which is 209.47 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily forest (72.20%), wetland (18.90%) and a mix of open (4.20%) and other uses (4.80%). This watershed has 161.31 stream miles, 4,248.79 lake acres and 18,178.21 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.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.

Natural Community

Pickerel 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.