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 firstname.lastname@example.org
As the boats on our lakes continue to get
larger and larger, more and more boats cannot get under
the Mendota gate at the Tenney Park Locks. Several questions
regarding this and the Williamson Street Bridge surface
every summer. The old timers claim that if your boat could
get under the Williamson Street Bridge, you could easily
get under the gates at Tenney.
Perhaps this was true before the lake elevation
on Mendota was changed or before new lake levels were established
by the Wisconsin DNR.
One large variable is lake elevation. If
Lake Mendota is at elevation 849.60, you might get your
boat under and thru the gates. If Lake Mendota is six inches
higher or one foot higher, you might not get your boat thru.
The death of the myth occurred when we
decided to go and physically measure the openings at the
Locks and at the Williamson Street Bridge. The drawing below
graphically shows the openings.
The clearance under each structure will
vary with lake elevations. Just because you got thru them
one weekend, does not mean that you will get thru the next
The Mendota gate at Tenney Park Locks usually
will determine if you can make it under all the bridges.
Unless you're in a canoe or small boat, use caution when
going from lake to lake.
The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.