Beach Lake Monitoring

UW-Oshkosh collecting a water sampleSeveral locations throughout Lake Winnebago and the Fox River basin are tested weekly for the presence of E. coli bacteria throughout the swimming season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Beaches may be open, under advisory, or closed based on the level of bacteria. If a water test is concerning, the beach will close for swimming until levels of E. coli bacteria go down. Guidelines are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Beach Status Recommendations:

  • Open: E. Coli bacteria levels are safely below 235 MPN/100 mLs.
  • Advisory: E. Coli bacteria levels are between 235 and 1,000 MPN/100 mLs. Swimming is allowed but caution should be taken. 
  • Closed: E. Coli bacteria levels are above 1,000 MPN/100 MLS. A serious risk of illness may be present. Swimming is not recommended.

Before Swimming:

  • Always look at the water around you before you get in. Conditions can change quickly, and a test result may not always reflect the current water quality.
  • Avoid swimming after heavy rain because bacteria levels in the water may be high.
  • Avoid contact with blue-green algae blooms. They may look blue-green, green, reddish-purple, or brown, and cause the water to be murky.
  • Do not swim or let your pet swim if signs say the water is closed for swimming due to blue-green algae blooms or high bacteria levels.

For more information on beach health safety, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

Winnebago County Beach Summary

Sample location

date sampled

status

e. coli mpn

Lake Winneconne Park6/20/24  OPEN  41.0
Fresh Air Park6/20/24  OPEN  61.3
Menominee Park6/20/24  ADVISORY  325.5

 

Winnebago County Lake Access Summary

SAMPLE LOCATION

DATE SAMPLED

STATUS

E. COLI MPN

Lake Butte des Mortes Boat Landing6/17/24  OPEN  7.4
Lake Poygan Boat Landing6/17/24  OPEN  6.3
Boom Bay6/17/24  ADVISORY  304.4
Village of Butte des Morts Boat Landing6/17/24  ADVISORY  727.0
Fritse Park6/17/24  OPEN  75.4
Asylum Point6/17/24  ADVISORY  344.8
Black Wolf Boat Launch6/17/24  ADVISORY  547.5
Grundman Boat Landing6/17/24  OPEN  228.2

Please note: Testing E. Coli at various access points across Lake Winnebago and the Fox River water system gives boaters and other water users a better idea of how water quality can vary across the Fox River Basin within our county.

 

For an interactive map of these locations, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Beaches/AdvisoryMap.html.

Winnebago County Public Health contracts with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh ERIC lab to collect and analyze water samples for E. coli bacteria.