The Gifts of DNR’s Lake Pages

December is that time of year when people scurry to find the perfect gift for family and friends. If your loved ones are lake enthusiasts, DNR has the perfect gift for them. DNR’s lake pages are a treasure drove of useful information on almost any lake in Wisconsin. Whether a boater, angler, swimmer or lake front property owner, everyone can learn something interesting about lakes in the state. The lake pages are free and available anytime. No checkout lines, credit cards or discount codes needed.

"Santa, I want a nice lake where I can swim and fish."

“Santa, I want a nice lake where I can swim and fish.”

On the lake pages you will find:

A list of boat launches along with maps at each lake: Each launch has a detailed description of the landing ramp, parking spaces, and amenities like potable water and restrooms.

Local boating ordinances: Following these can help you stay off of Santa’s naughty list.

A list of nearby public lands and parks. Many of the listings include links to maps and some have links to current conditions for those looking for a place to picnic, hike or snowshoe.

A list of beaches on each lake: Perfect for the sand castle builders and swimmers you know or for your own polar plunge.

A list of the common game fish in the lake and a description of their abundance: Some lakes have available detailed fish surveys and stocking reports, as in fish stocking.

A list of fishing regulations for each lake: Knowing the season, size and bag limits will keep you of friendly terms with Santa.

Contour or bathymetric maps of lakes: Inspecting these maps can aid boaters in avoiding hazards and anglers in finding which depths to fish.

Interactive maps with zoom controls allowing lake enthusiasts to see roads, cities, waterways, boat access and allows the lake and its watershed to be viewed as air photos. This map will help Santa find those spending the holidays on a Wisconsin lake.

A list of the aquatic invasive species found in each lake: In addition, it shows the many lakes that have few or none. This gift presents a helpful reminder to inspect watercraft and gear; remove any plants, animals or mud from boats, trailers and gear; drain all water from boats and gear; and never move plants, live fish or water from a waterbody.

Information on water quality such as the lake’s trophic state: In addition, die-hards can unwrap the details of water quality found in the reports and data provided for each lake.

A list of DNR grants that have been presented to each lake: These grants help lake communities better manage their lakes, fend off aquatic invasive species, improve water quality and acquire protective buffers. For the studious, many grants have links to the reports produced by these grants including lake management plans.

Links to any lake organizations active on a lake: By contacting these organizations you can learn more about the lake or give your talents to help their efforts to protect Wisconsin’s lakes.

Santa and his helpers have been using the DNR lake pages.

Santa and his helpers have been using the DNR lake pages.

So, whether the people on your list are long-time lake dwellers, looking for lake front property or a place to recreate, DNR’s lake pages have the right gift for them.


Happy Holidays from the Lakes and Rivers section.

Entry written by Michael Putnam, water resources management specialist.

Photo credits:

Jolly old St. Nicholas lean your ear this way by Gary Willmore.

Santa fishing by mj laflaca

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