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.

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