LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Donate today: make a difference
Join the community of caretakers
Help preserve Wisconsin's State Natural Areas for future generations. Give to the Endangered Resources Fund today!
Donate today: make a difference
Find
a natural area by name.
Locate
a natural area by county.
Explore outdoors
and find places to go.
Use our interactive map
to find natural areas.
Volunteer
and help care for SNAs.
Contact information
For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
Thomas Meyer
Natural areas conservation biologist

Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Red Cedar Lake (No. 215)

Red Cedar Lake

Photo by Joshua Mayer


Overview

Location

Jefferson County. T6N-R13E, Sections 17, 20, 21. 452 acres.

Description

Description

Red Cedar Lake is a large, relatively undisturbed shallow lake containing an abundance of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation. The irregularly shaped 370-acre hard water seepage lake is located in a marshy pocket of the terminal moraine. Although it has a maximum depth of six feet, 90% of the lake is less than three feet deep. The lake and extensive surrounding wetlands have a diverse submerged and emergent aquatic flora providing excellent habitat for numerous species of waterfowl and marsh birds. Plant species include watershield, pickerelweed, whorled water milfoil and common bladderwort. Cat-tails and soft-stem bulrush dominate the surrounding wetlands. Waterfowl use is extensive with an average of 60 breeding pairs of nine species. Numerous marsh birds also nest here including some uncommon species: yellow-headed blackbird, American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), green heron, and coots. The marsh also provides habitat for many other amphibians and reptiles including bullfrog, green frog, and Cope’s gray treefrog. Red Cedar Lake is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1984.

Access

Driving directions

From the intersection of U.S. Highways 12 and 18 in Cambridge, go east on 12 3.2 miles, then south on Brosig Lane 0.1 miles to a parking area and boat launch. The lake is best seen by canoe or kayak. Follow the dredged channel south into the eastern lobe of the lake. Be advised that aquatic growth can be quite thick on the lake's surface, making navigation back to the channel challenging. Please take note of the exit location before venturing out, or use a GPS unit.

Ownership

Red Cedar Lake is owned by:

  • WDNR

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Objectives

Site objectives

Manage the site as a preserve for bog relict, open marsh, oak opening, open oak woodland and ephemeral ponds, as an aquatic preserve and wetland protection area, and as an ecological reference area. Natural processes will determine the structure of the natural communities, along with prescribed vegetation manipulation in the wetlands and uplands.

Management approach

The native aquatic species are managed passively, which allows nature to determine the ecological characteristics of the lake. The native wetland species are managed actively through tree/shrub control using tree harvest, brushing and fire to mimic natural disturbance patterns. The native dominant savanna tree species (primarily oaks) are managed passively. However, some thinning of the canopy, understory manipulation and shrub control via harvest, brushing or fire may be needed to mimic natural disturbance patterns. Augmentation of the ground layer will only add species that historically would have been found on the site, using seeds or plugs from local genetic material; this usually occurs in the early stages of restoration. The mostly passive canopy management and understory manipulation will determine the ecological characteristics of the uplands. Other allowable activities throughout the site include control of invasive plants and animals, maintenance of existing facilities, and access to suppress wildfires.

Site-specific considerations

  • The old field will be regularly burned to limit brush invasion, and will be eventually converted to native prairie with locally-collected seed.
  • Boat access from the parking area is sometimes restricted due to floating mats of emergent aquatic plants.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Allowable activities

In general, the activities listed below are allowed on all DNR-owned SNA lands. Exceptions to this list of public uses, such as SNAs closed to hunting, are noted under the "Access" tab above and posted with signs on site.

  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping

Prohibited activities

  • Camping and campfires
  • Collecting of animals (other than legally harvested species), non-edible fungi, rocks, minerals, fossils, archaeological artifacts, soil, downed wood, or any other natural material, alive or dead. Collecting for scientific research requires a permit issued by the DNR
  • Collecting of plants including seeds, roots or other non-edible parts of herbaceous plants such as wildflowers or grasses
  • Drone use, unless authorized by a SNA research permit
  • Geocaching
  • Horseback riding
  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, ATVs, aircraft, and snowmobiles except on trails and roadways designated for their use

For rules governing state-owned SNAs and other state lands, please consult Chapter NR 45 Wis. Admin. Code [exit DNR]

Back to Top

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017