Lake of the Month: Archibald Lake in Oconto County

This October, we are highlighting Archibald Lake, a nearly 400-acre seepage lake in northwest Oconto County.  This lake is largely surrounded by the Cathedral Pines State Natural Area and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and enjoys clear waters and relatively undeveloped shorelines. Archibald is home to one of the state’s most enthusiastic lake associations, the Archibald Lake Association, which is powered by a group of dynamos dedicated to the preservation, safety and enjoyment of Archibald Lake.  Archibald Lake Association works closely with DNR as well as Oconto County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin Association of Lakes, University of Montana and many other partners to ensure a high quality fishery and clean waters for future Archibald generations to enjoy!

Autumn on Archibald Lake (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

Autumn on Archibald Lake (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

In 1958, the Archibald Lake Association was formed and the group elected officers and formed committees, installed fish shelters and began a study on fish-stocking. The group’s pace has not slowed since. The association, with over 90 percent of shoreline landowners as members, plays a large role in all Archibald Lake restoration and protection efforts. In 2000, the group spearheaded the development of a comprehensive, three-phase Lake Management Plan by applying for a DNR Lake Management Planning Grant and raised money to match the grant.  This study determines the baseline conditions of the lake and surrounding area and involved water quality sampling, groundwater flow determination, watershed mapping and produced a final guidance report to direct future lake management decisions.

Archibald Lake Tree Drop Project (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

Archibald Lake Tree Drop Project (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

Ensuring a healthy fishery on Archibald Lake has been a top priority over the years.  Walleye stocking began by DNR and the association in the 1990s and continues today.  Archibald Lake was chosen as a brood stock lake for Great Lakes Spotted Muskellunge  as part of the Green Bay Restoration Project.  In early 2009, the association, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and DNR, installed 115 tree drops and re-built a 460 foot rock reef to enhance fish habitat. 

Invasive species have threatened Archibald in recent years; nevertheless, the association has remained vigilant in its quest to contain and control these nuisance species. One of the first invasives to pop up in Archibald was flowering rush – a perennial aquatic herb that can crowd out native species. A 2010 DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Control Grant allowed the Archibald Lake Association to develop a plan to control flowering rush through chemical treatment. With the help of the University of Montana Research Ecologist, Peter Rice, the Association found two aquatic herbicides that produced significant reduction in flowering rush one year after treatment; check out their flowering rush page to learn more.

Eurasian water-milfoil was first spotted in Archibald Lake in 2009, but the association was quick to react and secured a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection and Response Grant to chemically treat large colonies and manually harvest smaller colonies as well as continue to expand invasive species outreach and education efforts. These combined control efforts have helped to significantly reduce milfoil plant densities; today there are only a few small areas where Eurasian water-milfoil is known to exist.   

Volunteers, many members of Archibald Lake Association themselves, have been involved in protection and restoration efforts from the beginning. Volunteers have been monitoring Archibald Lake’s water quality since 1986 through the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. In 2003, the association’s members became involved in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program. Volunteers have been logging hours at the lake’s public boat launch to disseminate information on the spread of invasive species and inspect boats and trailers for invasives.  The Adopt-A-Shoreline program began in 2010 and has volunteers surveying the lakeshore for invasive plants two or three times per year to ensure early detection and rapid response.

The Archibald Lake Association serves as another great example of what can be done when motivated people come together with the common goal of restoring and protecting a precious natural resource!

Archibald Lake Sunset (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

Archibald Lake Sunset (Photo courtesy of Archibald Lake Association)

 Entry written by Archibald Lake Association and Heather Smith, DNR Water Resources Management Specialist


This entry was posted in Citizen Lake Monitoring, Clean Boats, Clean Waters, Contain and Control Invasive Species, Education and Outreach and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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