George Lake, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01)
George Lake, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01)
George Lake (735100)
68.85 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 Headwater
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.
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 Headwater
Shallow headwater 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.


George Lake is located in the Town of Bristol in south central Kenosha County. Portions of the Towns of Bristol and Salem lie within the area tributary to George Lake. George Lake is a drained lake, having no continuously flowing inlet but with a flowing outlet, and, as such, is not primarily groundwater-fed but relies on precipitation and direct drainage from the surrounding land as the principal sources of its water. The mean depth of the Lake is about seven feet and the maximum depth is about 16 feet. George Lake has a volume of approximately 390 acre-feet, and a surface area of about 59 acres

The tributary area draining to the Lake is about 2,187 acres. Although it is a drained lake, it does have two intermittent inlets, both draining lands located to the west of the Lake and USH 45 in the Towns of Bristol and Salem: the first, located along the western shore of the Lake, drains a marsh and lowland area; the second, located along the southwestern shore of the Lake, drains a large marsh complex. George Lake is drained through an outlet located at the northeastern corner of the Lake that connects by way of a small unnamed stream to the Dutch Gap Canal, a tributary to the Des Plaines River. Water levels in George Lake are maintained by a small impoundment located at this outlet.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

George Lake is a small, warm water seepage lake is managed for northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. It receives drainage from Paasch Lake and Barber Pond to the west. Chemical rehabilitation was attempted in 1968 to remove carp and stunted panfish, but was unsuccessful because of reintroductions from waters above and by verified unlawful stocking by a local resident. The lake currently has problems of too many carp and slow-growing bluegills, but there are good populations of largemouth bass and northern pike. Netting surveys indicate that northern pike use the marsh on the south side of the lake for spawning. Duck hunting for teal and mallards is popular in the fall. George Lake has a concrete sill type control structure which maintains a head of 3.0 ft. Access is possible from several rights-of-ways with limited parking.

Source: 1982, Surface Water Resources of Kenosha County George Lake, TlN, R21E, Section 20, 29. Surface Acres = 59.0, Maximum Depth = 16.0 ft, Secchi disc = 1.0 ft.

Date  1982

Author   Aquatic Biologist

George Lake, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) Fish and Aquatic LifeGeorge Lake, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) RecreationGeorge Lake, Des Plaines River Watershed (FX01) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Trophic Status

The Wisconsin Trophic State Index rating, as calculated from data taken by the Citizen Lake Volunteer Monitor on George Lake, classifies the lake as eutrophic.

Aquatic Plant Diversity

George Lake supports a healthy and diverse aquatic plant community, with up to 11 different species of submerged aquatic plants within the lake. Of these species, two are considered invasive Eurasian Water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), and Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus). Measures to control these invasive plants are conducted every year by the George Lake Rehabilitation District. These measures include herbicide and mechanical control.

Date  2012

Author   Aquatic Biologist


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.


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

George Lake is located in the Des Plaines River watershed which is 133.34 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (57.90%), suburban (11%) and a mix of wetland (8.90%) and other uses (22.30%). This watershed has 216.36 stream miles, 755.01 lake acres and 7,194.07 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.

Natural Community

George Lake is considered a Shallow Headwater 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 headwater lake describes the depth and location of the lake in a watershed. These variables affect the lakes response to watershed variables.

Fisheries & Habitat

George Lake supports a relatively large and diverse fish community. WDNR manages George Lake as a bass-panfish warmwater fishery. Fish surveys show Bluegill, Yellow perch, Pumpkinseed, Walleye, Largemouth bass, Carp, Northern Pike, White sucker, bullhead, Rock bass, crappie, and others.

Date  2011

Author   Aquatic Biologist