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Hydrology, water quality, trophic status, and aquatic plants of Fowler Lake, Wisconsin

Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4076

Prepared in cooperation with the Fowler Lake Management District
By:

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Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Fowler Lake Management District, completed a hydrologic and water-quality study of Fowler Lake in southeastern Wisconsin during calendar year 1984. Data on temperature, pH, specific conductance, and concentrations of dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphate phosphorus, and various nitrogen species were collected from January through November 1984. The water-quality data indicate that Fowler Lake can be classified as a mildly fertile lake with excellent water clarity as indicated by Secchi depth readings generally greater than 12 feet. Although phosphorus concentrations are generally less than 0.01 milligram per liter, the lake does produce dense stands of macrophytes during the open-water period. The lake is thermally stratified during the summer months, resulting in oxygen depletion in the deepest parts of the lake.

The average hydraulic residence time for Fowler Lake during 1984 was 6.9 days, which is substantially less than the 305 days for upstream Okauchee Lake or the 145 days for downstream Lac La Belle. Precipitation during 1984 was about 27 percent higher than normal and streamflows in the area were about 55 percent higher than normal. The Oconomowoc River contributed 98 percent of the inflow and 88 percent of the phosphorus load to Fowler Lake.

The low annual phosphorus input (28 pounds per square mile) to the lake from the Oconomowoc River shows the benefit of upstream lakes on the Oconomowoc River. Fourteen percent of the phosphorus input load to Fowler Lake is deposited in the lake sediments and the rest is transported through the lake by surface-water flow to downstream Lac La Belle. Dense growths of macrophytes in the lake change in composition seasonally; chara sp. (muskgrass) and Myriophyllum sp. (milfoil) are abundant in June and Najas marina and Vallesneria Americana (wild celery) are abundant in August.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrology, water quality, trophic status, and aquatic plants of Fowler Lake, Wisconsin
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
91-4076
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description:
v, 44 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Wisconsin
County:
Waukesha County
City:
Oconomowoc
Other Geospatial:
Fowler Lake
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N