Dane County Land & Water Resources transitions area lakes for the winter season

October 21, 2015
John Reimer, Stormwater Engineer (608) 224-3612 Erika Hotchkiss, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator (608) 212-6358
Land & Water Resources

Dane County would like to remind boaters and lake front property owners that lakes are being lowered to summer minimum levels in order to transition to winter operating levels on November 1st. The annual winter lake level draw down is intended to prevent shoreline ice damage and allow for flood storage capacity after the spring runoff.


Dane County has removed over 160 buoys in the Yahara River and Lakes that were installed for the 2015 summer season.  Lake users are asked to use caution and to be on the alert for underwater hazards that may damage watercraft.  Dane County will remove piers at county boat launch sites the first week in November.


Dane County Tenney Lock, located on the Yahara River between Lakes Mendota and Monona, will remain open on weekends between the hours of 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. through October 31st, the last day of the season.


Dane County would also like to remind boat owners, lake residents and contractors when removing their piers, docks and boats from the water, to check for any zebra mussels that might have attached themselves to equipment while submerged in water over the summer.  Zebra mussels were recently confirmed  in Lake Mendota by UW Madison researchers.  The high recreational use of the Yahara Chain of Lakes and their connectivity, increases the risk that zebra mussels or aquatic invasive species (AIS) may be found in downstream lakes.


If zebra mussels or other invasive species are found:

· Note the exact location where the animal was found.

· Take a digital photo of the animal in the setting where it was found (if possible). Then collect up to five specimens of varying sizes. Place in a jar with water; put on ice and transport to refrigerator.

· Contact Pete Jopke, Dane County AIS Coordinator at 608-224-3733 or Susan Graham Wisconsin DNR – Susan.Graham@wisconsin.gov, 608-275-3329

Responding quickly to detection of  AIS  is critical to help curb the spread into other waterbodies.

For more information please see the following links:

To learn more about zebra mussels or Wisconsin aquatic invasive species regulations visit: www.dnr.wi.gov keyword “invasive species”.

To read more about how Dane County is working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species visit: www.danewaters.com/

Current lake levels are  updated daily and can be found at: https://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/landconservation/lakelevelpg.aspx

Tenney lock hours can be found at:  https://pdf.countyofdane.com/lwrd/parks/Tenney_Lock_Schedule.pdf

Dane County Waters Information: https://www.countyofdane.com/lwrd/

Dane County Lake Access and Tenney Lock Permits available at: https://www.reservedane.com/permits.aspx






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