Fish and Aquatic Life
Rice Lake, in the Lower Koshkonong Creek Watershed, is a 117.34 acre lake that falls in Dane County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1985, Surface Water Resources of Dane County,WI: WI-DNR Rice Lake - T5N, R12E, Sec. 14
Listed as a deep marsh pond in the 1961 inventory (Poff and Threinen 1962), this lake should be classified as a pothole lake. There is a large, deep marsh on the north end, but the rest of the lake has firm shores and little emergent vegetation. The surrounding land is upland hardwood forest and some pasture. There are some residential dwellings on the south end and a private campground on the west shore. Algae blooms in summer reduce aesthetic and recreational potential. Occasional winterkills reduce the diversity and potential of the fishery. Use of the lake is light. A population of bullheads inhabits the lake, though largemouth bass and panfish were once common. The campground on the west shore rents boats to campers but free public access to the lake is not available. Fish species: bluntnose and fathead minnow, black bullhead, and bluegill.
Surface acres = 98, SDF = 1.92, Maximum depth 8 ft
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.
Dane County acquired 15.1 acres of land located on the NE side of Rice Lake in the Town of Albion, Dane County. This acquisition will protect the shoreline and fishery ecosystem for wildlife and scenic beauty and prevent the parcel from conversion to other uses.
Issue News/Media Release
Watershed Mapping or Assessment
Lake Management Plan Development
Dane County Lake Classification-Phase 2: The Phase 1 classification grant classified all county lakes and streams. This grant will take the next step by developing a management program based on the classification.
Dane County Department of Planning and Development will hire a project staff in order to develop a Lake Classification project, which is seen as the first step toward developing a consistent set of county-wide standards and procedures to protect Dane County Waters.
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|
|779500||Rice Lake||10033450||Rice Lake - Deep Hole||6/30/2011||9/25/2021||Map||Data|
|779500||Rice Lake||10001229||Rice Lake||7/27/1999||6/21/2022||Map||Data|
|779500||Rice Lake||10034364||Rice Lake - North Basin (Site 2)||6/30/2011||8/1/2011||Map||Data|
Rice Lake is located in the Lower Koshkonong Creek watershed which is 265.61 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (54.20%), wetland (11.60%) and a mix of grassland (10.50%) and other uses (23.70%). This watershed has 283.47 stream miles, 1,735.65 lake acres and 18,171.94 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.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.