** I have changed the format of the site around pretty dramatically. You can now access the full buyers guide HERE.
Lake depth is one of the easiest topics on this list to generalize. When looking at the depth of the lake, deeper is always better. Before I speak of the positives of a deeper lake, I will talk about the one negative. Deeper lakes are generally cooler than shallow lakes. In Northern Wisconsin the temperature between lakes does not vary by a huge amount, but the ice usually comes off deeper lakes about a week after the shallow lakes open up.
There are many benefits to a deeper lake. One major benefit in Northern Wisconsin is weed control. Weeds generally grow in warm, shallow water. If you choose a lake that is mostly less than 15 feet deep you run the risk of the lake being overtaken by weeds. Weeds rarely grow in water over 15 feet deep so if a lake has an average depth of over 15 feet, you can sure there won't ever be a takeover. Another benefit to a deep lake is volume. A deep lake has more room for fish and fresh water than a shallow lake. A deep lake also has more room for energy created from boats moving through the water (waves) to disperse so the effect on the shoreline is not as destructive over time. Boating in deeper water alleviates some of the worry of hitting rocks or other obstructions in the water. Having said that, just because a lake is deep doesn't mean it doesn't have shallow spots to watch for.
While the stability of the water level is determined by the geological features of the lake, a deep lake does provide some benefits in a time of severe drought (which has occured a few times in the past decade or so). There have been quite a few lakes in our area that have been rendered nearly unusable in years of severe drought.
When considering the depth of a lake, it is important to know the average depth and what percentage of the lake is shallow. A lake can be 1000 acres of 4 foot deep water with a 1 acre hole that is 40 feet deep and the depth of the lake would be listed at as 40 feet, which can be quite misleading. That is why you will find average depth listed for every lake on this site.