Welcome to Lac La Belle! We hope you love it here as much as we do!
Things To Do
Lac La Belle supports a wide variety of lake activity such as paddle boarding, kayaking, year-round fishing, swimming, water skiing, pleasure cruising, wake boarding, ice boating, wake surfing, and even has the occasional sea plane landing! The lake is used daily with most activity on the weekends during the summer months. The public boat launch at City Beach serves as an entry point for the public with limited parking stalls. Bender Beach is a small public beach on the eastern shore, just north of the Peacock Dam on North Main Street. Entry fees apply at the beaches. You can boat to the downtown and park your boat free of charge near City Beach while you enjoy the shops and restaurants of Oconomowoc. Look for signs at City Beach to alert you about events and concerts at the bandshell. Many people anchor their boat outside the swimming area and listen for a fun night out!
Please familiarize yourself with the Lake Rules page and share this information with others that might come to visit the lake as your guest.
What Can I Do To Help The Lake As a Property Owner?
Residents of Lac La Belle have a long history of working to protect and improve the water quality of the lake. By visiting the Resource page, you will learn about piers, lighting and lawn maintenance that keeps the lake in mind.
If you have recently purchased a property on the lake, please email your name, property address and contact phone number to email@example.com with ADD MY NAME in the subject line or fill out the contact form on the Commissioners page. We will then add your name to the District email list. We are required by law to provide notice to you of certain District business via US mail or by classified ad in the newspaper, but this email list will also be used to distribute additional information about activities on the lake beginning in 2022. Your information will not be sold or shared. Please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Commissioners page for additional information.
Looking forward to seeing you on the lake soon!
Lac La Belle is a drainage lake at the end of a chain of six lakes along the Oconomowoc River Watershed that spans North Lake to Ixonia. The Lac La Belle shoreline includes mainly residential properties located in the City of Oconomowoc, Town of Oconomowoc and Village of Lac La Belle with some shoreline owned by the State of Wisconsin, local municipalities and a few other non-residential property owners.
Lac La Belle Stats (Source: DNR)
- 1,154 acres with maximum depth of 45 feet and mean depth of 11 feet.
- Lake bottom is 10% sand, 80% gravel, 0% rock and 5% muck
- Drainage lake-meaning that water flows in and flows out over several years. Water quality is impacted by run-off and shoreline use.
Launching Your Watercraft
- A public boat launch is located in the City of Oconomowoc on West Wisconsin Avenue near the Oconomowoc Community Center and City Beach. There is a fee to launch your boat and limited parking space at the launch to park a vehicle and trailer. Directions for parking, fee payment and launch rules are available at the launch on signage near the ramps.
Near the Launch
- “City Beach” is a public beach located on the south side of Lac La Belle adjacent to the boat launch and Oconomowoc Community Center. There is a fee to use the beach noted on the signage at the launch and payable to lifeguards near the lifeguard building at the shore. It is staffed by certified lifeguards and has restrooms and a sandwich hut for snacks. There are also piers available for short term boat parking to access the downtown at the Oconomowoc Community Center along with canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals available through Community Center staff. The historic bandshell serves as a community gathering space and features many concerts during the summer months.
On The Lake
- Lac La Belle is owned by the state of Wisconsin and is for use by everyone. It is the responsibility of the boat operator to know boating safety rules while operating their watercraft on Lac La Belle. Boating rules can be found at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Boat.
- Visit the Lake Rules page for additional information.
- Enforcement is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Wardens and the Town of Oconomowoc Police Department. Current warden assigned to Lac La Belle are: Drew Starch- 262-753-3008 and Steven Sanidas – 262-574-2183.
- The Town of Oconomowoc Police patrol the lake at random times throughout the boating season and also provide enforcement and safety information to lake enthusiasts.
- The Town of Oconomowoc Police and City of Oconomowoc Police patrol the lake at random times throughout the boating season and also provide enforcement and safety information to lake enthusiasts. If you see something that should be reported, please dial 911 for all emergencies.
- If it’s a non emergency, please dial:
Nature In and Around the Lake
- An abundance of waterfowl and songbirds commonly exist on or near the lake including loons, seagulls, ducks, coots, pie-billed grebe, geese and the occasional bald eagle. Blue herons are regular visitors. Because Lac La Belle is part of the North American fly-way, some years interesting species, such as bufflehead ducks, tundra swans and brown pelicans, stop at Lac La Belle along their routes north or south.
- Lac La Belle is home to many fish species including Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye to name a few. A complete fish list and fishing regulations can be found here: https://cida.usgs.gov/wdnr_regs/apex/f?p=288:20:::NO::P20_WBIC:848800
- Muskrats, deer, foxes, beaver, squirrels and rabbits are some mammals that inhabit the area.
- Fishery Update from DNR’s Ben Heussner
AIS- Know The Law
- Unfortunately, Lac La Belle has aquatic invasive species in its waters including: Asiatic Clam (Corbicula), Curly-Leaf Pondweed, Eurasian Water-Milfoil, Freshwater Jellyfish (they don’t hurt humans-only other fish), Purple Loosestrife, Reed Manna Grass, Yellow Iris, and Zebra Mussel. Become knowledgeable about these invasives and what to do to prevent their spread. Watch for the AIS updates on the Home page and visit the Resource page to learn more!
- One thing the lake doesn’t currently have is Starry Stonewort! This is awesome news and lake users need to work very hard to keep it that way! This information sheet and video can help you learn more.
- Follow the law to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species! A complete list of these laws can be found at: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Invasives/boat.html. Some basic laws can be found on the Lake Rules page or on signage at the boat launch.
The Lac La Belle Management District was created in 1982 to monitor and improve the water quality of Lac La Belle. It is guided by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, with one appointed representative of Waukesha County and another a representative from the Town of Oconomowoc. If you are a riparian owner, or if you live close to the lake but are not on the lake in certain locations, you are part of the District. A map of the District can be found here:
The mission of the LLBMD states “The LLBMD seeks to promote environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible decisions by providing education, enhancing a healthy lake ecosystem and ensuring safe use of Lac La Belle for today and tomorrow.”
Working on improving the water quality of Lac La Belle remains important to its residents and the District has continually worked to make those improvements throughout history.
- Annual Projects:
- Goose Round-Up if adequate numbers of geese
- Shoreland Restoration Program to maintain the water quality of the lake by providing shoreland stabilization through the use of native plantings
- Citizen Lake Monitoring Network
- Partnered with:
- Other municipalities and agencies in support of the activities at The Club at Lac La Belle Golf Course as well as Cooperative Streambank Restoration Project to remove run-off and keep sediment from entering the lake
- City of Oconomowoc and Town of Oconomowoc to place buoys on the lake
- Oconomowoc Watershed Protection Program (OWPP) on projects where applicable
- Lake Country Clean Waters – Stakeholder Meetings
- Annual Healthy Lakes Conference
- Waukesha County Aquatic Invasive Species team
- Clean Boats, Clean Waters grant that funded staff, tools and signage at City Beach boat launch
- Wisconsin DNR -Commercial Carp Fishing on Lac La Belle
- Carp Telemetry Study- studies carp migration in Lac La Belle & Oconomowoc River
- Targeted Run-Off Management Grant to study shoreline impacts on plant species via Point Intercept Study to improve run-off into Lac La Belle
Other District Information
- The Annual Meeting is typically held on the third Thursday in August of each year. As a District member, you are encouraged to attend and participate in the meeting. You will receive an agenda for this meeting in early August in the mail or you can find it on the Meetings & Events page.
- Regular LLBMD Meetings are held on the third Thursday of odd numbered months from March to October each year. Visit the Meeting & Events page to view the Agenda in advance of those meetings. You are invited!
Fun Historical Facts Provided by Jolayne Landberg – Oconomowoc Historical Society:
- The Marine Railroad brought mail to the area. A mailboat delivered mail to LLB, Fowler Lake & Oconomowoc Lake at one time. The mailboat parked near the current Veterans Memorial Park. The area where the flume is now under North Main Street was a swampy low area and water often ran across the road there from Fowler to Lac La Belle.
- Fowler Lake is a manmade lake created by damming up the Oconomowoc River.
- There used to be an old three-story brick mill on North Main Street between the Peacock Dam and the Main Street flume. (See picture below.) The flume was used to power a mill on the west side of Main Street. The existing flume structure was constructed in 1914 and was 110 feet long. While the mill is gone, the flume still remains vital today.
- There was a Native American summer encampment near Oconomowoc in history. The actual village was most likely near Summit. There are several Native American burial mounds located in Summit and some near the current Aurora Hospital.
- A Redemptorist Monastery was located on the shores of current day Monastery Hill at the north end of Lac La Belle with some portions of the Monastery pavilion remaining and visible from the lake today.
For more fun Oconomowoc and Lac La Belle history, please visit the Oconomowoc Historical Society. They have a wealth of information!