Fish and Aquatic Life
Comus Lake is a 164-acre lake in Walworth County with a maximum and mean depth of six feet and four feet, respectively. With this large size and shallow depth, fish kills occur. Other problems the lake encounters include: urban stormwater runoff and polluted agricultural runoff from the lake's immediate watershed, including the city of Delavan. While the lake is located northeast of Delavan, one-half of the lake's acreage is located in the city's sewer service area and the lake's northern shoreline will be sewered in the future (SEWRPC). The lake has recently undergone dredging by the Comus lake management organization. The lake also experiences in-lake and shoreline habitat loss or degradation, turbidity from stormwater and agricultural runoff, and aquatic plants dominate the lake's littoral zone. An endangered rattlesnake was sighted at the lake in the 1980s. In 1995 SEWRPC recommended that the Lake Comus Sanitary District participate in WDNR Self-Help Monitoring to collect water quality data.
Rock River Water Quality Management Plan, Lower Rock River Appendix. WT-668-2002. South Central Region, WDNR.
Author Aquatic Biologist
An impoundment on Turtle Branch managed for largemouth bass and panfish. Northern Pike, yellow perch, rough fishes, and bullheads are also present. Major Northern pike, problems are weeds which choke the entire lake and winterkill, which occurs infrequently. The city of Delavan maintains a park with good access for fishing boats; however, for swimming a smaller impoundment on Turtle Creek is relied upon. There are no boat liveries and no shore dwellings on this lake fair indication of the little importance given to the fishery.
Surface Acres = 117, S.D.F. = 3.36, Maximum Depth = 8ft
Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of Walworth County,WI: WI-DNR Comus Lake T-2-N, R-16-E
Author Aquatic Biologist
Comus Lake was evaluated in the 2022 cycle: phosphorus and chlorophyll levels were above listing thresholds as outlined in 2022 WisCALM. This lake was added to the 2022 Impaired Waters List.
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.
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|
|794200||Comus Lake||10006687||Comus Lake||7/27/1999||10/4/2017||Map||Data|
|794200||Comus Lake||653286||Comus Lake - Deep Hole||7/17/1978||7/15/2022||Map||Data|
|794200||Comus Lake||10017992||Comus Lake -- Access||8/1/2010||6/15/2021||Map||Data|
Comus Lake is located in the Turtle Creek watershed which is 288.47 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (69.80%), grassland (9.10%) and a mix of forest (6.50%) and other uses (14.50%). This watershed has 339.80 stream miles, 590.58 lake acres and 6,590.97 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.