An Ellicott 370HP Dragon® dredge and two 10” Ellicott booster pumps were recently purchased by Dane County, Wisconsin to be used in a multi-million dollar effort to reduce flooding along the 5 Yahara lakes. Dane County is scheduled to begin operating their newly acquired dredge and boosters next year.
The Yahara Chain of Lakes Sediment Removal Project is designed to increase water flow and reduce the risk of flooding. The work began earlier this year and is currently focused on areas between Lakes Monona and Waubesa, with the river deepening 2 to 4 feet once the phase is completed.
The 2nd phase, expected to begin in the summer of 2021, will focus on areas downstream of Lakes Waubesa and Kegonsa. The 370HP dredge will be used to remove sediment during this next phase of flood risk reduction work.
Funding for phase 2 of the project was announced by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. His 2021 budget includes $6.5 million for construction of the second phase of the Lower Yahara River Trail from Fish Camp County Park to Lake Kegonsa State Park. Several water quality improvement initiatives are included in the budget proposal, including the trail’s bridge and boardwalk that connect Lake Farm County Park with the Village of McFarland, which has become family destinations for the entire region.
Dane County officials credit “Suck the Muck” for their understanding of why dredging is so important in sediment removal for flood mitigation. The Suck the Muck project recently completed a sediment removal phase along Token Creek, where 20,000 tons of phosphorus-laden sediment was removed. Additional restoration work reduced erosion along the creek, slowing the return of new sediment in the water. “Suck the Muck” continues to remove phosphorus from river beds that feed into area lakes.
“My 2021 budget prioritizes initiatives that improve the quality of our water in area lakes and streams to ensure they remain accessible for future generations to enjoy,” Parisi said. “The impacts of climate change and a growing community require us to adapt and create new solutions. Our initiatives – whether they be ‘Suck the Muck,’ the Continuous Cover Program, or our sediment removal efforts along the Yahara River – tackle these challenges head on and work to preserve our natural resources for many years to come.”
Read More: Waunakee Tribune