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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

What are the Clearest Lakes in Wisconsin? The 2021 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 2021. 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 2021:

1)   Lake Metonga, Forest Co.39.5 feet

2)   Nagawicka Lake, Waukesha Co. 38 feet

3)   Sand Lake, Burnett Co. 35.5 feet

4)   Upper Eau Claire Lake, Bayfield Co. 34.5 feet

5)   White Lake, Marquette Co. 33 feet

6)   Delavan Lake, Walworth Co. 32 feet

7)   Lake Mendota, Dane Co. 30 feet

8)   Pearl Lake, Waushara Co. 30 feet

9)   Forest Lake, Vilas Co. 29.5 feet

10) Big Arbor Vitae Lake, Vilas Co. 29 feet

11) Sugar Camp Lake, Oneida Co. 29 feet

12) Blue Lake, Oneida Co. 29 feet

13) Butternut Lake, Forest Co. 28 feet

14) Lake Owen, Bayfield Co. 27 feet

15) Black Oak Lake, Vilas Co. 27 feet

To see the list from 2020, click here.