Yahara Portal

Explore the legacy and future of the Yahara Lakes and Watershed

Watershed Strategies

There is no simple “silver bullet” for revitalizing the health of the Yahara lakes and watershed, but there is widespread agreement on the combination of actions that will bring the sparkle and vitality back to the Capital lakes system. Restoring healthy lakes and streams will depend on a concerted effort—including leadership from our public agencies, private businesses, farmers, recreational users and individual homeowners. Today’s strategy for the lakes is the culmination of decades of research, previous cleanup and restoration efforts, community planning, and agency and citizen action.  A glance at the history of water quality challenges and responsive actions shows that our communities value clean and healthy water and we are willing to invest in solutions.

At the community level, a team of state and local agencies is working in partnership with community organizations, business leaders, farmers and many stakeholder groups to pursue 14 priority actions to reduce phosphorus pollution by half. Immediate and near-term work on those 14 actions will provide significant gains in lake quality within the next 10 years.

At the individual level, we can all make a difference, especially when it comes to keeping phosphorus and bacteria out of the lakes. 

Longer term, a healthy watershed ecosystem will need wise planning and vigilant stewardship to protect water quality, habitat, the beauty of our lakes and their recreational values, and our groundwater quality and supply. Explore the ways you can get involved!