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.
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.
Nine days of Frozen Assets
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!
Lake enthusiasts from near and far joined us at Frozen Assets 2023 for science demonstrations, music, a 5K on a frozen lake, and more!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!