ABOUT RICE LAKE
Rice Lake is located in the Town of Mercer, Iron County Wisconsin and platted at T43N, R3E, Sections 23, 24, 25, and 26. It is a 125-acre lake with a fairly irregular shoreline of nearly 4 miles in length with a maximum depth of approximately 20 feet. About 18% of the surface area is less than 3 feet deep. According to the “WDNR Surface Water Resources of Iron County” the Rice Lake littoral zone substrate is dominated by 75% muck with gravel, sand, and silt composing the remaining 25% of the substrate.
Rice Lake has 2 inlet streams with the larger flow being contributed by the Turtle River which flows through the lake from east to west. The Bear Creek inlet is a smaller warm water stream that enters Rice Lake at the north end. It is categorized as a Class 2 Lake and is located within the Turtle River Watershed.
Aquatic vegetation is abundant in the lake and forms the primary habitat structure. Notably, woody material is scarce along the edges of the lake. The riparian area around Rice Lake consists of upland forest and wetlands. According to the “WDNR Surface Water Resources of Iron County,” wetlands compose approximately 45 acres of that riparian zone.
It has one undeveloped, walk-in public access site, and one private, drive-in site. Currently, there are 22 residences along the lake shore, 8 of which have full-time occupants.