Manitowoc County Lakes Association

to protect and enhance area lakes for the benefit of all

Bullhead Lake

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Bullhead Lake News

    Bullhead Lake Moves to Next Level

    Property owners get OK to form district to better manage financial needs

    by Todd S. Bergmann. Reprinted with permission from the 12-26-19 issue of the Valders Journal.

     

    The Manitowoc County Board last week approved creation of a lake district for Bullhead Lake as a means to fund treatment of water quality issues.

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Bullhead Lake, Oct 2015
by Char Peterson
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Click on the maps to enlarge. Bathymetric Map Courtesy of and Copyright Sportsman’s Connection, based on Wisconsin DNR data. Watershed map courtesy of Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation Department. New! Zoom in even closer with this new interactive watershed mapping tool.  

MCLA Lake Director: Ron Gerrits

Lake Association website: bullheadlake.com

Directions: County Highway JJ, Town of Rockland. Take County Highway JJ West from Manitowoc, through the un-incorporated area of Collins. Continue West on County Highway JJ approximately 3 miles. Driveway on the East side of the road.


About Bullhead Lake

Lake Health

Recreation

  • Features: Parking for 30 car/trailer units. Boat ramp, port-a-pier and toilet building. Picnic table and grill. No lighting.
  • Boat Ramp: Concrete ramp, 4% slope, 3 ft launch depth, boarding dock.
  • Launch Fee: The daily fee is $5 and the seasonal fee is $20.
  • ADA Accessibility Features: Yes. The boarding dock, and route of travel to it, is ADA accessible. 
  • Restrictions: 5 mph max, no wake, motorboats and water skiiing restrictions posted.
    Wisconsin boating handbook
  • Manitowoc County Map and Photos:
    http://www.co.manitowoc.wi.us/departments/parks/lake-access/bullhead-lake/
  • Notes: One of the best fish populations in Manitowoc County. The positive effect of shoreland zoning is evident as one travels by boat.

Statistics

  • Surface Area: 70 acres
  • Depth: Max 40′, Mean 13′
  • Bottom: 10% sand, 50% gravel, 0% rock, 40% muck
  • Shorelength: 1.3 mi
  • Lake type: Deep Seepage. Deep Seepage lakes stratify, or form separate layers of water, during the summer months and have no inlet or outlet.
  • Lat/Long: 44° 6′ 9.46″ N / 88° 2’25.31″ W


Aquatic Invasive Species Threats:


Fishing

  • Fish present: Northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish common. Walleye present.

Regulations

  • View Bullhead Lake fishing regulations on DNR website
  • Open All Year
    • Panfish: 15/5 Seasonal (as of 4/1/2016).
      May 1–June 30: Daily bag limit is 15; only 5 of any one species.
      July 1–April 30: Daily bag limit is 25.
      No minimum length limit.
      Panfish fact sheet
    • Catfish: Bag limit 10. No min length.
  • Open 5/2/2020-3/7/2021:
    • Largemouth/smallmouth bass: 14″ Limit 5.
    • Northern Pike: 26″ Limit 2.
    • Walleye: 15″ Limit 5.
  • Motor Trolling is allowed with up to 3 hooks, baits, or lures, per angler.
  • Familiarize yourself with Wisconsin fishing:
    WDNR Hook & Line Guide
  • Consumption Advisory: General Manitowoc County/Mercury. Click here.  

Stocking and DNR Surveys

DNR Species Summary (2017)
April Fyke Netting April 25 Electroshocking May 24 Electroshocking
species Number Length range (in.) Ave. length (in.) Number Length range (in.) Ave. length (in.) Number Length range (in.) Ave. length (in.)
Walleye 2 20.6-23.5 22.1 0 0
Largemouth Bass 100 3.3-20.7 11.5 100 5.6-16.7 13 130 5.6-17.5 12.1
Northern Pike 94 16.1-31.1 22.2 4 18.2-25.6 22.3 4 21.6-26.7 23.4
Bluegill 888 3.3-9.6 6.4 47 2.6-8.3 6
Yellow Perch 58 4.7-10.6 6.6 2 4.4-4.7 4.6
Black Crappie 86 4.5-11.4 7.9 4 7.8-9.7 8.4 5 3-9 6.1
Brown Bullhead 194 7.6-14.7 11.6 2 11-13.3 12.2
Common Carp 1
Total 1422 108 191

 DNR Conclusions from 2017 Survey:

  • Largemouth Bass were the most abundant gamefish captured; growth below statewide averages.
  • Northern Pike were commonly captured; population appears to be increasing.
  • Walleye were infrequently captured despite ongoing stocking efforts.
  • Bluegill were the most common fish and panfish captured. Growth is at or above statewide averages, could indicate that angler harvest is cropping off large fish.
  • Recommend conducting a full comprehensive fish survey every ten years, with a Bass/Panfish survey in between.
  • Recommend working with DNR staff, Manitowoc County Soil and Water, MCLA, the Bullhead Lake Association and local residents to monitor water quality and make changes in the watershed to improve water quality.
  • Recommend encouraging the Bullhead Lake Association and shoreline owners to improve nearshore fish habitat by incorporating woody debris in their landscape.

 

DNR Fish Stocking Data
Year Species Strain Age Class Number Stocked Average Length (inches)
2019 WALLEYE ROCK-FOX SMALL FINGERLING 4,633 1.80
2017 WALLEYE MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS SMALL FINGERLING 2,432 1.70
2015 WALLEYE LAKE MICHIGAN SMALL FINGERLING 1,504 1.70
2013 WALLEYE MISSISSIPPI HEADWATERS SMALL FINGERLING 2,340 2.00
2011 WALLEYE LAKE MICHIGAN SMALL FINGERLING 2,570 1.90
View more history

 


Condition: FAIR (2019) Source 

  • 2019 Update on Condition of Bullhead Lake by Ron Gerrits
  • 5-Year Average Trophic State: 61/Eutrophic 
  • Secchi Disk: Average summer reading 2.57 ft. (SE Georegion average 7.1 ft.)
    Summer (July/Aug) water was reported as MURKY and BROWN.
    Suggests readings may have been mostly impacted by suspended sediments.a graph shows lake clarity diminishing throughout the past decade and worse than last year
  • Chemistry:
    Average summer Chlorophyll 83 µg/l (SE Georegion average 32.8 µg/l).
    Average summer total Phosphorus 74.5 µg/l.
    Lakes that have more than 20 µg/l and impoundments that have more than 30 µg/l of total phosphorus may experience noticeable algae blooms.
  • Trophic State Index (TSI): 68/Eutrophic. What does this mean?
    Eutrophic lakes are high in nutrients and contain large populations of plants, algae, and fish, which often grow to nuisance levels, and the fish species are generally tolerant of warm temperatures and low oxygen conditions. Phosphorus can fuel algae blooms.


View TSI data graph on the DNR website

 


Click on the maps to enlarge. Bathymetric Map Courtesy of and Copyright Sportsman’s Connection, based on Wisconsin DNR data. Watershed map courtesy of Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation Department. New! Zoom in even closer with this new interactive watershed mapping tool.  

 

Updated: March 23, 2020 — 1:27 pm

1 Comment

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  1. What a beautiful sunset photo!

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