Engbretson Underwater Photography

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News From Behind the Scenes at Engbretson Underwater Photo and Stories about the Freshwater Environments We Visit.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What are the Clearest Lakes in Wisconsin? 2012

I was talking to Jennifer Filbert at the Wisconsin DNR the other day.  Jennifer manages the data for the state-wide citizen's lake monitoring group.  They're a network of individuals, usually lake-front property owners who monitor and regularly take a variety of water samples from lakes all across Wisconsin.  The data they compile helps to give us a look at how our lakes are doing. One of the many tasks lake monitors perform is to take regular sechi disc readings.  This is a universal way of assessing and comparing water clarity.  I was interested to know which Wisconsin inland lakes were the clearest.  Jennifer sent me a spreadsheet of some really comprehensive data and I thought it would be interesting to pass this along.  Here are the lakes that recorded the highest average water clarity in 2012.  In short-here are Wisconsin's clearest lakes and their average water clarity in 2012:

1) Black Oak Lake-Vilas Co.-35 feet
2) Wazee Lake-Jackson Co.-30 feet
3) Keyes Lake-Florence Co.-27 feet
4) Maiden Lake-Oconto Co.-27 feet
5) Lake Owen-Bayfield Co.-25 feet
6) Stormy Lake-Vilas Co.-25 feet
7) Blue Lake-Oneida Co.-24 feet
8) Presque Isle Lake-Vilas Co-24 feet
9) Mildred Lake-Oneida Co.-23 feet
10) Boot Lake-Oconto Co.-22 feet
11) Lake Lucerne-Forest Co.-22 feet
12) Whitefish Lake-Douglas Co.-22 feet
13) Deer Lake-Polk Co.-22 feet
14) Pike Lake Chain-Bayfield Co.-21 feet
15) Sand Lake-Burnett Co.-21 feet

(Note: To see an updated list of 2013, click here.)


  1. Thank you very much for this site! I appreciate it very much. I am wanting to find a lake to retire by so my children can enjoy it for food source and recreational use. It's important to me to have water clarity. Let me know if you have any suggestions! Karla