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Glacial kettle lake

Drainage (one inlet and one outlet)

423 acres

4.85 miles

18 feet

44 feet



7,561 acre-feet

Est. 30% of the lake's water "budget"

7 square miles (4,688 acres)


48% cropland; 13% residential; 12% wetland; 10% surface water; 6% woodland; 4% streets; 4% rural uncultivated; 3% gravel pits

~540 acres (originally 1,500 acres)

4.25 miles (includes 1.75 miles of farm ditches)

Phosphorus (present in manure, fertilizers, soil, leaves, pet waste, etc.)

stormwater runoff

Meso-eutrophic (moderate to high levels of fertility and plant/algae growth)

High (lake is rich in dissolved minerals and calcium bicarbonates)

Low (lake is naturally buffered from the effects of acid rain)

Very low

Largemouth bass; walleye; northern pike; panfish

Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed (aquatic submersed weeds); zebra mussels; purple loosestrife (wetland emergent weed); common carp
Important Dates
The Big Picture

The Major Threats...
- Polluted runoff from lands that drain to the lake
- Cumulative impacts of shoreland development and poor land-use practices
- Recreational pressures and conflicts
- Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
- Draining and filling of wetlands
- Removal of native shoreline vegetation
- Introduction and proliferation of non-native, invasive species  

The Consequences...
- Degraded water quality
- More frequent algae blooms 
- Excessive weed growth
- Increased recreational conflicts
- Reduced plant, fish and wildlife diversity
- Loss of tranquility and natural scenic beauty
- Increased costs for lake management
- Diminished property values

The Solutions...
- Promote responsible growth and low-impact land uses
- Protect and restore wetlands that attenuate floods, trap pollutants and offer valuable habitat
- Naturalize shorelines by planting "buffers" that consist of native plants, shrubs and trees
- Control soil erosion and eliminate sources of polluted runoff
- Limit hard surfaces like concrete patios, driveways and asphalt parking lots
- Respect other lake users and wildlife
- Follow posted rules and regulations
- Understand the impacts of your actions
- Support ongoing lake-improvement efforts
- Educate your friends and neighbors as to what they can do to protect Lake Ripley
Lake Facts
For more information about the lake and its management, please download the Lake Ripley Improvement Plan from the home page.  Additional resources can be downloaded from the "Links & Downloads" page.  Those that are not available for downloading off our Website can be reviewed at the Lake District office and Cambridge Community Library, including:  

- Lake Ripley Paleolimnological Study (1993)
- Lake Ripley Water Resources Appraisal (1994)
- Motorboat Impact Study (1997)
- Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Plan for the Lake Ripley Priority Lake Project (1998)
- Lake Ripley Management Plan (2001)
- Lake Ripley Aquatic Plant Inventory & Management Plan (1992 & 2002)
- Lake Ripley Watercaft Census & Recreational Carrying Capacity Analysis (2003)
- Effects of Pier Shading on Littoral Zone Habitat (2004)
- Lake Ripley Fishery Surveys (1992 - Present)
- Property Owner Opinion Surveys (1992, 1995, 1999, 2005 & 2007)
- "Ripples" Newsletters (1993 - Present)

Did You Know...

          ...Ole Evinrude, founder of Evinrude Outboard Motors, tested some of his first 
             motors on Lake Ripley in 1907?

          ...The state record largemouth bass was caught on Lake Ripley in 1940, weighing 
             11 pounds, 3 ounces?

          ...O.H. Perry Sr. donated 41 acres of wetlands located adjacent to the Lake Ripley                inlet to the DNR around 1940?

          ...A public sewer system was installed around most of the lake in 1984?

          ...Lake Ripley was selected by the DNR as one of 50 Wisconsin lakes to receive
             long-term trends monitoring (e.g. water quality, fisheries, aquatic plants, etc.) in 

          ...Lake residents purchased Lake Ripley's first mechanical weed harvester in 1989                 to combat nuisanace Eurasian watermilfoil growth?

          ...The Lake District acquired the 166-acre Lake District Preserve starting in 1998
     to protect threatened natural areas surrounding the lake's only inlet?

          ...The Lake District has obtained well over $1 million in grants since it was formed in              1990?

Geologic origin:

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Surface area:

Shoreline length:

Mean depth:

Maximum depth:

% of lake <10 ft. deep:

% of lake <5 ft. deep:

Total volume:


Watershed size:

Watershed-to-lake area ratio:

Watershed land cover:

Wetland acreage:

Length of inlet stream:

Nutrient that drives algae/weed growth:

Main source of nutrient pollution:

Lake trophic status:


Acidification sensitivity:

Winter fish-kill sensitivity:

Main sport fisheries:

Non-native, invasive species:
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