Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Lake Waubesa Habitat (Fish Sticks) under Construction

February 04, 2016
Pete Jopke-Water Resources Planner, Dane County Parks, 608-279-3549 Erika Hotchkiss Brummel, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, 608-212-6358
Land & Water Resources

Dane County Parks in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) began the construction of fish habitat structures on Lake Waubesa earlier this week.  The project is located along the northeast shore near McDaniel Park in McFarland and is utilizing trees that were removed for construction of the Lower Yahara River Trail.  “Lake Waubesa has long been a fishing destination, especially for its prized pan fish population.  These structures will create additional habitat along the northeast shore and benefit fish and many other species of aquatic life,” says Mike Rennicke, Advanced Fisheries Technician for the DNR who is leading the project.  Woody debris in lakes and streams are vital to overall ecosystem health as it provides cover and serves as protection against shoreline erosion.


Bundles of three to five trees make up each individual structure. They are secured with cables and large boulders that serve as the anchor.   A total of 17 structures will be completed.  The effort also serves another purpose by utilizing the trees that would normally be considered green waste.  “Dane County has been proactive in finding ways to utilize trees other than chipping or burning,” according to Pete Jopke, Water Resources Planner.  “The fish sticks provide another option for the trees and recycling woody debris is one of the goals of the County,” says Jopke. The fish sticks are another way for us to help improve our water resources and add recreational opportunities along our public shorelines.


The project should finish by the end of next week.  Once the ice softens, the fish sticks will settle to the lakebed.  The project will be evaluated during annual fall electrofishing surveys by DNR.