Leota Lake, Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed (SP13)
Leota Lake, Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed (SP13)
Leota Lake (884700)
35.65 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.
This impoundment is impaired
High Phosphorus Levels, Excess Algal Growth
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.
Shallow Lowland
Shallow lowland 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.
Supported 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.
Streams capable of supporting a cold water sport fishery, or serving as a spawning area for salmonids and other cold water fish species. Representative aquatic life communities, associated with these waters, generally require cold temperatures and concentrations of dissolved oxygen that remain above 6 mg/L. Since these waters are capable of supporting natural reproduction, a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 7 mg/L is required during times of active spawning and support of early life stages of newly-hatched fish.


Leota Lake, in the Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed, is a 35.65 acre lake that falls in Rock County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently considered impaired.

Date  2016

Author  Ashley Beranek

Historical Description

Source: 1970, Surface Water Resources of Rock County Leota Lake, T4N, R10E, Section 22, 27, Surface Acres = 41, S.D.F. = 1.97, Maximum Depth = 15 feet A shallow, hardwater lake created by an 8-foot dam on Allen Creek. Most of the shoreline is within the Evansville City Park where public access is available. Picnic tables and beach facilities are provided. In 1961, the lake was drawn down preliminary to chemical treatment. A high rough fish and stunted panfish population was present and sport fishing had deteriorated. Repairs to the dike and dam, and beach improvements were made at that time. During the summer of 1962 the fish in the lake and watershed were chemically eradicated, and in 1963 northern pike and largemouth bass were restocked. Fish species now present include bluegills, largemouth bass, bullheads, northern pike and crappies. Algae becomes a problem each year but is successfully treated by the city. Approximately 223 acres of wetland adjoins the northwest side of the lake along Allen Creek. Migratory and nesting waterfowl are common and hunting is allowed.

Date  1970

Author   Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin

Leota Lake, Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed (SP13) Fish and Aquatic LifeLeota Lake, Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed (SP13) RecreationLeota Lake, Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River Watershed (SP13) Fish Consumption

Impaired Waters

Leota Lake (WBIC 884700) was placed on the impaired waters list for total phosphorus in 2016. The 2018 assessments showed continued impairment by phosphorus; new total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded the 2018 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use and Fish and Aquatic Life use. Chlorophyll-a sample data clearly exceeded the REC use thresholds, and nearly exceeded the FAL use thresholds. Based on the most updated information, no change in the existing impaired waters listing was needed.

Date  2017

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.



Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Take another year of total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a samples for further support of 2016 listing. Recommended by Sue Graham "We may want an additional year of monitoring chl due to data quality issues in 2014."

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

Leota Lake is located in the Allen Creek and Middle Sugar River watershed which is 154.01 miĀ². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (61.50%), grassland (17.30%) and a mix of forest (9.30%) and other uses (11.80%). This watershed has 263.25 stream miles, 96.10 lake acres and 5,963.23 wetland acres.

Nonpoint Source Characteristics

This watershed is ranked Medium for runoff impacts on streams, Not Ranked 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

Leota Lake is considered a Reservoir 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.