Resources for learning about and becoming involved with watershed preservation and restoration.

Wetland Buffers

What is a wetland buffer? Why are wetland buffers important? How wide should a wetland buffer be? Find the answers in Managing the Water’s Edge: Making Natural Connections, a publication of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Groundwater and Stormwater

The Effects of Large-Scale Pumping and Diversion on the Water Resources of Dane County, Wisconsin. All about ground-water flow into and around the Yahara Lakes and the effects of development and increased water use. From USGS.

Responses to Urbanization. Changes in ground water, stream flow, and lake levels in response to development in the Yahara Lakes basin. This article is from LakeLine, a publication of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). The Winter 2005 issue contains this article and several more about Madison’s lakes.

Nonpoint Source Control Plan for the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed Project

The purpose of this watershed plan is to assess the nonpoint pollutants in the Lake Mendota watershed and to guide the implementation of control measures. Implementation of best management practices to control polluted runoff and education are needed to meet very specific water resource objectives designed to protect and enhance Lake Mendota and other lakes, streams, groundwater, and wetlands in the watershed. (WDNR, 2000)

This report can be hard to find so we scanned a copy and are making portions of it available here.


Yahara River, Cherokee Marsh, and Token Creek sub-watersheds

Groundwater and wetlands. Includes specific recommendations for Cherokee Marsh.

Landscaping for Waterfront Property

Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality. A book about how to plan and plant a diverse waterfront landscape. From the Minnesota DNR.

Carp Barriers

Every spring, large numbers of carp swim into the marsh from Lake Mendota to spawn. Their feeding and spawning uproot aquatic plants and sediments, cause erosion, and cloud the water. Some locations have successfully used carp barriers to keep carp out of sensitive waters. Would a carp barrier at the north end of Lake Mendota help the marsh?

Effect of Common Carp on Aquatic Restorations. Natural history of carp and descriptions of control methods, including carp barriers. From the University of Minnesota’s Department of Horticultural Science.

Electric Fences for Fish? Describes an electric carp barrier in Lake Seminole, Florida. The barrier allows boats to pass through. From Auburn University’s Department of Agriculture.

Smart Growth to Protect Water Resources

Publications from the EPA.

Protecting Water Resources with Higher-Density Development

Protecting Water Resources with Smart Growth

Stormwater Guidelines for Green, Dense Redevelopment

Creating Great Neighborhoods: Density in Your Community

Using Smart Growth Techniques as Stormwater Best Management Practices

Invasive Species

Information about garlic mustard and why the Madison Area Weed Warriors and others are removing it in Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park and elsewhere.

Future Wetland Invaders: Plants to Watch for. From the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.

Related Organizations

Friends Groups for Nearby Watersheds

Friends of Starkweather Creek
Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters. Based in DeForest.
Token Creek Watershed Association

Other Local Groups

Dane County Conservation League. One of Wisconsin’s oldest volunteer organizations dedicated to conservation
Madison Audubon Society. Sponsors birding trips in the marsh and works to save and restore natural habitat. Owns Goose Pond Sanctuary north of the marsh.
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin supports public conservation priorities throughtout Wisconsin.
River Alliance of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Wetlands Association. A statewide organization focused on wetland protection.
Yahara Fishing Club. Supports habitat improvement and protection projects.

National and International Groups

The International Crane Foundation is based in Baraboo and helps to sustain habitat for cranes worldwide. Sandhill cranes nest in the marsh.
The Land Trust Alliance promotes voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems.