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Over the decades, numerous studies and projects have been completed by the Green Lake Association and other partners regarding Big Green Lake. These projects informed our practices to protect the water quality of Green Lake and its watershed. To gain a better understanding of this work, take a look below at our completed research studies, ongoing studies, and ongoing monitoring.

You can also find all known studies compiled on the Nelson Institute's website here.

Completed Research Studies


  • 2022, Big Green Lake Watershed Management Plan: In Accordance with the EPA's Nine Key Elements (here)

    • Written by the Green Lake Association

    • Appendices (here​)

  • 2022, Pillsbury, Dr. Robert and Budrick, Anthony: Trends in 100 Years of Macrophyte Data for Green Lake, Wisconsin (here)

    • Lifelong Green Lake advocate Mary Jane Bumby prompted a century-long analysis of Green Lake's aquatic plant life, conducted by Dr. Bob Pillsbury of UW-Oshkosh. This report reveals how plant life has adapted to a hundred years of water quality shifts.

    • In 1921, a similar study was performed by H. W. Rickett, which Bumby later replicated for her 1971 Master's thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her passion for the lake's health led her to conduct similar research every decade from 1971 to 2001, and at 90, she financed the repeat of the original study in 2021.

  • 2021, US Geological Survey and Michigan Technological University, Diagnostic and Feasibility Study Findings: Water Quality Improvements for Green Lake, Wisconsin (here)​

  • 2021, Johnson, Rachel: "Historical Phosphorus FLows and Legacy Accumulation in the Watershed of Wisconsin's Deepest Inland Lake" (here)

  • 2020, Upper Fox Wolf Total Maximum Daily Load (here)

    • Prepared for: US EPA & ​Wisconsin DNR 

  • 2019, Fuller, Sarah: “Temporal and spatial variation of nutrients and sediment in the marshes of Green Lake” (here

  • 2016, Delta Institute: “The Green Lake Watershed: Phosphorus Prioritization Tool” (here)

  • 2016, WI Department of Natural Resources: "Green Lake Fisheries Survey Summary Report" (here)

  • 2015, Lake Management Plan (here)

  • 2014, Stream survey (here)

Onging Research Studies


Stay tuned for more updates soon!

Ongoing Monitoring



Big Green Lake is the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin. Changes in agriculture and urban development have altered the nutrient loading from the watershed and affected the water quality of the lake. Thanks to the Green Lake Sanitary District, this project is quantifying the amount of phosphorus and sediment delivered to Green Lake, measuring its water quality, and providing information about how the lake responds to input changes.


The Water Action Volunteers Stream Monitoring Program (WAV) incorporates three levels of participation for citizen scientists who are interested in monitoring local streams: Introductory (Level 1), Status and Trends (Level 2), and Special Projects Monitoring (Level 3).


A primary objective of introductory monitoring is to increase public understanding of watersheds and how human uses of the land impact stream quality, while building a baseline of basic water quality information. Data collected help to identify acute issues in wadeable streams. 

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