Wildcat Lake, Wisconsin, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Wisconsin - Lake Superior Northwoods Region -

Bundled in boots and a warm coat, sipping a steaming thermos of coffee, a woman steps off her back porch and treads through a barely visible path towards the snowy Wildcat Lake. The fresh powder squeaks slightly with each imprinted step; branches remain still as she brushes by them, each tiny twig encased in ice until spring thaw. As the Wisconsin lake opens up in front of her, the sun emerges from behind a cloud, sending shimmering, reflective light across the lake’s icy shell.

In the winter, Wildcat Lake resembles a fairy wonderland. Dark green pine trees sag with snow around the four miles of shoreline while birds flit about, chirping and soaring over the 305-acre lake. Fish swim about in an average depth of 12 feet while the body of water flows into a nearby lake known as Big Kitten Lake.

In the summer, Wildcat Lake’s warmer weather brings anglers from all over the area to test their luck in the waters. Located in Vilas County, whose borders boast 194 lakes within nine miles of Boulder Junction city, Wildcat Lake is known for bluegill, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and abundant panfish. Angler’s also visit the area for the county’s annual musky marathon, which also swim beneath the lake’s depths.

As summer turns to fall, a kaleidoscope of colors surround Wildcat Lake’s shores, making it the perfect time for hikers to don a scarf and boots while scouting the area. Miles of trails wind around the county as the leaves fall in delicate disarray. Tread carefully when looking for wildlife, which can pop up at any time, including beavers, otters, foxes, coyotes and black bears.

Canoeing and kayaking at Wildcat Lake yields a sense of tranquility in the calming waters. Paddle quietly close to shore with binoculars in hand to see an assortment of song sparrows, chikadees or goshawks. Pack a lunch and hang out in the middle of the lake, soaking up the sun’s bright rays.

The areas around Wildcat Lake is an outdoor lover’s idea of paradise. Test out your snow gear and camp out in the Northern Highland State Forest, a section of the Northern Highland-American State Forest. Approximately 220,000 acres make up streams, lakes and rivers that make for picture-perfect camping spots.

The large number of lakes surrounding Wildcat Lake allows year round outdoor activities. Winter in this area doesn’t mean holing yourself inside your house, but instead means strapping on cross-country skis or snowshoes and hoofing it through a magical landscape. Keep a bike helmet on during the rest of the year to take advantage of the intense mountain biking trails spread throughout the county.

Looking for culture and a social atmosphere outside Wildcat Lake? Head to downtown Boulder Junction a mere 4 miles away to wine and dine the night away. Take a slow stroll down the main stretch while peeking into jewelry, pottery, and rustic furniture shops.

Whether you’re a part of Wildcat Lake’s scenery by snapping up vacation rentals every year or settling down to lakefront real estate property, your choices of outdoor options are unimaginable. Try ice-fishing in the winter, horseback riding in the fall, flower picking in the spring and kayaking in the summer. Wildcat Lake’s waters are easy to hop into and enjoy.

Things to do at Wildcat Lake WI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest

Fish species found at Wildcat Lake WI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Wildcat Lake WI Photo Gallery

Wildcat Lake WI Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 305 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,658 feet

Average Depth: 12 feet

Maximum Depth: 38 feet

Water Volume: 3,642 acre-feet

Trophic State: Oligo-mesotrophic

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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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