Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds
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What You Can Do

The Yahara lakes are a prized resource and we all must be good stewards of this resource so that 50 or 100 years from now the lakes will still be a highly valued asset to the region. Many of our individual activities and land use practices can affect the lakes; thus, we must always be conscious of what we are doing in the watershed so that lake conditions do not deteriorate further. A list of what you can do to protect the lakes follows:

  • Limit your use of pesticides and commercial fertilizers on gardens, lawns and fields. Fertilize according to soil analysis recommendations and carefully follow label instructions.
  • Minimize soil erosion by installing conservation practices such as grassed waterways, contour strip crops, terraces, and riprap on steep streambanks.
  • Keep empty cans, bottles, and trash out of gutters, storm sewers and the lakes.
  • Alert officials if you observe spills or conditions that look potentially dangerous or severe erosion from construction sites.
  • Divert your roof downspouts to the lawn or a gravel drain; do not direct them to a street, driveway or paved surface leading to a storm sewer.
  • Wash your car in a location where the water will slowly infiltrate, such as the lawn or gravel area.
  • Take automobile oils to a recycling center. Don't drain oil onto the streets.
  • Obey fishing, boating and shoreline regulations.
  • Compost or mulch your leaves and grass clippings, or at least bag them for pickup. Keep leaves out of the street gutters.
  • Persuade your local officials that the lakes are an important issue, since the quality of the lakes depends on adequate continuing action and funding for maintenance and protection.



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