Bass Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Lake Superior Northwoods Region -

Also known as:  Little Bass Lake

A small gem sparkling in the Chequamegon National Forest, Bass Lake is located in Bayfield County, Wisconsin. At 56 acres, small compared to the more popular and adjacent Lake Owen, it packs fun and excitement into every acre. Little Bass Lake, as some locals call it, is also in reference to its diminutive size.

Anglers know Bass Lake as a great fishing hole for bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and crappie. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources classifies Bass Lake as a seepage lake, which means it does not have an inlet or outlet; the main water source is from precipitation, runoff, and groundwater. No matter the source, residents know that the lake is also great for swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and ice fishing in the winter.

The locality around Bass Lake has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1600’s when the east coast was first being settled. English explorers traveled through the forest and waterways searching for unknown treasures. In 1659, French explorers started trading with the local Chippewa Indians for furs that eventually led to more white trappers moving to the area. Hundreds of canoes loaded with furs were rowed to waiting ships and transported to Europe to be fashioned into expensive garments. After the Revolutionary War, the Chippewa ceded the land to the United States in 1842, and a few years later the lumbermen arrived to cut the trees that would help build the growing country. The railroad made it to Cable to 1880, to Drummond in 1882, and to Grand View in 1884. After the railroad was completed, many nationalities moved to the area to start businesses and families. By 1900, it did not take the locals long to realize that they were in a prime location where city folks longed to visit and vacation. Thus began the era of tourism for the heavily forested area with hundreds of lakes, streams and rivers.

Today, visitors to Little Bass Lake can find needed supplies and gear at many locations in the Cable area, which includes the four towns of Cable, Drummond, Grand View, and Namakagon. Self-proclaimed as the “Sweet Vacation Spot in Northern Wisconsin”, the residents here welcome visitors to their communities with smiling faces and great hospitality. Their local economy is influenced by the national forest and lakes, as their primary sources of income are logging and tourism. With many lakes in the region, guide services, boat rentals, and bait shops abound to make a day on the lake fishing a memorable one. Their strong history of lumbering is proudly displayed with shows that demonstrate the strength, daring, and agility of lumberjacks to the amazement of all who attend. Golf courses stretch out challenging eager golfers to play a round of 18 holes. Accommodations and vacation rentals in the region include lakefront resorts, waterfront cabins, bed and breakfast inns, private homes, condos, motels, hotels, and campgrounds.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is home to more than 600 lakes, in addition to Bass Lake, and over 1200 miles of streams. The forest is a recreational paradise with paths and trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Multiple campgrounds offer a variety of scenery throughout the forest, including lakefront, rustic sites totally surrounded by tall pines, or primitive sites along a well-marked trail. For those preferring quiet time, the forest is home to multiple wilderness areas and several semi-private, non-motorized areas. Of course, if you prefer, a well maintained road runs through the forest so that you can enjoy the view at several scenic overlooks as you drive along.

If many exciting diversions in a peaceful environment surrounded by miles of natural beauty sounds like a great destination, it can be your next vacation if you choose to visit Bass Lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Plan your visit and see for yourself if it truly is the “Sweet Vacation Spot in Northern Wisconsin.”

Things to do at Bass Lake WI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Bass Lake WI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Sunfish

Bass Lake WI Photo Gallery

    Bass Lake WI Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 56 acres

    Shoreline Length: 1 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,348 feet

    Average Depth: 15 feet

    Maximum Depth: 36 feet

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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