Wazee Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Mississippi-Chippewa Rivers Region -

Wazee Lake is a 146-acre lake east of Black River Falls, Jackson County, in the Mississippi-Chippewa Rivers Region of Wisconsin. The lake is the deepest lake in the state, with a maximum depth of approximately 350 feet. The lake was originally used as a quarry for taconite (low-grade iron ore) mining. When the mine was in operation, pumps removed about 800 gallons of water per minute from the quarry. Once the mine shut down, the quarry began filling with water. The lake is now part of a county park and is an increasingly popular destination for scuba divers due to its deep, crystal clear water. Wazee means “tall pine” in the Ho-Chunk Indian language.

Visibility in Wazee Lake averages between 30 feet and 40 feet during the summer months and as much as 60 feet in the winter. Divers can follow the abandoned mining roads as they descend to the bottom of the lake or make their way through underwater forests. There’s even a shipwreck to explore and exceptional views of the various species of fish and plants.

The Wazee Lake Recreation Area offers year round recreation including hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, fishing, swimming and snowmobiling. A network of trails wind through this 3,000 acre park offering a spectacular view of the county’s eastern landscape. Fish species in Wazee Lake include rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, bluegill, catfish, walleye, warmouth and smallmouth bass. Primitive campsites and bathrooms are available for those who wish to camp. Camping accommodations in Jackson County range from primitive overnight sandbar camping to full service campgrounds and RV parks. Non-campers will enjoy rustic cabins and vacation rentals of all kinds.

Much of the land around Wazee Lake is public park and forest land. Jackson County Forest is a 118,000-acre County Forest providing year round recreational opportunities and its diverse wildlife inhabitants includes one of the state’s largest whitetail deer populations. An extensive trail system winds its way through the forest providing ATV and motorcycle riders, hikers and snowmobilers spectacular views of the area. The forest also offers a wide range of camping options. Black River State Forest encompasses 67,000 acres and is a multi-purpose recreational, wildlife and timber management facility. The forest provides campgrounds, beaches and picnic areas. Miles of designated trails attract ATVs, snowmobiles, horse riders, hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers. Trails vary from relatively easy logging roads to challenging, rugged hill-climbing tracks through dense forests. The county’s extensive network of trails also provides easy access to 200,000 acres of public hunting grounds.

Naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts visiting Wazee Lake will enjoy the beautiful surrounding woodlands, grasslands and water ways that provide habitat for whitetail deer, muskrats, beavers, mink, otters, and an occasional timber wolf. Also in abundance are dozens of songbirds and raptors including owls, hawks, and eagles, and thousands of migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall.

The rivers and streams around Wazee Lake offer some excellent canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. The Black River is perfect for family canoeing. The river is dotted with sandbars ideal for overnight camping and sunbathing. The larger county creeks offer amazing scenery and thrilling rapids for more seasoned canoeists and kayakers. Fishing enthusiasts will find a variety of trout in Jackson County’s miles of streams and muskies, walleye and smallmouth bass in depths of the Black River.

For those thinking of doing a little exploring, Wazee Lake is located just 10 miles east of the town of Black River Falls. Antique, gift and specialty shops offer hard-to-find collectibles and hand-made Native American arts and crafts. A variety of golf courses, family restaurants, fine dining, and modern malls will appeal to everyone’s tastes.

Surrounded by country charm, dense forests, rushing rivers, and placid streams, a visit to Wazee Lake offers four-season outdoor adventure and relaxation for the entire family.

Things to do at Wazee Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Wazee Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Warmouth

Wazee Lake Photo Gallery

    Wazee Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 146 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 900 feet

    Maximum Depth: 350 feet

    Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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