Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Dane Co. Land & Water Resources Dept. Offers Late Season Tips for Boaters

October 01, 2009
Kevin Connors, Director Dane County Land & Water Resources Dept. (608-224-3730)
Land & Water Resources

Dane County Land and Water Resources Department Director Kevin Connors said that preparations for winter on area waters begin soon, and he urged boaters to use caution when boating in the late season. “County Lake Management staff will begin removing navigational buoys on the Yahara Chain of Lakes starting the week of October 5th,” he said.

Depending on the weather, this process generally takes several weeks, concluding in early to mid-November. Staff will post Lake Access Sites with a notice as the buoys are removed. Boaters are also reminded that water levels in the Yahara Chain of Lakes are lowered in the fall beginning November 1 and remain low during the winter to help reduce ice damage along shorelines.

Connors said, “We’re giving boaters a heads up about this because waters that may have been fine for boating earlier in the year, especially this summer with the high water levels, will be shallower, limiting navigation and may affect your ability to get boats off shore stations.” Boaters that leave their boats in the water or on shore stations may want to make arrangements for removing boats prior to November 1 Piers at county boat launches will be removed beginning the week of November 2nd.

Dane County Parks Director Darren Marsh noted that the county’s Tenney Lock, located on the Yahara River between Lakes Mendota and Monona, will continue to be available on weekends between 12:00 Noon and 6:00 PM, until October 31st, the last day of the season. There are two boater accessible county sanitary dump stations that will remain open through October or as long as the temperatures remain above freezing. These are the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District’s sponsored station, located on the Yahara River adjacent to the Four Lakes Yacht Club just south of Bridge Street in City of Monona, and the Tenney Station, located upriver of the Tenney Lock on Lake Mendota adjacent to the breakwall.

Sue Jones, County Lakes and Watersheds Coordinator, asked boaters to help track the spread of aquatic invasive species as this year’s boating season comes to a close. “Please help us by examining your piers and boats for zebra and Quagga mussels as you remove your equipment from the water this fall,” she said. “While large adult zebra or Quagga mussels are fairly easy to identify, smaller mussels that have recently attached to a pier or boat will feel like rough sandpaper and be much harder to see.” Jones also asked boaters to be on the lookout for spiny water fleas, an invasive predacious crustacean that often appears in clumps as gelatinous or cotton batting-like material with black dots on fishing lines.

Anyone who thinks they may have spotted an invasive species animal should record the exact location; store specimens in rubbing alcohol in a sealed container and contact the local DNR office at (608) 275-3329.

For more information on area waters and Dane County services please contact the parks office at 608-224-3730 or visit the Parks Website at More about aquatic invasive species can be found at


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