Beaver Dam Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Beaver Dam Lake.

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Beaver Dam Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Southern Savanna Region -

Surrounded by south-central Wisconsin farmland, Beaver Dam Lake on the Beaver Dam River is a beautiful rural getaway. Conveniently located 40 miles northeast of Madison and 60 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Beaver Dam Lake is easily accessible to city dwellers. Falling within Wisconsin’s Southern Savanna Tourism Region, this family-friendly destination provides year-round activities and fun for all ages.

Not to be confused with the Beaver Dam Lake in Barron County, Beaver Dam Lake in Dodge County is considerably larger. Original figures set the lake size at more than 6,500 acres, making it among the largest lakes in Wisconsin. In recent years the lake level has lowered to 5,540 acres giving a shoreline length of 39 miles. The 14-mile-long lake was impounded in 1842 when the first of a series of dams was built to power a sawmill and gristmill. Beaver Dam Lake and River were named after the beavers that were abundant in the area before the lake was formed.

The community of Beaver Dam stretches along the southeastern shore of Beaver Dam Lake. Each summer more than 15,000 residents celebrate the pleasures of lake life at the annual Beaver Dam Lake Days. Community volunteers from the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association actively monitor lake resources and provide educational activities that promote and enhance lakeside living.

The fishing on Beaver Dam Lake and nearby Fox Lake is very good. With an average depth of five feet, the water is shallow but walleye, crappie and bluegill remain prevalent. There are also northern pike and large- and smallmouth bass. In the winter there is ice fishing and even ice skating on the lake. When snow falls, the surrounding hills provide excellent terrain for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and tobogganing.

Beaver Dam Lake has plenty of water for boating. A marina and several public ramps are located along the 41-mile shoreline. Swimming, jet skiing and water skiing are very popular. Beaver Dam’s Edgewater Park is a center of community activity and recreation with lagoons, piers, picnic tables, grills and restrooms. During the summer months when this rural community swells to a resort community, the Beaverland Must-Skis Ski Team performs free on the lake. It is a great family show and the team also organizes “Learn to Ski” clinics as well.

Over 400,000 visitors a year visit 32,000-acre Horicon Marsh, about 10 miles away. This state and national wildlife refuge is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. Over 260 different kinds of birds have been sighted at Horicon including lots of waterfowl and migratory birds. Birders will appreciate the photo and observation blinds. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy fishing for northern pike or panfish in Rock River or hiking and biking marsh nature trails. There is also waterfowl hunting in the area and Dodge County has public hunting lands that produce trophy sized white-tailed deer.

The beautiful water, pastoral farmland and charming resort town of Beaver Dam combine to make Beaver Dam Lake a fantastic family getaway or place to call home. Vacation rentals and lake-front real estate properties surround Beaver Dam Lake. Join in lakeside barbecues, ice cream socials, fall harvests, or winter festivals. Find your home on Beaver Dam Lake and decide to stay awhile.

Custom Beaver Dam Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Beaver Dam Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tobogganing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge

Fish species found at Beaver Dam Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Beaver Dam Lake

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Beaver Dam Lake photo gallery

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Beaver Dam Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Beaver Dam,WDNR

Surface Area: 6,542 acres

Shoreline Length: 41 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 873 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 88 feet

Average Depth: 5 feet

Maximum Depth: 7 feet

Water Volume: 30,677 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1842

Lake Area-Population: 15,169

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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