Fish and Aquatic Life
Rice Lake (Lower Whitewater), in the Whitewater Creek Watershed, is a 144.06 acre lake that falls in Walworth County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.
Author Ashley Beranek
Source: 1961, Surface Water Resources of Walworth County,WI: WI-DNR Lower Whitewater (Rice Lake), T-4-N, R-15-E
An impoundment managed for northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. The lake shores are entirely undeveloped since the lake is within the boundaries of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The lake was created in 1954 by damming Whitewater Creek below Whitewater Lake with an 8 foot high structure. Much of the lake basin is marshy; however, the gravel shores rising into the glacial hills of the moraine are well defined. Camping and wildlife observation are prime recreational opportunities of this lake and its surroundings.
Surface Acres = 137, S.D.F. 2.07, Maximum Depth= 20 feet.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Rice Lake was evaluated for phosphorus every two-year cycle from 2016 to 2022; phosphorus levels were too high, reflected in algal blooms. This lake has been on the Impaired Waters List since 2018.
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.
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Need TP and Chlorophyll a monitoring; on Katie Hein's list for needing more data; will try to workplan for in the future. AU: 11783; Station ID:
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|
|816600||Rice Lake||653218||Rice Lake - Deep Hole||7/18/1978||3/29/2016||Map||Data|
|816600||Rice Lake||10017643||Rice Lake -- Access||7/18/1988||6/21/2021||Map||Data|
|816600||Rice Lake||653231||Rice Lake - Deep Hole Near Whitewater WI||4/15/1997||7/25/2022||Map||Data|
|816600||Rice Lake||10006691||Rice Lake (Walworth County)||6/1/1993||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|816600||Rice Lake||10043740||Rice Lake - (Herbicide Monitoring Site 1)||5/19/2015||6/8/2015||Map||Data|
|816600||Rice Lake||10017642||Rice Lake -- Access||7/4/2008||7/4/2008||Map||Data|
Rice Lake is located in the Whitewater Creek watershed which is 75.30 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (58%), forest (13.30%) and a mix of wetland (10.10%) and other uses (18.60%). This watershed has 92.85 stream miles, 886.52 lake acres and 3,995.32 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Low 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.