Sunset Lake is a 61.2 acre, hard water seepage lake located in the Town of New Hope, five miles northeast of Nelsonville. With a maximum depth of 55 feet, it is one of the deepest lakes in the County. The estimated retention time is 20.8 years. The near-shore littoral areas of the lake have large stretches of sand and gravel. Smaller stretches of rubble and silt are also present. The lake is a well-known recreation spot and the shoreline has been developed over the years. A County park is present on the east side with picnic tables, grills, toilets, a beach, playground, and boat ramp as part of the facilities. A large parking area is also present. The Central Wisconsin Environmental Station, a camp run by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, occupies much of the southeast side of the lake. Residences occupy the remainder of the shoreline. Many of these are well hidden from view and do not detract from the aesthetic value of the lake. The majority of the shoreline is still forested with steep slopes lining the lake. This lake has seen some intense fishery management in the past, including chemical treatments to remove the entire fish population in order to restock “more desirable” species. Currently, largemouth bass, panfish, and trout are present. Sunset Lake serves as an excellent feeding and loafing area for waterfowl, particularly diver ducks during migration.
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