The Yahara Lakes Association (YLA) is a non-profit organization which works to improve and preserve the lakes and rivers in the Yahara chain of lakes in south central Wisconsin.
YLA is dedicated to representing waterfront property owners and advocating for the vitality of the Yahara chain of lakes so all citizens may enjoy them.
What does Yahara Lakes Association do?
Keep our members informed and involved in lake issues and events.
Take direct action and advocacy on lake, shoreline, and property issues.
Provide legislative representation and interaction with local and state officials.
Support and coordinate outreach and research on lake issues with farmers, government officials and communities.
Lake Mendota. Lake Monona.
Yahara River. Lake Waubesa. Lake Kegonsa.
Latest News -
YAHARA LAKES ASSOCIATION LAKE UPDATE:
We find ourselves once again finding our lakes at near record levels after over 6 inches of rain in September. Even though there was a lot of good work done in the spring to develop a long-term plan to better manage our lake levels through enhancement of the flow of water out of the Yahara Lakes, the solution of dredging the Yahara River takes time. The plan to dredge the section from Lake Monona to Lake Waubesa has been pushed from this fall to the spring, but even that would only even out the levels between Lakes Monona and Waubesa. We won’t see any real gain in lake level management until we complete the dredging of the sections from Lake Waubesa to Lake Kegonsa. County Executive’s Parisi’s proposed 2020 budget has $5 million to start the dredging below Waubesa next fall. John Reimer will discuss this in more detail in our November newsletter.
So what can we expect for lake levels for the rest of the fall? The good news is the aquatic plants have pretty much died off in the Yahara river so the flow out of Lake Waubesa has increased from the paltry 250-300 cubic feet per second (CFS) that we saw all summer to just below 700 CFS currently. So a significant jump in flow! I think the movement last fall is instructive for this year. Lake Mendota (at 851.2 on 10/14/19) was at 851.5 on October 1st last fall but dropped to 849.7 by the end of November for nearly a 2 ft drop in 2 months. Lake Monona (847.27 at 10/14/19) was at 847.5 on October 1st 2018 but was at 845.7 on November 30, 2018, so nearly a 1.8 ft drop in two months. We should see similar movement this year. Just remember the county tries to bring the lakes down by starting at the upper lakes and working down, so don’t be surprised to see Lake Mendota coming down faster than lakes Monona and Waubesa.
Chairman, YLA Lake Level and Flow Committee
Lake Monona is cresting today, and Lake Mendota has risen nearly 4” and continues to rise. Dane County Land & Water Resources will increase the outflow from Lake Mendota into Lake Monona today, which could raise the water level on Lake Monona up to 1”. At this time, the level of Lake Monona is at 847.65. A 1" rise will result in a level slightly above the 100-year flood level. Property owners should assess their shoreline to determine if they need to add sandbags. Sand, bags, and plastic are available at Oneida Park and Healy Park parking lot for residents to use. The City will continue to supply these materials as needed.
A Slow-no-wake order was issued for Lakes Monona and Waubesa effective immediately. Lake flooding is not a risk at this time, but higher water levels can increase risks to piers and shorelines so the slow, no wake orders will be in effect until further notice. The Dane County Sheriff's Office will be enforcing the slow, no wake orders. For additional information click here!
Leaf-Free Streets for Clean Waters — The cooler temperatures may signal an end to boating and swimming season, but fall is the perfect time to take action to protect our waters! Did you know that more that 50% of the annual amount of phosphorus in urban stormwater can come from leaves in the street! When it rains, stormwater flows through leaf piles in streets creating a “leaf tea” that is rich in dissolved phosphorus. This “leaf tea” travels through storm sewers making its way to our lakes, rivers, and streams. Too much phosphorus can lead to toxic algae blooms, low oxygen levels and green murky waters, none of which are good for animals living in the water or those of us who us it for recreation. Simply removing street leaves before the rain can greatly reduce the amount of phosphorus that reaches our waters each fall!
You can help! Before the rain…..
1. Safely remove leaves from the street in front of your home and nearby storm drains.
3. Sign up to receive Leaf-free Streets Rain Alerts this fall (Oct. 1 - Nov. 30). Alerts are issued 1-2 days before a significant rain event reminding you that it’s time to remove street leaves. ***This program is only available to Dane County residents or businesses.***
4. Place a Leaf-free Streets for Clean Waters sign in your front yard this fall. Let others know you are taking action to protect area waters and invite them to join the Leaf-free Streets effort. To request a free sign contact Christal Campbell.
We also have a Leaf-free Streets Partner Toolkit with new resources that groups and neighborhood associations can use to help engage their communities and spread the word. If you are part of a neighborhood association or other group we invite you to check it out.
A Slow-no-wake order was issued for Squaw Bay effective as of sunrise Saturday, July 20th. Since then the Dane County sheriffs have stopped several boaters who say they were not aware of it. So they have asked us to remind you of it again below. Please pass the word on to your friends For additional information click here!
Visit Our News & Events
For news, updates, events, and details regarding the Yahara Lake Association, visit our blog page.
Members receive regular updates to the content with our weekly newsletters - make sure to activate your membership today!