View Full Version : Wisconsin Lakes

05-22-2014, 09:46 AM
Well, the X-10 is out of storage and "summarized" and my whole family is looking forward to the upcoming watersports season.

I do have a question for those who know a bit about Wisconsin lakes . . .

We live in Madison, and I'm about a 5 minute drive from a boat launch on Lake Mendota. We also will travel 20 minutes to Lake Monona from time to time. However, both lakes can be somewhat busy and the algae and weed build-up (especially in Mendota) is pretty noticeable at times.

Every year, we think about traveling to cleaner lakes which are not too busy, at least a few times during the season. Last year, we went to Rock Lake twice (which was an improvement), but I'm curious if there are other options which Wisconsinites might suggest. I'm thinking of lakes which are accessible if we plan a long day and/or spending an overnight, if needed.

Are there other lakes somewhat close to Madison which people would recommend?

05-22-2014, 10:11 AM
I was at Lake Kegonsa near Stoughton about 7 years ago. It was very nice with a sandy bottom, clean water and good depth. We went during the week and had the lake pretty much to ourselves. There is a state park with a launch and camping. Now that we are getting back into boating it's one of the lakes on our list to visit.

We live 2 blocks from Lake Winnebago and if clean water is your goal I wouldn't even bother. Can get very green during the summer. Also if you are wanting to surf there aren't many places where the depth is greater than 10 feet unless you are out in the middle. With that being said that's were we will be this weekend.

Green Lake is very clean and very deep. Although this year with the late spring/summer it's going to take some time for the water to warm up.

Elkhart Lake is also clean but a little smaller and can get pretty busy with the tourists. Lots of high dollar homes.

05-22-2014, 10:30 AM
Try Castle Rock near Mauston. Part of the Wisconsin River. Clean, brown tanic color, all sand. I have been there several times and was quite impressed.

05-22-2014, 10:49 AM
If you want clear water try the Waupaca Chain of Lakes. Check the rules as they are strict but the water is awesome. Look at them on the sat. maps and you'll see what I'm talking about.

05-22-2014, 11:07 AM
Of the Waukesha county lakes - Pine is the cleanest. Limited parking helps reduce some traffic.

05-22-2014, 01:42 PM
Castle Rock as noted above is a great choice...I love footing there on the far southeast side near the damn. Just keep an eye on the depth guage. Short trip from Madtown and a few restaurants and bars on the lake. Gas station right down the block from the launch.

Green Lake is also good but can get busy. Lake is very deep and COLD now :eek3:.

We are heading up to Wautoma Friday night...if you see a 94 190 on a tendem, that is us!:D

05-22-2014, 01:56 PM
Stay away from the northern half of the state. Lakes will be too cold all summer. Its terrible up there. Don't go! :cool:

05-22-2014, 02:00 PM
Heard on the radio this morning 3% of Superior is still ice covered!!

05-22-2014, 03:48 PM
I was in Duluth for work earlier this week. You could see a lot of ice on the lake yet.

05-22-2014, 10:54 PM
I've heard good things about Swan Lake, but never made it there myself. We get out on Monona a lot in the early am and it's usually good. Kegonsa is a little less crowded imho, but don't expect calm water on Saturday afternoon.

05-23-2014, 11:37 AM
Last year, we went to Rock Lake twice (which was an improvement), but I'm curious if there are other options which Wisconsinites might suggest.

My folks live on Rock Lake. It's a nice clean lake, but does get busy during the weekends. It has a weird westerly wind that cuts across the lake that makes for a wavy day. Other than that, it's a great lake.

I've hear a lot of good things about Castle. Never been there myself, but I'd like to take my boat there.

05-23-2014, 11:45 AM
If you are looking for a great site seeing lake and just go for a cruise I'd suggest Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva, there are several boat ramps on the lake but they fill up fast and the lake is CRAZY busy plus you have be on your guard, it is a busy lake, with all that said it is a gorgeous lake. I'd leave your skis at home. My lake is a small, shallow, mud bottom lake but not as busy and is a great ski lake, the deepest spot is 8-10 feet, max waves are 12 inches. Lake Como, its about an hour and a half from Madison (I also live in Madison) and if you go on the weekdays you'll likely be the only boat on the lake!

05-24-2014, 01:42 PM
Swan Lake, Park Lake, Lake Redstone. Kegonsa is the cleanest Madison area lake. Not busy on the weekdays.

05-25-2014, 01:42 PM
Out on Winnebago yesterday, the water was nice and calm but the lake flies were bad. Only happens once or twice a year and of course this year it was on a holiday weekend!

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05-28-2014, 01:53 PM
Stay away from the northern half of the state. Lakes will be too cold all summer. Its terrible up there. Don't go! :cool:

haha, I love the lakes over by you! Minaquabat show is worth a visit all on its own! ;)

06-01-2014, 09:53 PM
I have a cabin on Swan Lake. It is an awesome lake for boating. Deep lake, over 80 feet in some places, and a sandy bottom along the shoreline. The water is nice and clear compared to every other lake in the area. I love the lake and just wish I knew some of the others on the lake who are interested in wakeboarding/surfing. It is hard to get my family as enthused as I am. :)

06-02-2014, 11:23 PM
northern wisconsin,crystal clear water, can see 10 feet down, surface water temp 70 yesterday ,,,take a 4 hour drive..its worth it

06-02-2014, 11:31 PM
Is there any good water around LaCrosse?

06-03-2014, 08:52 AM
Is there any good water around LaCrosse?

No. Only the Mud-sisippi.

06-06-2014, 05:48 PM
Thanks to all for the responses. This is a great help.

I'll try to get to a few of these places and report back.