Becker Lake, North Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04)
Becker Lake, North Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04)
Becker Lake (77300)
35.16 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.
This lake is impaired
Excess Algal Growth, Eutrophication
Total Phosphorus
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.
Aquatic Life
Waters that support fish and aquatic life communities (healthy biological communities).
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.


Becker Lake is a 31.2-acre seepage lake with an intermittent outlet to Grass Lake and an intermittent inlet from Long Lake in Manitowoc County. The drainage basin covers 14.50 square miles. The maximum depth is 51 feet with a mean depth of 15 feet. There is 0.98 miles of shoreline, of which 0.05 miles are publicly owned. Northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass are present and panfish are common. Becker Lake fish community structure shows signs of occasional to frequent fish kills.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1971, Surface Water Resources of Calumet County Becker Lake, T19N, R20E, Section 12(4), Area = 31.2 acres Maximum Depth = 51 feet, Secchi disk = 1.5 feet.

Becker Lake is a hard water seepage basin landlocked except for an intermittent outlet to nearby Grass Lake and an intermittent inlet from Long Lake in Manitowoc County. The lake contains turbid water throughout most of the open water season. Sand, gravel, silt, an detritus are primary littoral bottom materials. Bluegill, black crappie, black bullhead, perch, and carp are the most common fish species found while other species present include northern pike, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, and white or common sucker. Northern pike and largemouth bass can and do enter Becker from Long Lake during high water. The lake suffers from an occasional partial winterkill affecting primarily the marginal fishery but because of local opposition the project was never completed. Poor agricultural practices in the adjacent watershed have contributed to an increase in the rate of eutrophication of this basin as is reflected in the intense algae blooms often present. Most of the immediate shoreline is either pastured or cultivated. Over pasturing has caused extensive shoreline erosion along the south and east shore. Wildlife use is limited to a few puddle ducks during spring and fall migrations. Hunting is permitted. Public access is available from a county-owned launching ramp. Limited parking is available. Other developments include two cottages.

Date  1971

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Becker Lake, North Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04) Fish and Aquatic LifeBecker Lake, North Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04) RecreationBecker Lake, North Branch Manitowoc River Watershed (MA04) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Becker Lake (WBIC 77300) was listed for total phosphorus in 2016. 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 existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

Author  Ashley Beranek

Impaired Waters

Becker Lake (77300) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus and chlorophyll sample data exceed 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use.

Date  2015

Author  Aaron Larson


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.



Nutrient Budget Development
Calumet County proposes to quantify and compartmentalize nutrient budgets for the four lakes situated along the Calumet/Manitowoc County boarder which includes Round, Becker, Boot, and Long Lakes through in-lake, tributary, groundwater and watershed monitoring and modeling.

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

Becker Lake is located in the North Branch Manitowoc River watershed which is 76.97 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (61.80%), grassland (16%) and a mix of wetland (14.60%) and other uses (7.50%). This watershed has 129.77 stream miles, 292.80 lake acres and 7,389.45 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Ranked 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.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

Becker Lake is considered a Deep Headwater under the state's Natural Community Determinations.

Natural communities (stream and lake natural communities) represent model results and 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.