Lake Puckaway, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Central Sands Prairie Region -

Also known as:  Puckaway Lake

Lake Puckaway spans more than 5,000 acres in Green Lake County, part of Wisconsin’s Central Sands Prairie Region. The family hungering for an old-fashioned Wisconsin lake get-away will find their dream vacation here. The name Puckaway is believed to come from the word “Apuckawa”, meaning “the place where wild rice grows.” Describing the lake in 1673, Father Marquette said,”It is easy to lose one’s way, especially as the river is so full of wild rice that it is difficult to find the channel.” A long shallow lake that could more accurately be described as a wide spot in the river, more area visitors head for nearby Green Lake – the deepest lake in Wisconsin. Yet Lake Puckaway’s average three foot depth has given up some amazing fish, including a State record northern pike. Those ‘in the know’ pass up busy Green Lake and head for Puckaway Lake with its quiet waters, abundant wildfowl and wily game fish.

Although a natural lake, Puckaway Lake has a small dam eight miles downstream. The Princeton Dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1897 in an effort to provide water deep enough for commercial freight steamers. It was soon realized that plans for a transportation channel on the upper Fox River was never going to be feasible and the attendant lock was decommissioned by 1922. Now under the control of the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources, what remains of the dam is controlled by 18 inches of stop-boards adjusted to raise water levels in the spring and lower it in the fall. These adjustments assure the correct water depth for nesting waterfowl and deep enough water to accommodate all outboard motors.

A full 60% of the shoreline is reeds and marsh, limiting summer cottages and full time residences to a small area along the bank. Many of these lakefront properties are available as vacation rentals, usually with boat and dock included. A hard sandy bottom provides excellent swim areas for children.The wealth of game fish will keep all of the family fisher-folk happy. Walleye, northern pike, large & small mouth bass, muskie, bluegill, crappie, perch and lake sturgeon are caught. The shallow depths lend themselves to excellent ice fishing; well-bundled ice fishermen arrive the minute there is enough ice to be safe. All Wisconsin lakes carry a standard fish consumption advisory but fish are safe to eat in limited quantities. The DNR plants fingerlings on a regular schedule to assure a plentiful supply. Several public boat launch sites are located around the lake. The shallow lake lends itself to canoeing and kayaking, along with windsurfing and the sailing of smaller boats.

The local Lake Puckaway Protection and Rehabilitation District has monitored water quality for many years and has restoring the lake to optimum health after several years of degraded water quality. Several state-controlled wildlife areas are located near the lake, including Grand River Marsh and Grand River State Hunting Area four miles south of the lake. Extensive wetlands lend themselves to excellent bird and wildlife watching. Great blue herons and double-breasted cormorants make themselves at home in the shallows along with a variety of ducks and shorebirds. Both the small lakefront lanes and public trails provide plenty of room to hike, mountain bike and skateboard. The tiny town of Marquette on the south shore is geared for lake visitors and has a full range of amenities such as bait, gas, groceries and lodgings. Golf courses are nearby.

Located amid Wisconsin’s productive farming region, Lake Puckaway is only 90 miles from Milwaukee and 45 miles from Oshkosh. The distance is perfect for week-end get-aways or a home base for the summer. Real estate is occasionally available either on the lakefront or with lake views. Several resorts along the shore occupy the same spot they’ve held for generations, some with camping available. Property owners regularly rent their Lake Puckaway homes by the week or month, so vacation rentals aren’t hard to find. Many families return year after year to their favorite cottage with a standing reservation. And, sooner or later, most try to purchase a piece of Lake Puckaway lakefront heaven to call their own. So, leave the big boats to Green Lake and join the laid-back atmosphere at Lake Puckaway. Before you know it, you’ll be a Puckaway regular, too.

Things to do at Lake Puckaway

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing

Fish species found at Lake Puckaway

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sturgeon
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lake Puckaway Photo Gallery

    Lake Puckaway Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: WDNR, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Assoc. of Lakes

    Surface Area: 5,039 acres

    Shoreline Length: 27 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 763 feet

    Average Depth: 3 feet

    Maximum Depth: 5 feet

    Water Volume: 15,327 acre-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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