Fish and Aquatic Life
Cherokee Lake, in the Yahara River and Lake Mendota Watershed, is a 80.47 acre lake that falls in Dane County. This lake is managed for fishing and swimming and is currently not considered impaired.
Author Aquatic Biologist
Wisconsin has over 84,000 miles of streams, 15,000 lakes and milllions of acres of wetlands. Assessing the condition of this vast amount of water is challenging. The state's water monitoring program uses a media-based, cross-program approach to analyze water condition. An updated monitoring strategy (2015-2020) is now available. Compliance with Clean Water Act fishable, swimmable standards are located in the Executive Summary of Water Condition in 2018. See also the 'monitoring and projects' tab.
Lakes Planning Grant
A final report with recommendations for restoration of Cherokee Lake will be produced and shared widely.
Aquatic Invasives Research
DANE COUNTY: Restoring Cherokee Lake-Carp Telemetry - Carp movement within the lake will be monitored via telemetry tracking through a sub-contract with UW-Madison Center for Limnology, which will help determine when and where carp might be vulnerable to removal efforts as part of the overall restoration project.
Map Depth of Lake (Bathymetry)
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Dane County Lake Classification-Phase 2: The Phase 1 classification grant classified all county lakes and streams. This grant will take the next step by developing a management program based on the classification.
Dane County Department of Planning and Development will hire a project staff in order to develop a Lake Classification project, which is seen as the first step toward developing a consistent set of county-wide standards and procedures to protect Dane County Waters.
Dane County proposes to acquire approximately 110 acres of land as an addition to Cherokee Marsh for low impact recreational opportunities and lake protection.
Wisconsin's Water Quality Standards provide qualitative and quantitative goals for waters that are protective of Fishable, Swimmable conditions [Learn more]. Waters that do not meet water quality standards are considered impaired and restoration actions are planned and carried out until the water is once again fishable and swimmable
Management goals can include creation or implementation of a Total Maximum Daily Load analysis, a Nine Key Element Plan, or other restoration work, education and outreach and more. If specific recommendations exist for this water, they will be displayed below online.
Monitoring the condition of a river, stream, or lake includes gathering physical, chemical, biological, and habitat data. Comprehensive studies often gather all these parameters in great detail, while lighter assessment events will involve sampling physical, chemical and biological data such as macroinvertebrates. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish communities integrate watershed or catchment condition, providing great insight into overall ecosystem health. Chemical and habitat parameters tell researchers more about human induced problems including contaminated runoff, point source dischargers, or habitat issues that foster or limit the potential of aquatic communities to thrive in a given area. Wisconsin's Water Monitoring Strategy was recenty updated.
Grants and Management Projects
|WBIC||Official Waterbody Name||Station ID||Station Name||Earliest Fieldwork Date||Latest Fieldwork Date||View Station||View Data|
|806500||Cherokee Lake||10012357||Cherokee Lake - Open Water North Of Southern Marsh ||Map||Data|
|5574085||Yahara River||10044182||Yahara River estuary below upper basin||9/24/2015||10/13/2018||Map||Data|
|5574085||Yahara River||10022169||Cherokee Marsh||6/28/2009||9/27/2013||Map||Data|
|806500||Cherokee Lake||10048851||Cherokee Lake - Cherokee Park||8/5/2017||8/15/2020||Map||Data|
|806500||Cherokee Lake||10001238||Cherokee Lake||7/27/1999||9/30/2017||Map||Data|
Cherokee Lake is located in the Yahara River and Lake Mendota watershed which is 112.56 mi². Land use in the watershed is primarily agricultural (65.30%), grassland (9.80%) and a mix of suburban (9.50%) and other uses (15.40%). This watershed has 107.14 stream miles, 385.75 lake acres and 5,200.97 wetland acres.
Nonpoint Source Characteristics
This watershed is ranked Not Available for runoff impacts on streams, Not Available for runoff impacts on lakes and High for runoff impacts on groundwater and therefore has an overall rank of High. This value can be used in ranking the watershed or individual waterbodies for grant funding under state and county programs.However, all waters are affected by diffuse pollutant sources regardless of initial water quality. Applications for specific runoff projects under state or county grant programs may be pursued. For more information, go to surface water program grants.