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 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.
In 2022, Clean Lakes Alliance received a Wisconsin DNR Surface Water Grant to participate in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program. CBCW is a state-wide aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention program. The program increases awareness and education to boaters, anglers, and general lake users on best practices to prevent the further spread of AIS at our local boat landings.
We had so much fun throughout the nine days of Frozen Assets 2023 and we hope you did too! More than 8,000 lake enthusiasts from near and far joined us for science demonstrations, musical performances, ice skating, food and drinks, ice sculpture carving, a chance to try new winter activities, face painting, networking, a chance to run or walk in the only 5K on a frozen lake in North America, and more! We THANK YOU for supporting lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa!
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.
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!
Support clean, healthy lakes with Clean Lakes Alliance’s 10th Annual Loop the Lake Bike Ride. Join us in person on the official Monona Lake Loop by starting and ending at Olbrich Park on Saturday, June 18th. Or, choose to ride, walk, run, or paddle virtually, from anywhere Saturday, June 11th – Sunday, June 19th.
Loop the Lake is more than a bike ride – it’s an opportunity for our community to rally around our lakes! All registered participants will receive a super-soft event tee. Event proceeds will support Clean Lakes Alliance’s work to protect and improve our lakes through on-the-ground projects, educational programs, and water quality monitoring.
Join us in person on the official Monona Lake Loop by starting and ending at Olbrich Park (3527 Atwood Avenue, Madison) on Saturday, June 18th. The course will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. so that riders can ride at their own convenience. Riders will travel 12 miles clockwise around Lake Monona.
About the Ride: Virtual – choose your own course (Saturday, June 11th – Sunday, June 19th)
Participants may ride, walk, run, paddle, or rollerblade along any route they choose! Share your enthusiasm for our lakes and encourage others to join by sharing photos and videos from your Loop the Lake adventure with the #LooptheLake hashtag!
Want to mimic the original Loop the Lake route? Feel free to head over to Lake Monona and follow the “Lake Loop” bike path clockwise or find a 12-mile loop in your neighborhood! You could also ride around Monona Bay, Lake Wingra, or your favorite lakeshore bike path!
Registrations are transferable but non-refundable. In the event of cancellation, registrations and sponsorships will not be refunded. Thank you for your donation to Clean Lakes Alliance!
Please select your t-shirt size by Monday, May 2nd to make sure you receive your t-shirt before the event. T-shirts can be mailed to your home or business if you select the $50 ticket option. Otherwise, you may pick up your t-shirt(s) on Saturday, June 18th at Olbrich Park (3527 Atwood Avenue, Madison) from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Be safe during the Loop the Lake Bike Ride! Obey all traffic laws, be careful of cars sharing the road, and wear a helmet. Participants should obey all social distancing guidelines.
If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact our Executive Director James Tye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-255-1000.
What is the refund policy? Registrations are transferable but non-refundable. In the event of cancellation, registrations and sponsorships will not be refunded. Thank you for your donation to Clean Lakes Alliance!