County to Improve Access to Upper Mud Lake with Land Purchase

February 22, 2013
Carrie Springer, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Will Provide Winter Access for Ice Fishing


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced a small, but significant land purchase today. The purchase will provide access to Upper Mud Lake, which is currently only accessible by boat.


“Upper Mud Lake is a great spot for ice fishing and this purchase will provide safe, legal access to the lake and expand recreational opportunities for Dane County residents,” said Parisi.


Upper Mud Lake is located on the Yahara Chain of Lakes, on the north end of Lake Waubesa.  It is used extensively by boaters, canoeists and kayakers. Natural and manmade barriers currently prevent any access  to the lake without a boat and ice fishers currently have no legal or safe means to access the lake.


“Once this site is owned by the county, it will be very popular for winter access to the lake for ice fishing,” said Parisi. “Connecting people to more of our great outdoor spaces in Dane County reminds us why it is so important to keep our lakes clean. This can only be a great fishing spot if we continue our partnerships to reduce the phosphorus in our lakes, streams and rivers.”


The Land & Water Resources Department has negotiated the acquisition of approximately five acres for $230,000. The property is located within the Village of McFarland.


The Capital Springs Recreation Area Master Plan, which was jointly developed by Dane County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the 2012-2017 Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan both recommended acquiring land on the eastern shore of Upper Mud Lake to provide lake access.


Access to Upper Mud Lake will also create opportunities to manage existing public lands along the lake’s shore that are not currently accessible. 


The County will be partially reimbursed for the purchase by a grant from the state Department of Natural Resources.  The grant revenue was included in the 2013 County Budget.  County funds for the purchase will come from the Conservation Fund and the Lake Preservation & Renewal Fund.


The County will be able to purchase the land after approval of the purchase by the Dane County Board of Supervisors.