Clean Lakes Alliance is proud to partner with the Wisconsin Executive Residence Foundation, along with other local organizations, to fund and implement a lakeshore restoration along 294 feet of Lake Mendota shoreline. Located at the iconic Executive Residence, the project will replace 7,184 square feet of existing turf with 32 species of native plants, wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs. In all, a total of 3,177 native plants will be added to the shoreline area!
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!
Our watershed is full of well-known, well-visited locations. But there are some you may have missed. Check out these gems, hidden in plain sight.
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.
Thank you for supporting our lakes at the Frozen Assets Festival
We had so much fun at the Frozen Assets Festival and hope you did too! Whether you participated in person or virtually, we THANK YOU for supporting lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa!
It’s official – Lake Mendota freezes over!
Temperatures below the freezing mark, combined with cold water, helped Lake Mendota officially freeze in the early morning hours on Friday, January 7, 2022. The official declaration comes from the Wisconsin State Climatology Office. Lake Mendota, the largest lake in the Yahara Watershed, froze 23 days shy of January 30th. The latest ice-on date ever declared was on January 30th, 1932.
New opportunities to learn about and help our lakes can arise unexpectedly. Such is the case when Madison Gas and Electric‘s Jeff Jaeckels reached out to Clean Lakes Alliance about a research group looking for volunteers to study the lakes in a novel way. Studying the lakes through artificial intelligence will allow Clean Lakes Alliance and our partners to better monitor and research harmful algal blooms.
Clean Lakes Alliance kicks off annual Mendota Freeze Contest
On Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, Clean Lakes Alliance kicked off its 10th annual Mendota Freeze Contest. This year, Greater Madison experienced near-normal November temperatures. As of the first of the month, Lake Mendota, and the other four Greater Madison lakes, remained completely open. Despite this week’s mild temperatures, more than 165 years of data show the median freeze date for Lake Mendota is only a little under three weeks away on December 20th.
Local Madison area photographers share their view of our lakes
The Greater Madison area often tops lists of best places to live. One of the reasons frequently cited, is our lakes. We talked to five photographers in the Madison area and found out what they love most about photographing the Yahara lakes. Read more from the photographers, and see a sampling of their work – as they feature different views of our watershed.
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!