Powers Lake, White River and Nippersink Creek Watershed (FX03)
Powers Lake, White River and Nippersink Creek Watershed (FX03)
Powers Lake (744200)
451.38 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.
Deep 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.
Kenosha, Walworth
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.
Deep Headwater
Deep 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.


This warm water seepage lake has an intermittent outlet. Water levels are controlled by a fixed sill dam which maintains a head of 1.0 ft. There is one inlet on the northeast end of the lake which drains a large wetland containing one of the last stands of tamarack in Kenosha County. Virtually all of the Powers Lake shoreline is developed for summer homes (168). There are 7 resorts and 5 boat rentals. However, most of its watershed is agriculture. Marsh furbearers common to the lake and environs includes muskrats, mink, and raccoons. Waterfowl are commonly observed on the lake during their spring and fall migratory flights. Upland game common to the watershed includes cottontail rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, and deer. Powers Lake ranks as one of the best warm largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish. Walleyes are still a part of the gamefish fishery; however, after several alternate year stockings, surveys indicate virtually no natural reproduction. Thus, maintenance of the population depends on the fingerling stocking program. Stocking was curtailed in recent years because of inadequate public access by DNR standards. Powers Lake is noted for its larger-than-average sizes of bluegills, crappies, perch, and bullheads. Large areas of sand, gravel and rubble bottom and a variety of underwater shoals, bars, and dropoffs provide exceptional habitat for reproduction as well as feeding and resting areas for common warm water and cool water fish. Public access is available from 5 boat rentals of which 3 have launching facilities. There are several public parks and public road ends which provide water access but lack adequate launching facilities with associated parking.

Source: 1982, Surface Water Resources of Kenosha County Powers Lake, TlN, R18-19E, Section 18 Surface Acres = 459, Maximum Depth = 33ft, Secchi disc = 7 ft.

Date  1982

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Powers Lake, White River and Nippersink Creek Watershed (FX03) Fish and Aquatic LifePowers Lake, White River and Nippersink Creek Watershed (FX03) RecreationPowers Lake, White River and Nippersink Creek Watershed (FX03) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Powers Lake (744200) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water was also assessed for chlorides and sample data were clearly below 2016 WisCALM chronic and acute listing criteria for the Fish and Aquatic Life use. This water is meeting these designated uses and is not considered impaired.

Date  2015

Author  Ashley Beranek


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.



Habitat Restoration - Shoreland
Walworth County will continue the Walworth County Lakes Specialist position for one year. The Lakes Specialist will provide educational information to lake residents regarding shoreline stabilization and shoreline restoration. The Lakes Specialist will also design shoreline restoration projects for interested landowners, provide technical assistance to contractors and hold workshops on shoreland restoration.
Protect Riparian or Shorelands
Walworth County will implement the Shoreland Protection Initiative project that includes: 1. A baseline lakeshore inventory; 2. ten lakshore demonstration sites; 3. the preparation of lake lawn and yard nutrient management plans; 4. fact sheets on lakeshore stabilization, shoreland buffers, shoreland regulations and lawn care; 5. an annual lakeshore inventory and distribution of shoreland regulation materials; 6. formation of a Walworth Co. Lakes Association and meetings with and newsletter pertaining to Walworth Co. lakes; 7. Workshops, information packets and news articles pertaining to the Fox river Basin Partnership Team Lakes Initiative; and 8. the formation of the Walworth County Land Conservancy.
Land Acquisition
This wetland acquisition project includes the following: 1)Acquire through fee simple purchase wetlands reparian to the unnamed stream discharging into Powers Lake; 2)Promote the essential sturcture and function of these wetland areas to ensure positive water quality benefit to the downstream Powers Lake; 3)Facilitate the maintenance of wetland and wildlife habitat within the designated primary environmental corridor tributary to Powers Lake; 4)Encourage public knowledge and understanding of wetland ecosystems through programming in consultation with relevant institutions and agencies.

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

Powers Lake is located in the White River and Nippersink Creek watershed which is 168.35 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (44.80%), forest (14.40%) and a mix of wetland (11.30%) and other uses (29.50%). This watershed has 239.00 stream miles, 8,603.24 lake acres and 10,838.84 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

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

Powers Lake is considered a Deep 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.

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