Yahara Portal

Explore the legacy and future of the Yahara Lakes and Watershed

Lake Monona and Lake Wingra

The Monona subwatershed begins where the Yahara River connects Lake Mendota to Lake Monona, at the Tenney Park Locks. Lake Monona is 3,277 acres in size. It contains 3,885 million cubic feet of water. The maximum depth is 74.1 feet and its mean depth is 27.2 feet. The lake has 13.2 miles of shoreline with a shoreline development factor of 1.64. The closer the shoreline development factor is to one, the more like it is shaped like a circle. A larger number indicates that there is more opportunity for growth along the shoreline. The lake flushes slightly less than once per year (0.91/year).

Several waterbodies drain into Lake Monona.  Lake Wingra feeds into the western end of the lake via Wingra (Murphy) Creek. Lake Wingra is 321 acres and holds 212 million cubic feet of water. Its maximum depth is 14.1 feet and its mean depth is 8.9 feet. Lake Wingra has 3.7 miles of shoreline. 5.4 square miles of land drain directly into Lake Wingra. Lake Wingra is on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources list of impaired waters (303d list) due to aquatic toxicity.

Starkweather Creek drains from the east into Lake Monona. Starkweather Creek is on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources list of impaired waters (303d list) due to dissolved oxygen, flow, habitat, toxicity and turbidity.

Lake Monona drains into Upper Mud Lake through the Yahara River at Squaw Bay on the lake’s southeast end.

 

Surface Area (acres)

Volume (million ft.3 )

Depth (ft.)

Mean Depth (ft.)

Shoreline length (miles)

Direct Drainage Area (mi2)

Total Drainage (mi.2 )

Shoreline development factor

Flushing rate

Lake Monona

3,277

3,885

74.1

27.2

13.2

40.5

278

1.64

0.91

Lake Wingra

321

212

14.1

8.9

3.7

5.4

     

 Source of table:  UW Center for Limnology