One reader just asked, "I heard that the DNR has ranked Wisc. lakes as to which is the best ones.
do you know of a rating system that they use or any articles that name such lakes?"
Over the past several years, DNR has been developing methodology for assessing lakes. What you can expect from a lake depends upon its size, how much land drains into it, and other factors. So, we break lakes down into "natural communities". Then water quality data (much of it collected by volunteers who test our lakes), helps determine whether lakes are "excellent", "good", "fair" or "poor" in terms of the amount of algae, or the trophic state. You can look for these results on our website this winter.
Also, in 2009, Milwaukee Magazine featured an excellent article: "15,081 Jewels", A Special Report by Mary Van de Kamp Nohl. Towards the end of the article are lists DNR staff helped compile: Wisconsin’s Clearest Lakes, Wisconsin’s Healthiest Lakes, Wisconsin’s Top Ten Fishing Spots, Wisconsin’s Best Swimming Spots and more.