Frozen Assets cancels all Lake Mendota events due to poor ice conditions
Due to continued warm weather, Clean Lakes Alliance has made the decision to cancel all Frozen Assets events scheduled to take place on Lake Mendota. The decision was made after multiple days of drilling test holes in Lake Mendota, as well as speaking with experts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a local meteorologist, and local law enforcement officials. Events including skydiving, Kites on Mendota, snowshoeing, pond hockey, and the Mary B will not be at Frozen Assets this year.
January cold snap helps lake freeze
Ice on! Temperatures below zero, combined with cold water and low wind, helped Lake Mendota officially freeze on January 15, 2024, as declared by the Wisconsin State Climatology Office. Lake Mendota, the largest lake in the Yahara Watershed, froze a full 26 days after December 20th, which is the median ice-on date for the largest lake in the Yahara River Watershed. The January 15th freeze is the 3rd latest freeze date since monitoring began over 170 years ago. The latest ice-on date is January 30th, and that took place in 1932.
LakeForecast water quality monitoring in 2023
Clean Lakes Alliance’s LakeForecast water quality monitoring program completed its 11th season in 2023. This program is entirely volunteer implemented, with 90 trained monitors assessing water quality conditions from nearshore and offshore locations across all five Yahara lakes (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa). From Memorial Day through Labor Day, volunteers recorded water clarity, air and water temperature, waterfowl presence, extent of floating plant debris, and the severity of green algae and cyanobacteria at public beaches, lakeside parks, and private piers. Submitted data can be seen in real-time on lakeforecast.org or our free app allowing the general public to stay up to date on current lake conditions.
We reached out to 20 lakefront restaurants to find out what they felt makes them special – besides their great food and drinks! The following are the responses we received and included in our 2023 Greater Madison Lake Guide.
Henry Vilas Park (Lake Wingra)
Henry Vilas Park is one of Madison’s oldest lakeside parks, and provides a gathering place along Lake Wingra for swimming, fishing, and even ice skating when the lagoon freezes over. The park was created from a 1904 donation from Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator, William Freeman Vilas (1840-1908), to the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, an organization committed to the development of parks and scenic drives in the Madison area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Vilas also served as U.S. Postmaster General and Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President Grover Cleveland. Henry Vilas Park is named in memory of William’s son who died in childhood.
Out-of-town anglers drawn to downtown Madison lakes
Spend time walking along Lake Monona between Law Park and Brittingham Park, and you’ll notice anglers tossing lines from plenty of places. Unfortunately, there is a lack of accessible shoreline fishing locations. Folks fishing have to contend with hazards like the wall at the Monona Terrace or the railroad tracks…which are actually illegal to use for fishing. Still, the challenges of fishing on Lake Monona do not seem to stop diehard anglers from spending time doing what they love.
An interview with University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station staff
Article first published in the 2023 Greater Madison Lake Guide, a Clean Lakes Alliance publication
Situated on the southern shore of Lake Mendota is a very unassuming building. You may not recognize the building, but you’ve probably seen one of the boats housed here out on the lake. It’s the University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station and its job is to help keep everyone safe on Greater Madison’s largest lake.
Yahara chain of lakes: Water level orders and challenges
The Yahara River chain of lakes is made up of several “lakes,” including Cherokee, Mendota, Monona, Upper Mud, Waubesa, Lower Mud, and Kegonsa (see map). The Yahara River inflow enters from the north and discharges into Lake Mendota through a narrow channel at the Highway 113 bridge.
An update to Clean Lakes Alliance’s vision and mission
By Linda Nedelcoff, Clean Lakes Alliance Board Chair
In May of 2010, a small, one-day festival received a large donation from Lands’ End. The Clean Lakes Festival, run by the very popular Mad-City Ski Team put on the event with a goal of “raising money for the lakes.” Quickly, it was realized that many businesses and community members wanted to invest in the lakes more than just one day a year. Born out of that festival was Clean Lakes Alliance.