Fish and Aquatic Life
Bass lake, located in southwest Marinette County, is a 37.4 acre hard water drainage lake with a maximum depth of 62 feet and an average depth of
23 ft. Bass lake is dimictic and exhibits very strong thermal stratification due to its small surface area relative to mean depth (stratification factor = 42.7).
The Bass lake shoreline is dominated by low-lying cedar swamp with limited upland areas. Development is limited to four private dwellings, giving the lake a strong wilderness character.
Bass Lake receives drainage from a 3.4 acre unnamed spring lake, a spring-fed farm pond and several spring seeps located north of the lake. Surface runoff from approximately 451 acres of land drains to the lake. Approximately 83% of the watershed is cropland. Prior to 1999 there were two dairy farms located north of the lake that owned or operated all of the cropland in the Bass Lake watershed.
Bass Lake has a long history of water quality problems caused primarily by animal waste runoff from unconfined manure stacks and feedlots. In the mid 1960s, the lake supported a diverse sport fishery and was popular with local anglers. The fish population included largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish. The WDNR also stocked trout in Bass Lake for several years. However, trout stocking was suspended in 1975 after hypolimnetic oxygen concentrations declined and the lake could no longer support a coldwater fishery. Subsequent winter fish kills decimated the lake's warm water fishery as well. Between 1977 and 1991 the average dissolved oxygen concentration measured one meter below the ice in February was 2.24 mg/l with frequent periods of nearly complete anoxia. During the summer months massive algae blooms that reduced visibility and repressed aquatic macrophyte growth plagued Bass Lake. [Druckery, 2008]
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1975, Surface Water Resources of Marinette County Bass Lake, T31N, R20E, Section 30, Surface Acres-36.2, Secchi Disk-9 feet, Maximum Depth-50 feet.
A hard water drainage lake having slightly alkaline, light brown water of moderate transparency. The littoral zone is 70 percent muck and 30 percent sand. The shoreline is 95 percent coniferous wetland (cedar) and 5 percent cleared upland. The fish population consists of largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, perch, brook trout, rainbow trout and white sucker. Fifty percent of the lake is in excess of 20 feet in depth. Waterfowl make limited use of this lake. The Town of Beaver provides public access with parking. No dwellings are located on the shoreline. The outlet flows to Beaver Creek.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
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.
Water Quality Planning
Marinette County proposes to treat Bass Lake with alum to reduce the effects of sediment phosphorus in the lake. Project activities include treating all waters of Bass Lake in excess of 3 feet deep and conducting pre and post treatment water quality monitoring
Nine Key Element Plan
Bass Lake PWS Plan - Nine Key Element Plan - Bass Lake in Marinette County - Bass Lake, a small lake in southwestern Marinette County, has experiences substantial degradation over the last 10 to 20 years. During December 1984, articles appearing in the Wisconsin State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal referred to Bass Lake as a lake that has died. In essence, this plan describes the game plan necessary to resurrect Bass 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|
|521400||Bass Lake||10003725||Bass Lake (Marinette County)||7/27/1999||6/7/2020||Map||Data|
|521400||Bass Lake||383074||Bass Lake - Deepest Part||7/20/1975||5/23/2012||Map||Data|
|521400||Bass Lake||10018979||Bass Lake -- Access at The End Of 10th Rd ||10/20/1992||6/8/2021||Map||Data|
|521400||Bass Lake||383209||Bass Lake - Deep Hole||4/15/1986||4/28/2020||Map||Data|
|521400||Bass Lake||383229||Bass Lake Tributary - Bass Lake Tributary||5/9/1995||11/12/2019||Map||Data|
Bass Lake is located in the Little Peshtigo River watershed which is 158.43 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (34.20%), wetland (26.90%) and a mix of forest (22.80%) and other uses (16.00%). This watershed has 206.41 stream miles, 2,168.89 lake acres and 24,619.22 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium 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.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.