Lake Tomah's restoration is showing great signs of success a year after partners chemically treated it to get rid of carp. The carp are gone, water clarity has improved significantly, and the DNR is restocking the lake with game fish.
Farmers play an important role in keeping a restored Lake Tomah clean. Learn how they are working with Monroe County and other partners in the restoration project to help keep soil and manure from entering the lake.
A year after chemically treating Lake Tomah to get rid of overabundant carp, DNR and partner organizations returned to restock the lake with game fish. The stocking is one of the last steps in a collaborative project that's significantly increased the lake's water clarity, fish and wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty.
A years-long project to restore Lake Tomah to its former glory is nearing the finish line. A crew from the state Department of Natural Resources stocked the newly recovered lake Wednesday with 5,700 largemouth bass.
In the past week and a half, thousands of dead carp have floated to the surface of Lake Tomah, the result of a chemical treatment by the state Department of Natural Resources...
Partners working to reclaim Lake Tomah from the invasive carp and from excessive algae are shown using helicopters, drip barrels and backpack sprayers filled with a natural chemical to treat the lake to get rid of the carp. Later phases will restore shoreline habitat and structure, and will restock the lake with game fish and pan fish.
The state Department of Natural Resources is urging Lake Tomah residents to prepare for lower water levels. The long-planned drawdown of the urban impoundment is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 8.
As part of an ambitious plan to restore Lake Tomah, the impoundment will be drawn down later this year and any fish remaining in the lake will be eliminated with a chemical treatment.
Within the last two decades, Lake Tomah (Figure 1) has experienced substantial declines in water quality, loss of aquatic habitat and a depressed fisheries to the point now that water clarity is generally less than 2 feet; the lake is virtually devoid of aquatic plants and the fisheries is dominated by carp. Staff field observations and water quality modeling point to excessive carp population as the major cause of Lake Tomah’s decline. A Lake Management Plan was developed by the City of Tomah Lake Committee (2008) in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Monroe County Land Conservation Department to rehabilitate Lake Tomah. This Environmental Assessment details the scope of work and associated potential impacts of the Lake Management Plan including the following in-lake management activities. 1) partial drawdown, 2) fisheries reclamation, 3) maintenance dredging, 4) island shoreland protection. In addition to in-lake activities, a comprehensive assessment of the rural watershed nutrient loads and an accompanying plan to installation of nonpoint source pollution best management practices is being conducted.
Officials are embarking on an ambitious, two-year project to restore one of Tomah’s most treasured assets – the 251-acre lake that defines the city’s west side.
Shore fishing at one of the many public parks located on Lake Tomah
Removed Carp on Lake Tomah