Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds
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  • Plant Dane!

    The Plant Dane! Cost-Share Program is open to schools, non-profit organizations (homeowner, lake or neighborhood associations, youth groups, faith centers, clubs, etc.), municipalities and individual residents in Dane County, Wisconsin.

    Learn more about ordering native plants for your yard.

  • Read the Latest Research Reports

    Several research reports were published in 2013, in addition to the Turville Bay report described later on this page. Review the latest science on Lake Wingra, Madison beaches, the Yahara River-Cherokee Marsh system, and Yahara chain of lakes water quality.

  • Lakes and Watershed Commission’s 25th Anniversary

    In 2013, the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission marked the 25th year that it has been working for Dane County citizens and the waters on which they depend. Learn more about the ongoing celebration, including where you can visit the "Beyond the Water's Edge" photography and poetry exhibition during 2014.

  • Rhythm and Booms Fireworks Recommendations

    The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission has reviewed the proposal to launch this annual fireworks display over Lake Monona, consulted with water quality and public health experts, and invited public comment. The Commission adopted its Rhythm and Booms Recommendations on December 12, 2013.

  • 2014 Take a Stake Days

    Check out the many things happening in, on and around Dane County lakes, rivers and wetlands this year! Join in the fun and help protect and enhance our precious water resources

  • Share Your Views About 2013 Aquatic Plant Management Plan Updates

    County staff invite public comments on the aquatic plants and harvesting plans for the Yahara lakes; Yahara River; Crystal, Fish and Indian Lakes; and several lagoons See the "2013 Plan Update" section of our aquatic plant management page.

  • Take a Stake in the Lakes 25th Anniversary

    Check out how everyone celebrated 25 years of love for our lakes!

  • 2014 Aquatic Invasives Prevention and Control Program

    Our friendly and knowledgeable Clean Boats, Clean Waters aquatic invasives species inspectors are stationed at boat landings throughout the county each weekend of the 2014 boating season to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Meet the staff and learn more about their work here . The Clean Boats, Clean Waters program is one of the many ways we are implementing our Aquatic Invasives Prevention and Control Plan.

  • Working Together to Improve the Yahara Watershed

    The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission and staff at the Office of Lakes and Watersheds are part of an exciting partnership working to protect and improve the Yahara River chain of lakes, including Lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. Lake users, residents, and other stakeholders are working together to refine and implement Yahara CLEAN Report priority lake improvement recommendations, which in turn will help make our 'practical vision' for the future of the lakes a reality. Additional reports and background on the Yahara CLEAN report are available on the Yahara Lakes Legacy Partnership website.

    The Lakes and Watershed Commission's Strategic Engagement Committee holds Yahara Watershed Initiatives Briefings three to four times a year, as an opportunity for those directly involved in Yahara watershed improvement initiatives to share information and explore opportunities for synergy and integration among projects.

  • Aquatic Plant Management Project in Turville Bay

    Dane County, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the US Army Corps of Engineers completed the Turville Bay research project in 2013 and published the results as a fact sheet and project report. This project evaluated the response of selective early-season herbicide application and cutting of aquatic plants on Turville Bay, the southwest area of Lake Monona, on Eurasian water milfoil (EWM, an invasive aquatic exotic plant) and on native plant communities.

    Eurasian water milfoil begins growing early in the year, and creates a dense growth canopy which shades out native plant species. Cooperating scientists and managers wondered if controlling EWM early in the season would give an advantage to native plants. The research project found that both herbicide and harvested early-season treatment resulted in significant decreases in EWM. Mechanical harvesting produced more variable results, but better protected native coontail plants. The herbicide treatment resulted in longer control of EWM than mechanical harvesting.

    At a November 2013 meeting sponsored by the Office of Lakes and Watersheds, the research partners engaged in a community discussion about the project's final report. Wisconsin DNR research scientist Martha Barton's presentation slides are available here.

  • Clean Lakes Public Service Announcement

    View the two clean lakes public service announcements created by the Lakes and Watershed Commission.

  • Learn About the State of Dane County Waters

    If learning about Dane County waters and what is being done to protect and improve them is one of your new year resolutions, the new Dane County State of the Waters Report is for you!

  • Join Dane Stewards

    Join the Dane Stewards listserv to stay up to date on events and information regarding Dane County's water resources!

  • Lake Level Management

    Our colleagues elsewhere in our Land and Water Resources Department provide up-to-date information on lake levels in the Yahara River chain of lakes. On the lake level data page you can also download a copy of the Lake Level Management Guide for the Yahara Chain of Lakes.

  • Ordinance on Coal Tar Sealants

    The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission's ordinance regulating coal tar sealants was adopted by the County Board, and is effective July 1, 2007. Click here for more information.

  • Thanks to our Generous Contributors

    List of Contributors and How to Donate

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Yahara Waterways Trail Guide The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.