Located in the Lyman F. Anderson Agriculture and Conservation Center 5201 Fen Oak Drive Room 234 Madison, WI 53718-8827 Map to Fen Oak 608-224-3730 email@example.com
The Yahara River lakes - Mendota, Monona,
Waubesa and Kegonsa - are important in providing scenic
beauty and swimming, boating and fishing opportunities to
area residents and visitors. As a result, the lakes are
highly valued physical resources and an integral part of
the quality of life the Dane County residents enjoy.
The lakes were formed about 10,000 years
ago when the last glacier deposited a thick layer of glacial
till (unsorted sediment) over the landscape and dammed up
the large pre-glacial Yahara River Valley. The Yahara watershed
(land area draining to the lakes) now covers 359 square
miles. The Yahara River begins just north of Dane County
in Columbia County and flows south to connect the four lakes,
finally joining the Rock River in Rock County. Much of the
watershed is farmed; however, the watershed also contains
most of the urban land in the Madison metropolitan area.
In addition, the Yahara watershed includes some of the largest
wetlands that are left in Dane County. The lakes' watershed
includes all or parts of five cities, seven villages and
sixteen towns and is home to about a quarter million people.
The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.