from the northeast shore at sunset
|Location||Chippewa County, Wisconsin|
|Primary inflows||Chippewa River, Paint Creek, Stillson Creek, Yellow River, O'Neil Creek|
|Primary outflows||Chippewa River|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||6,024 acres (2,438 ha)|
|Max. depth||72 ft (22 m)|
|Settlements||Lafayette, Anson, Eagle Point|
The lake is divided into two parts by a peninsula upon which is the center of Lake Wissota Village. The smaller southern portion of the lake, the flooded portion of the valley formed by Paint Creek, is often called "Little Lake Wissota". The larger portion of the lake, lying to the north of Lake Wissota Village, is usually just called "Lake Wissota", although it is sometimes also called "Big Lake Wissota". The lake is fed by several other rivers and streams besides the Chippewa River, which enters the lake from the northwest and exits to the southwest, and Paint Creek which enters Little Lake Wissota from the east, respectively. These include Stillson Creek, which enters Little Lake Wissota from the southwest, the Yellow River which enters from the east at Moon Bay, and O'Neil Creek, which enters in the northwest, near the entrance of the Chippewa River.
The lake is a popular recreation destination in northwestern Wisconsin, in the summer for boating, canoeing, fishing, water skiing and swimming, and in the winter for ice fishing. On the northeastern shore lies Lake Wissota State Park, popular with campers, hikers, swimmers and anglers.
Wissota Hydroelectric Dam
The lake was formed by the construction of the Wissota Hydroelectric Dam on the Chippewa River, completed in 1917. The dam was built by the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Company. An engineer on the project, Louis G. Arnold, named the lake by combining the beginning of "Wisconsin" and the ending of "Minnesota". The dam is now owned and operated by Xcel Energy, and is capable of producing 36 megawatts.
In the 1997 film Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio's character Jack Dawson mentions that he went ice fishing on the frozen waters of Lake Wissota as a boy. This would have been impossible, as the Titanic sank in 1912, three years before construction on the dam that formed Lake Wissota began. Director James Cameron acknowledged this anachronism in the DVD commentary.