Squaw Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Lake Superior Northwoods Region -

One of the better-kept secrets in Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Northwoods Region is Squaw Lake. This 785-acre lake hides in plain sight across the borders of Oneida and Vilas Counties. One reason it escapes notice is that Vilas County already holds one of the world’s highest concentrations of freshwater inland lakes – some with wide publicity and public awareness. Wisconsin also holds several other lakes by the same name, although they are much smaller. All of these factors allow Squaw Lake to settle quietly into the background, providing uncrowded enjoyment to those lucky enough to find it.

Long, shallow Squaw Lake lies north-and-south along Squaw Creek. A natural lake, the creek does sport a small dam upstream in the Riley Lake Wildlife Management Area which keeps water levels stable. The shoreline is well-wooded, with private homes hidden among the trees. Some of the shoreline is wetlands, allowing for plenty of nesting area for water birds, waterfowl and aquatic mammals. Bald eagles soar above the quiet waters, while loons nest hidden in the emergent vegetation. Great blue herons glide silently to a hunting space in the shallows where their sharp bills make quick work of small fish and crustaceans. And residents and visitors alike marvel at the clear, spring-fed water stained rust with tannin, sporting colorful wood ducks and mallards like jewels around its perimeter.

Most of the bottom of Squaw Lake is sand, making this an excellent lake for swimming. Boating of all types is popular, but strict hour limits are placed on such activities as water skiing and personal watercraft to keep the late evenings and night-time hours silent and serene. People wanting to venture out on the lake usually do so on pontoon boats or fishing craft, but canoes and kayaks are well-represented. Fishermen visit the lake year-round as the lake is known locally as an excellent spot to catch walleye, muskellunge, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and bluegill. Nearly nine miles of shoreline and several small un-named inlets provide excellent spots where ‘keepers’ lurk. A public boat launch is provided on the north shore, but many fishermen choose to rent cabins at one of a few resorts on the lake where they can fish happily for several days at a time. Many families return to these resorts annually as there is plenty to entertain the entire family.

Squaw Lake provides year-round fun for its lucky property owners and guests. Although the lake freezes early due to its shallow depth, it also warms early in spring, providing open water for summer activities. In the fall, the surrounding woods are clothed in red and gold, while winter brings the silence of a pristine white blanket where every four-legged passerby leaves evidence of its passing. Ice fishermen make a beeline to the thickening ice, where they continue their favorite sport in a somewhat chillier manner. The three-county area that surrounds Squaw Lake is well-supplied with hiking and cycling trails, snowmobile trails, cross-country skiing and snowshoe paths. Just west and north of Squaw Lake in Price County, the Riley Lake Wildlife Management Area offers up several hiking and canoeing trails, space for picnicking and hunting in season. There are many, many lakes within a short distance. The several chains of lakes in the Eagle River area are only a short distance to the east.

The towns of Lac Du Flambeau and Minocqua are both within 20 miles of Squaw Lake and will provide most necessities a vacationing family might need. Lac Du Flambeau lies within the Lac Du Flambeau Chippewa Reservation and provides a variety of activities and venues with which to help the tribe celebrate their proud heritage. There is a casino of course, but there is also the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center. An annual Powwow held here is one of the larger powwows in the United States. An interpretive nature trail located on the shore of Moving Cloud Lake within the Reservation offers a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the natural forest areas. There is even ‘pay fishing’ at the William J. Poupart, Sr. Fish Hatchery & Trout Pond. And those with an eye for native American art will want to visit the Mikadawaboo Coffee and Art Emporium where they can watch demonstrations of traditional crafts and enjoy original Native American art. Visitors with a yen to enjoy museums and history will want to make a side-trip to the Northwoods Children’s Museum at Eagle River, where children learn in a fun, hands-on environment. About 50 miles southeast of Squaw Lake, the Rhinelander Logging Museum is one of the most authentic and complete logging museums in the country. It’s worth the trip to see the pictures of the loggers and the camp, view the odd implements used for logging in the 1870s, and begin to understand the difficult task accomplished by these hardy early laborers.

Finding vacation rentals near and on Squaw Lake isn’t difficult as long as you call and reserve early. Besides the several resorts on the lake, private homes and seasonal cabins are often found for rent. As the entire area is a popular vacation area, there are many camping areas and bed-and-breakfasts to be found close-by. There is even the occasional real estate opportunity along the shoreline. Once you visit Squaw Lake, you will likely decide to spend all of your vacations here. So make the first visit soon . . .but don’t tell a soul: Squaw Lake rather enjoys being a well-whispered secret!

Things to do at Squaw Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Squaw Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Squaw Lake Photo Gallery

Squaw Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: rock dam

Surface Area: 785 acres

Shoreline Length: 9 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,559 feet

Maximum Depth: 21 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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