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Saturday, February 20, 2021

What are the Clearest Inland Lakes in Wisconsin? The 2020 Report:

For the best underwater photography, finding clear water with high transparency is essential. So what are the clearest lakes in Wisconsin?  Every year, I consult with Wisconsin's 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 Secchi disc readings. This is a universal way of assessing and comparing water clarity.  I'm always interested in knowing which Wisconsin inland lakes are the clearest.  Ordinarily, I rank the lakes that recorded the highest average water clarity for the previous year. This year, I'm looking at lakes that recorded the single highest Secchi disc reading in 2020. Because of Covid-19, not all the usual lakes were sampled at their usual intervals, so we have only the data that was collected. With that in mind, here are Wisconsin's clearest inland lakes and their highest single-day water clarity readings taken in 2020:

1)   Upper Eau Claire Lake, Bayfield Co. 39.5 feet

2)   White Lake, Marquette Co. 36 feet

3)   Middle Eau Claire Lake, Bayfield Co. 35.75 feet

4)   Whitefish Lake, Douglas Co. 35 feet

5)   Blue Lake, Oneida Co. 32 feet

6)   Lee Lake, Oneida Co. 31.5 feet

7)   Black Oak Lake, Vilas Co. 30.5 feet

8)   Forest Lake, Vilas Co. 30.5 feet

9)   Stone Lake, Washburn Co. 30 feet

10) Pearl Lake, Waushara Co. 30 feet

11) Lower Eau Claire Lake, Bayfield Co. 29.75 feet

12) Bass Lake, Oconto Co. 29 feet

13) Smoky Lake, Vilas Co. 29 feet

14) Sugar Camp Lake, Oneida Co. 28.5 feet

15) Upper Nemahbin Lake, Waukesha Co. 28 feet

To see the lake list from 2019, click here

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