Surface Water

Sailboat on lake at sunset

Manitowoc County has an abundance of surface water that provides quality habitat for wildlife as well as exceptional recreation opportunities.  The county has 10 major watersheds, 927 miles of streams and rivers, 355 miles of perennial flow, 572 miles of intermittent flow, and 109 lakes.

Lake Watershed Map

Lake Contour Maps

Lake Access


Water Quality Assessment
Manitowoc County water bodies are subject to impairments from a variety of sources. Major nonpoint problems impacting Manitowoc County water bodies and groundwater include the following:

  1. Sediment from soil erosion (primarily agricultural)
  2. Animal Waste (ammonia, toxicity, high biochemical oxygen demand, e-coli, bacteria and nitrate)
  3. Nutrient enrichment (primarily phosphorus)
  4. Milking center wastes
  5. Barnyard runoffs and feed storages

Water quality is determined by the following:

  1. Wisconsin Water Quality Standards
  2. Fish and Aquatic Life Condition of Streams and Rivers
  3. Impaired Waters List
  4. Exceptional Water Resource or Outstanding Water Resource
  5. Beach Advisories and Closures due to E.coli
  6. Phosphorus Levels in Lakes

Watershed Projects

Pine Creek 9-Key Element Plan
Cal Man Lakes Watershed Project