Ten Views of Lake Wingra

The Madison area is known for its four lakes. But there’s a fifth, and its history, ecology and beauty are well worth a tour

(page 5 of 10)

view of Lake Wingra and Edgewood Colleege

An experimental carp enclosure placed near the Edgewood College shoreline in 2007, dramatically increased water clarity in the exclusion zone

5. TOO MANY CARP

First stocked in Wisconsin lakes in 1879, common carp reached Wingra about a decade later. People regretted their introduction almost immediately. The bottom-feeding habits of carp destroyed vegetation and stirred up sediment. In this murky carp-dominated lake, habitat was suitable mainly for more carp and for invasive weeds. But two recent winters of netting carp have reduced their population by half. The result is not only noticeably clearer water in Wingra, but less toxic blue-green algae (which can close Vilas beach) and a better environment for native lake vegetation.

 

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