Lake Sinissippi, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Southern Savanna Region -

Also known as:  Sinissippi Lake

Located in Dodge County just north of Hustisford in the midst of Wisconsin farmland, Sinissippi Lake is a beautiful pastoral escape. Surrounded by gently rolling hills and home to both waterfowl and waterskiers, Sinissippi Lake is the perfect place for recreation and relaxation.

The area around Sinissippi Lake was important in the 1800’s for logging. In 1845 John Hustis built a log dam on the Rock River impounding the lake. Originally called Cranberry Lake then Hustisford Mill Pond and Lake Hustisford, settlers finally named the lake Sinissippi from an Algonquin phrase meaning “Lake-like River.” In addition to being used for logging, by the late 1800’s residents were also cutting ice on Lake Sinissippi. In 1908 the existence of Lake Sinissippi was threatened. The Rock River Valley Land Company of Illinois wanted to breach the dam, eliminating the lake and turning nearby Horicon Marsh into farmland. Thankfully, the State Supreme Court said that Lake Sinissippi had existed long enough to be considered a natural resource, and the petition was denied.

In 1939 the Hustisford Dam replaced the old log dam. The new concrete dam raised the lake level about 1.4 feet to its current level. The higher water levels caused significant erosion, inundating four of the twelve original islands and eliminating the shoreline wetlands. In the 1940’s, residents around the lake started the Lake Sinissippi Association to protect the lake. The association is still in existence and works to protect Lake Sinissippi’s water quality and to reestablish the fishery.

Because Lake Sinissippi formed on gently rolling farmland, it is a shallow lake. The agricultural runoff has made the lake eutrophic (nutrient rich with low oxygen). In fact, it is too eutrophic for most game fish. The lack of oxygen combined with the lake’s shallow depth and quick ice formation have led to several historic fish kills. Carp and bullhead are the only fish still prevalent in the lake, but there are still some walleye and northern pike present. The Lake Sinissippi Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are making ongoing attempts to reestablish the game fishery, but so far without much success. Dodge County has several other lakes, and nearby Fox Lake and Beaver Dam Lake are great places for anglers.

Sinissippi Lake is a great place to boat and water ski. The Sinissippi Ski Club, founded in 1978, offers “Learn to Ski” programs every summer to teach beginning skiers. The Ski Club also performs together on the lake. Quiet boaters can explore the lake’s eight islands. Camping is available on Radloff Island, aka Campers Island, which is the largest island on the lake. There is also hunting nearby, and the bird watching is unsurpassed. Bald eagles, sandhill cranes, herons, and white pelicans all frequent the lake.

Just a few miles north of Sinissippi Lake, 3,200-acre Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. About two thirds of the marsh is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The southern third of the marsh is managed by the Wisconsin DNR as the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. There is hiking, biking, hunting and fishing in the marsh, and with over 290 species of birds and waterfowl. It has been designated a “Wetland of International Importance.”

With its beautiful rolling hillsides and magnificent bird watching, Lake Sinissippi is sure to become a family favorite.

Things to do at Lake Sinissippi

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge

Fish species found at Lake Sinissippi

  • Carp
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Walleye

Lake Sinissippi Photo Gallery

Lake Sinissippi Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Village of Hustisford

Surface Area: 2,855 acres

Average Depth: 4 feet

Maximum Depth: 11 feet

Completion Year: 1939

Lake Area-Population: 1,152

Drainage Area: 500 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake Sinissippi article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.