Yahara Portal

Explore the legacy and future of the Yahara Lakes and Watershed

Madison and Dane County Beaches

All public beaches in Dane County are monitored by Public Health - Madison & Dane County. During the swimming season (Memorial Day - Labor Day), Public Health conducts water quality testing at 13 Madison beaches, one UW beach and two Dane County beaches. All other Dane County Beaches are monitored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or by municipalities.

Shoreline waters, including beaches, are subject to microbial contamination, which is carried to the lakes. Blue-Green Algae or cyanobacteria may also occasionally proliferate in a beach area. Therefore, before people or their pets enter the water (swimming or wading), they should take an overall look at the conditions and use their own judgment as to whether the beach should be used for swimming that day. Avoid contact with lake water if the water is murky or if a bloom appears to be in progress. Swimming is not advisable after a heavy rainfall because bacteria levels in the water may be elevated.

Click here for up-to-date Madison and Dane County beach information