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

Dane County prepares to transition lakes to winter operating levels

October 01, 2014
Kevin Connors, Director (608)-224-3730 Erika Hotchkiss, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator (608)-224-3762
Land & Water Resources

Boaters and lake front property owners should be aware that the lakes will be lowered to summer minimum levels in preparation for winter ice and snow pack. On or around November 1st, all lakes will transition to their respective winter operating levels. There is no certainty that precipitation will raise the lakes above their current levels, so lake users should monitor water levels to make sure they can remove their boats and piers before November 1, 2014.


Water levels on Lakes Mendota, Monona and Waubesa are currently above target summer mid-range. As a result, flow out of Babcock Dam  will be maintained in order to lower the upper three lakes to their respective summer minimum water levels. Flow out of LaFollette Dam will be maintained in order to keep Lake Kegonsa’s water level above summer minimum. Lock gates at Lafollette are closed while the lock gates at Babcock will remain open for navigation.


Beginning Monday, October 6th, county staff will begin removing the approximately 240 navigational buoys in the Yahara Lakes and River. All buoys will be removed by November 1, 2014. It is important that boaters remain alert for underwater hazards that may damage watercraft in the late fall and early spring. 


More information on water related issues can be seen on the Dane County Land and Water Resources website at: