- The deepest lakes in Wisconsin are Green Lake, Wazee Lake, and Lake Superior; however, the deepest of all three is the reservoir, Wazee Lake.
- The famous wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald lies at the bottom of Lake Superior.
- All three lakes have great fishing and some impressive catch records.
Wisconsin borders two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan to the east and Lake Superior on the northern border. Green Bay is not just the name of the state’s only NFL team; there is actually a bay named Green Bay that connects to Lake Michigan. Although Wisconsin’s neighbor boasts about being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (Minnesota), Wisconsin has thousands of lakes as well. Some are natural lakes carved out by glaciers while others are artificial lakes that provide water and hydroelectricity. While sometimes the biggest lakes are also the deepest, that is not always true. What about in Wisconsin? Is the biggest lake also the deepest? Let’s find out all about the deepest lake in Wisconsin!
What Is the Deepest Lake in Wisconsin?
The deepest natural lake in Wisconsin is Green Lake, and the deepest artificial lake is Wazee Lake. Lake Superior is deeper than both Green and Wazee but is along the border of Wisconsin, so not technically in Wisconsin. Let’s compare all three of these deep lakes. Are they all recreational lakes? Are there any secrets in the bottom of these lakes, and most importantly, how is the fishing on these lakes?
How Deep Is Green Lake?
Green Lake, as known as Big Green Lake, is 237 feet deep. It is 7.3 miles long and 7,660 acres.
The city of Green Lake is situated on the northern shore of the lake and provides visitors opportunities to enjoy the lake with several boat ramps, marinas, a swimming beach, and a campground. There are several resorts and motels in town and boat rentals for kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis and pontoon boats.
Where Is Green Lake Located on a Map?
Green Lake is located about 100 miles northwest of Milwaukee. It is within the Big Green Lake drainage basin, which primarily is in Green Lake County, with smaller parts within Winnebago and Fond Du Lac counties.
How Deep Is Wazee Lake?
Wazee Lake is 355 feet deep. The artificial lake is quite a bit smaller than Green Lake at only 146 acres, but the clean deep waters are a popular spot for scuba divers. The Wazee Lake Recreational Area is located on the shores and provides a small campground, swimming beach, boat launch and fishing pier. If you are looking for a peaceful day at the lake, then Wazee Lake is a great option because it does not allow motorized boats.
Where Is Wazee Lake Located on a Map?
Wazee Lake is about 60 miles northeast of La Crosse, WI. It’s located in Brockway in Jackson County and situated east of Black River Falls.
How Deep Is Lake Superior?
Lake Superior is 1,333 feet deep. It is the fourth deepest lake in the United States and the biggest freshwater lake by surface area in the world! Lake Superior covers 20.288 million acres (31,700 square miles) and is around 350 miles long. It is along the northern shore of Wisconsin and also borders Minnesota and Michigan. The actual deepest spot on the lake is just north of the town of Munising, which is in Michigan. Off the shoreline of Wisconsin are the Apostle Islands where the depths are closer to 10-25 feet. The islands have amazing diving opportunities, including several shipwreck sites.
What Shipwrecks Are in the Bottom of Lake Superior?
There is a museum in Michigan that details many of the famous shipwrecks on Lake Superior. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has artifacts from ships that have gone down in the Great Lakes along with stories from some of the most famous shipwrecks. One of the most well known shipwrecks on Lake Superior was the Edmund Fitzgerald. This massive freighter sank during a terrible storm on November 10, 1975, and all 29 crew members died. The ship sank 17 miles north/northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. The shipwreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was located 535 feet deep where an underwater recovery vehicle from the U.S. Navy was used to explore the wreck and take photos and video.
How Is the Fishing in the Deepest Lakes in Wisconsin?
Fishing is excellent on Green Lake, Wazee Lake, and Lake Superior. Clearly Lake Superior is going to have some of the biggest trophy fish, but you would be surprised to find out there are a couple of fishing records from Green Lake as well. Wazee Lake is a fine lake for fishing, and since it is a non-motorized lake you know you (or your fellow angler) won’t be scaring the fish away. You can find trout, walleye, smallmouth bass and bluegills. Green Lake has largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, catfish and trout. Lake Superior has just about every freshwater fish you can imagine (maybe an exaggeration). Anglers specifically fish Lake Superior for some of the best lake trout.
Are There any Wisconsin State Fishing Records from Lake Superior?
Yes! There are some trophy-sized fish off the shores of Wisconsin. It should not be a surprise that the biggest lake trout in Wisconsin was caught in Lake Superior. The state recognizes both outlying catch and inland cactches for lake trout, and it may be a coincidence that the biggest inland lake trout was caught in Green Lake! The biggest lake trout from Lake Superior was 47 pounds dating back to September 9, 1946. The lake trout from Green Lake was 35 pounds 4 ounces caught in June of 1957.
You should note that there is a Big Green Lake and a Little Green Lake (you can guess which one is bigger) with the Big Green Lake being the deepest. Even though Little Green Lake is only 462 acres and 28 feet deep, it does hold a state fishing record. The biggest brown bullhead was caught on Little Green Lake at a record-breaking 4 pounds 2 ounces.
Two other state fishing records are from Lake Superior: the biggest Burbot was 18 pounds 2 ounces and the biggest American eel was 3 pounds 6 ounces. The American eel was an impressive 38.25 inches long; that’s more than 3 feet! I know I would not want to run into a three-foot-long eel while swimming in Lake Superior!
How Deep iI Lake Michigan?
We can’t talk about deep lakes in Wisconsin without giving a shout out to Lake Michigan. At the deepest point, Lake Michigan is 923 feet deep! It is the ninth deepest lake in the United States. The eastern border of Wisconsin lies on Lake Michigan and includes 407 miles of shoreline. Lake Michigan is definitely a recreational lake and an impressive lake for fishing. There are 14 state fishing records from Lake Michigan including 5 salmon records for the biggest Atlantic, coho, chinook, pink and pinook (chinook and pink hybrid). The pinook salmon record was just recently set on August 14, 2022 in Kewaunee County. Now that you know where some of the deepest lakes in Wisconsin are, you might be the next angler to break a state record.
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- Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Available here: https://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/edmund-fitzgerald/the-fateful-journey/
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Available here: https://www.jsonline.com/story/life/2022/06/29/wisconsin-lakes-biggest-deepest-clearest-largest-manmade-most-common-name/7663505001/
- National Park Service, Available here: https://www.nps.gov/apis/planyourvisit/diving.htm#:~:text=Depths%3A%2010%20to%2025%20feet
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Available here: https://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/lakepages/LakeDetail.aspx?wbic=162500
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Available here: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/recordfish/hookline.html
- Jackson County Wisconsin, Available here: https://www.co.jackson.wi.us/?SEC=4F95A743-1460-4D2C-BD2E-763CEB1C4625