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May2022 Training with FOLKS

LakeForecast water quality monitoring in 2022

 In 2022, our volunteers embarked on the 10th season of LakeForecast water quality monitoring. This work involved collecting nearshore condition reports at piers, beaches, parks, and access points around the five Yahara lakes. From May through September, volunteers measured water clarity, recorded air and water temperature, identified the presence of green algae and cyanobacteria, and noted additional visual observations. Reports are entered into the LakeForecast app where all data are updated in real time.

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Aquatic plant transport barge on Lake Mendota

By Pete Jopke, Water Resources Planner with the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department
Article first published in the 2022 Greater Madison Lake Guide, a Clean Lakes Alliance publication

Aquatic plant harvesting on the Yahara lakes

The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department manages an aquatic plant harvesting program with much of the harvesting occurring on lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. Occasionally, other smaller waterbodies are harvested to aid in recreation and invasive plant management. The program dates to the early 1980’s when five harvesters were in operation. In those years, harvests totaled over 300 tons of plant material. In 2021, the existing fleet of 12 harvesters recorded plant harvests of more than 12,000 tons!

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Water quality monitoring equipment

LakeForecast water quality monitoring in 2021

In 2021, our volunteers embarked on the 9th season of LakeForecast water quality monitoring. This work involved collecting nearshore condition reports at piers, beaches, parks, and access points around the five Yahara lakes. From May through September, volunteers took water quality measurements. They measured water clarity, recorded air and water temperature, identified the presence of green algae and cyanobacteria, and noted additional visual observations. Reports are entered into the LakeForecast app where all data are updated in real time.

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Wyldhaven Park - Kenton Fowler

Close to half of the Yahara Watershed’s shorelines include public lands and parks. Here are
a few hidden gems, which happen to be some of Clean Lakes Alliance’s favorite spots to enjoy our waters!

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Water Quality Monitoring

In 2020 water quality monitoring took place at piers and beaches around the five Yahara lakes. Volunteers measured near-shore water clarity, air and water temperature, and noted several visual observations during the monitoring season, which runs from May to September. 

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Sunset over Lake Mendota

Fun finds around the Yahara Watershed

Although the most beloved beaches and piers are popular for good reason, there are also some hidden gems around the watershed that may just become your new favorite as we practice social distancing!

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Bernies Beach

A shared vision for clean, safe, and accessible lakes

In August 2019, leaders from government, business, and nonprofit organizations came together with a shared vision. The vision included a future in which Greater Madison’s five Yahara lakes are clean, safe, and accessible for everyone. Together, the 19 partners and collaborators formed the Yahara CLEAN Compact and committed to sharing resources and working together to curb pollution and chart the best path forward to cleaner, healthier lakes.

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Water Quality Monitoring

Overview

In 2019 water quality monitoring took place at piers and beaches around the five Yahara lakes. Volunteers measured near-shore water clarity, air and water temperature, and noted several visual observations during the monitoring season, which runs from May to September. 

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2018 Annual State of the Lakes Report

2018 takeaways

  • Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms appeared in our lakes at an alarming scale, highlighting continued challenges with water quality.
    • 72% of beach closures from Memorial Day to August 20th were due to cyanobacteria blooms
    • June continues to be the biggest month for cyanobacteria blooms for the fourth year
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Flooded pier on Lake Mendota

Clean Lakes Alliance Statement to Dane County Lake Level Task Force

This statement was presented by Clean Lakes Alliance Executive Director James Tye to the Dane County Lake Level Task Force on March 5, 2019.

Clean Lakes Alliance applauds the leadership of the Dane County Board and the Dane County Executive in putting $12 million toward flood recovery and lake improvement projects in the 2019 budget, and in creating the Technical Work Group and task force to address recent flooding around the Yahara Chain of Lakes. We believe these initiatives help move us toward becoming a more resilient community. But we need to work together as a community to address the increasing volume of water and runoff BEFORE it enters our lakes and waterways.

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