Fish and Aquatic Life
Crystal Lake is a 527-acre shallow, eutrophic, seepage lake, which up until the mid 1980s, was a marsh. Hydrologic changes of the ground water has caused the lake level to increase dramatically, thereby allowing its fishery to change from a winterkill plagued bullhead and minnow lake to one of the best bass and panfish producing waters in the state. Dense, aquatic plants grow in some nearshore areas and a mid to late summer algal bloom occurs. Dead timber lines the shoreline as a result of the recent rise in water level. The lake has received a Lake Planning Grant from the Department of Natural Resources which has been used to contract with the USGS to conduct groundwater modeling. Public access on the lake is inadequate. A fishery survey was conducted on the lake in 2000.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Source: 1985, Surface Water Resources of Dane County,WI: WI-DNR Crystal Lake T9N, R7E, Sec. 1 Surface acres 500, SDF = 1.69, Maximum depth = 9 ft.
A large, shallow, land-locked basin, Crystal Lake is located in northwestern Dane and southwestern Columbia counties. The water quality of this lake has deteriorated over the last few decades. The substrate is composed of muck and is covered by a dense growth of macrophytes including sago pondweed, Elodea sp., water--milfoil, bulrush, arrowhead, yellow and white water lilies, and duckweed. Algae blooms occur throughout the summer. Water quality problems are related to fluctuating water levels and runoff from the adjacent trailer park and farmlands. A narrow piece of marsh borders the lake and some of the shoreline has been developed into a trailer park. Residential development has occurred nearby. The remaining shoreline is farmland. Crystal Lake is used heavily by migrating waterfowl and a wide variety of birds can be seen in and around the lake. Winterkill is a continuing problem. Fishing success is poor in years following a winterkill, but good at other times. Bass have been stocked. There is no free public access to the lake, but two commercial liveries provide boats and access for a fee. Fish species: black bullhead, golden shiner, fathead minnow, bluegill, orange spotted sunfish, pumpkinseed, and largemouth bass.
Author Surface Water Inventory Of Wisconsin
Crystal Lake (978900) was assessed during the 2016 listing cycle; total phosphorus sample data overwhelmingly exceeded 2016 WisCALM listing thresholds for the Recreation use, however chlorophyll data did not exceed REC thresholds. Total phosphorus and chlorophyll data did not exceed Fish and Aquatic Life thresholds.
Author Aaron Larson
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.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
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.
ATTAINS Water Identified for Protection
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|
|978900||Crystal Lake||10001252||Crystal Lake (Dane County)||6/1/1994||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
|978900||Crystal Lake||10033938||Crystal Lake--RV Headquarters||6/18/2014||6/18/2014||Map||Data|
Crystal Lake is located in the Roxbury Creek watershed which is 71.11 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (40.40%), forest (28.50%) and a mix of wetland (12.80%) and other uses (18.30%). This watershed has 111.73 stream miles, 988.84 lake acres and 4,432.98 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.