FOLKS partners with Dane County to coordinate bi-weekly pick-up of aquatic debris from the end of piers on Lake Kegonsa and the near north Yahara River inlet. In 2022, 44 barge loads of debris were removed from Lake Kegonsa. FOLKS is continuing to fund the Aquatic Debris Collection program through payments to the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department.
FOLKS lake improvement projects focus on phosphorus reduction and public education, emphasizing ways homeowners can help reduce phosphorus input to the lake. Specific initiatives include leaf management, native plantings, aquatic debris pick-up and rain barrel installation.
FOLKS is striving to enhance the fishing opportunities on Lake Kegonsa through projects such as carp removal, lake habitat enhancement, and water quality monitoring.
FOLKS identified 20 locations where water flows into Lake Kegonsa.. FOLKS is trying to identify specific projects to reduce the run-off and consequently the amount of phosphorus entering the lake.
FOLKS initiated the leaf management project and continues to partner with the Town of Dunn, the Town of Pleasant Springs, and the City of Stoughton to vacuum leaves from around Lake Kegonsa. Both Towns also have drop off sites available for fall leaves.
FOLKS held workshops with speakers from Dane County about the benefits of long-rooted native plants in shoreline and rain gardens to reduce storm water run-of and on using Wisconsin native plants in residential run-off reduction projects
FOLKS volunteers work with Clean Lakes Alliance, Rock River Coalition, Dane County Land and Water Resources, and UW Limnology to build a scientific database of measurements for Lake Kegonsa such as nutrient (phosphorus) analysis, clarity, and other observations.
FOLKS, with the help of a grant from Alliant Energy and materials from Isthmus Engineering, had two osprey platforms installed near Lake Kegonsa. Osprey can use the platforms to create nests. The platforms are mounted at the top of telephone poles donated by Alliant Energy. Alliant Energy also set the poles and platforms in place. The Town of Dunn Park approved placing one platform in Colladay Park on Zor Ct., and Dane County approved placing the other on County land off Alsmo Lane.
FOLKS assists Dane County Parks with care and maintenance of Fish Camp County Park on Lake Kegonsa. In 2023, FOLKS plans to maintain the three educational native plant gardens and picnic tables, continue renovating the historic 1937 buildings, and support new installations of accessible kayak/canoe launches and piers.
Dane County is restoring part of Door Creek to its original meandering path, as part of a plan to improve habitat and water quality. Conservation practices placed throughout the watershed since the plan’s inception in 2016, such as grassed waterways and harvestable buffers along streams, have helped achieve upwards of 60% of the nutrient reduction goal to reduce phosphorus delivery to Lake Kegonsa. Another large source of phosphorus entering the lake is from eroded soil that has accumulated in the bed of Door Creek for over a century, commonly referred to as legacy sediment. Following substantial conservation efforts to address erosion in upland areas, restoration targets have shifted to the creek itself and adjoining wetlands. In particular, the two-mile stretch of creek extending from County Highway MN to the confluence with the lake, where restoration goals include:
Realignment of the creek to its previous flow path.
Removal of phosphorus laden sediment from the current channel.
Creation and improvement of aquatic and terrestrial habitat.
Protection of high quality wetland areas.
The Door Creek Drainage District has granted their approval following demonstration that the project will result in no net increase in water level rise.