Pine Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09)
Pine Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09)
Pine Lake (779200)
710.54 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.
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 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 703-acre lake is a large elongated basin in the interlobate moraine. The bays
comprising the irregular shore are smaller adjoining basins. The lake is primarily spring-fed but receives some water from Beaver Lake's outflow in wetter years and has its own outflow to North Lake and Cornell Lake in wet seasons. The water is clear and the bottom is mostly gravel. The fishery includes panfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye, with cisco providing a popular winter fishery.

The Pine Lake Association has not been active with any WDNR programs. The most recent activity on Pine Lake centers around the new public boat launch at the north end of the lake. Before completion of the launch and parking lot in late 1994, visiting boaters would have to park their cars more a quarter-mile away, then walk back to the launch.

In 1991, WDNR staff identified two sensitive areas on the lake. Management restrictions on these areas include bans on aquatic herbicide use, filling, pea gravel blankets, aquatic plant screens, and sea walls composed of concrete, timber or steel.

Zebra mussels have been identified in the watershed, but not in the lake. Pine Lake is most susceptible to these exotic invaders via boat transport.

Date  2002

Author   Aquatic Biologist

Historical Description

Source: 1963, Surface Water Resources of Waukesha County

Pine Lake T8N, R18E
Surface Acres = 703, S.D.F. = 1.96, Maximum Depth = 85 feet
A large elongated basin in the interlobate moraine. The bays
which make up the irregular shore are in effect smaller adjoining
basins. The lake is primarily spring fed but receives some water
from Beaver Lake's outflow in "wet" years and has an outflow itself
to North Lake and Cornell Lake only in wet seasons. The water is
clear and the bottom is mostly gravel. The fishery consists of pan
fish, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleyes and cisco. The
latter provides for a popular winter fishery. Public access is
provided by a town road, however parking is prohibited within about
one-half mile of the access by ordinance of the Village of Chenequa
which encompasses this area. There are no adjoining wetlands of
importance to wildlife.

Date  1963

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Pine Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) Fish and Aquatic LifePine Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) RecreationPine Lake, Oconomowoc River Watershed (UR09) Fish Consumption

General Condition

Pine Lake (779200) 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 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.


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

Pine Lake is located in the Oconomowoc River watershed which is 130.86 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (24.90%), forest (19.70%) and a mix of wetland (16.90%) and other uses (38.40%). This watershed has 136.99 stream miles, 2,858.66 lake acres and 11,105.19 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available 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

Pine Lake is considered a Two-Story 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.