Lake Altoona is a 840-acre reservoir of the Eau Claire River located in west-central Eau Claire County, directly east of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The lake has a maximum water depth of 25 feet, a mean depth of 10 feet, and 9.9 miles of shoreline. Lake Altoona is considered a eutrophic waterbody with an average secchi depth of 3.5 feet and a Trophic Status Index of 59 as measured in 2021. The lack of clarity in the water column can be attributed to stained water, suspended sediments, and algae during the mid-summer months. Due to lack of light penetration in the water column and sandy substrate, submerged aquatic vegetation is relatively limited in Lake Altoona. Due to the high amount of shoreline development, nearshore woody habitat is also lacking.
The Eau Claire River flows into the east side of Lake Altoona and exits at the dam on the west end. Fish have unobstructed access to 8-miles of the Eau Claire River upstream of the lake prior to reaching a natural barrier to fish migration at Big Falls; however, it is likely passible for some species at very high flows. There are two public boat landings present on the lake with the Eau Claire County landing getting most of the use on the south end of the lake. There has been large scale dredging projects in the lake and in the river in recent years to prevent sediment accumulation. The sport and panfishery in Lake Altoona is comprised of walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, bluegill, black crappie, and yellow perch.
Joseph Gerbyshak, DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist
Eau Claire, WI