Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, joined by Mount Horeb high school students and teachers, and local elected officials, helped kick off the next phase of the Stewart Park restoration with a fish stock. An estimated 1,000 9-12 inch trout will be deposited into Stewart Lake on Sunday.
After decades of infill from surrounding waterways, Stewart Lake’s fish population and water quality were in decline. But extensive restoration is once again making Stewart Park, Dane County’s first and oldest county park, a top place to visit in Dane County.
“I’m proud of the community involvement and the commitment from local government that have helped restore Stewart Park as one of Dane County’s beautiful, natural destinations,” said Parisi. “With rising gas prices and an economy still on the rebound, our county parks are more important than ever for folks who are looking for fun and affordable options for a picnic, a hike, or a swim.”
Since 2006, Stewart Park has benefitted from a lake dredging that removed 19,000 cubic yards of materials; an improved dam that separates the lake from Moen Creek; and a new swimming beach.
“Restoring the land and the water at Stewart Park has helped bring our community closer together,” said local County Board Supervisor Pat Downing. “The effort our everyone is making will help preserve all that Stewart Park has to offer for generations to come.”
Mount Horeb High School students and teachers have also helped make Stewart Lake a great fishing destination again. After Sunday’s stock, it will be the first time in 13 years trout has been in Stewart Lake. The trout will join the bass and bluegill fish that have been added to the lake over the past year. Last year, students built fish cribs to protect the new fingerlings that were placed in the lake.
“Our community and our students have benefitted greatly from the changes at Stewart Park,” said Mt. Horeb high school biology teacher Tom Shay. “Having a living classroom close by and community involvement opportunities for the students has been great.”
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