Lake Wingra Aquatic Plant Management

According to the Friends of Lake Wingra (FOLW)  and Dane County officials, the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday December 13th to discuss results of the latest Lake Wingra plant sampling, 2012 plant harvesting results, and priorities for the Lake Wingra Aquatic Plant Management plan.  The meeting will be held in Regina Hall on the Edgewood College campus at 7pm.
(See press release below).
Interested watershed residents who plan to attend can do a little homework to prepare for the meeting by reviewing the lake management information on the following web links:
Sunrise on Lake Wingra from the dock at Wingra Park.

Sunrise on Lake Wingra from the dock at Wingra Park.

Lake Wingra Aquatic Weed Management Issues

Lake Wingra is a naturally shallow and eutrophic (nutrient rich) lake.  As such it has always supported a diversity of native and weedy aquatic plants.  

In recent years the weedy plant growth tendency has been aggravated by nutrient rich storm water runoff from the watershed.  Aquatic plant harvesting with floating machinery has been a traditional lake management tool to keep weeds under control and the lake navigable.

In 2012, there was a surge in aquatic plants (native and weedy) likely because of  increased water clarity (not to be confused with water quality).  The suggested causes of the increased water clarity are the carp removal of previous years and a reduced sediment laden storm water runoff due to the drought.

An abundance of aquatic plant growth make it difficult to use the lake for swimming, boating, and fishing, all desirable public uses of Lake Wingra.    An excess of weedy, non-native plants can also choke out native plants (and hinder swimmers and canoeists as well).  Thus, harvesting of excessive plant growth is one option for improvement of the lake environment.

Complications for sensitive management of aquatic plants in Lake Wingra include the competing desires to remove the weedy, non-native plants with mechanical harvesters and the need to not damage native aquatic plants in the process.  This topic should be addressed at the  information meeting on Dec. 13 should address

November 29, 2012

Contact:        Sue Jones, 608-224-3764

                Darren Marsh, 608-224-3766

 Dane County Land & Water Resources Department Announces December 13 Public Information Meeting Regarding Lake Wingra Aquatic Plant Management

Meeting to be held in Regina Hall of Edgewood College

 (Madison, WI) The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department has scheduled a public meeting to gather input for the County’s upcoming revisions to the Lake Wingra Aquatic Plant Management Plan.  The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­in Washburn Heritage Room, located in Regina Hall, Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive in Madison.  Free parking is available on campus, and the best place to park will be in the lot in front of Regina or DeRicci Halls.  A campus map is attached.

 Aquatic plant management plans provide an inventory of existing plants in a lake or stream, and describe how the vegetation, especially native plants, will be protected for their role as the foundation of healthy lake ecosystems, while controlling nuisance non-native species and providing access for recreational use of the waters. These plans are required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for renewal of Dane County’s five-year permits to mechanically harvest aquatic vegetation.

 At the December 13 meeting, Dane County staff will provide an overview of the ecological value of aquatic plants, describe the results of the plant survey and harvesting conducted on Lake Wingra in 2012, and invite public questions and comments as the County works to update the 2007 Lake Wingra Aquatic Plant Management Plan.

 More information on Aquatic Plant Management in Dane County, and a downloadable copy of the existing Lake Wingra Plan is available at the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds’ web site: <>

 Dane County will continue to gather public input on the plant survey results and harvesting priorities for Lake Wingra, through January 11, sent to <>, or to Lake Wingra Aquatic Plants, c/o Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds, Room 234, 5201 Fen Oak Drive, Madison, WI  53718.

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 Deb FlandersDane County Land & Water Resources Department(608)224-3730


About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist, Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (#0093 SER) and writer living in the Midwestern United States.
This entry was posted in Aquatic plant management, Dane County lakes, Friends of Lake Wingra, Lake Wingra Watershed, Lake Wingra Watershed management planning, Wingra Park and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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