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

County Executive Falk Announces Dane County Purchase of Mud Lake

May 17, 2005
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

$561,000 Purchase will protect shoreland from development Madison -- Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced the acquisition of approximately 72 acres of shoreland surrounding Mud Lake, in the Town of Roxbury. The estimated $561,000 purchase ($7,800 per acre) was made with funding from the County’s Conservation Fund and will ensure the protection of shoreland surrounding Mud Lake. With this purchase, Dane County will protect Mud Lake from development, making it virtually the only major undeveloped lake in Dane County available for public recreation. “With this fabulous purchase, we are listening to citizens’ wishes and protecting some of the beautiful resources they love,” said Falk. “Mud Lake is an excellent spawning habitat for northern pike and largemouth bass and also provides tremendous habitat for waterfowl. Mud Lake is a popular fishing spot, especially for panfish. Both people and nature will benefit from this acquisition.” Mud Lake is connected to the western shore of Fish Lake, a 216-acre lake on the edge of the unglaciated driftless area. Fish Lake is fairly deep, with a maximum depth of 62 feet, and is a lake without inlet or outlet streams. Northern pike, largemouth bass and panfish dominate the Mud Lake/Fish Lake fishery. The purchase will provide increased public access to Mud and Fish Lakes while protecting shoreland habitat and providing buffer areas to prevent nonpoint source pollution from entering the lakes. In addition, there are threats to the water quality of Mud Lake and the other lakes in this chain, and this is another step to help preserve their water quality. Purchase of the property will enhance other land protection accomplishments in the area while expanding Dane County’s partnership with the Marx family. The property will be purchased from Bernice Marx. Bernice and her husband Vincent (deceased) purchased the property in 1949. In 1959 they sold 3 acres to Dane County that is used as a boat launch and small park area and which is contiguous with the property currently under consideration. In 2003, Marcus (brother to Vincent) and Doris Marx sold approximately 82 acres (57 in fee and 25 under easement) to Dane County that is also contiguous to the property currently under consideration. With the exception of the farmstead, which will be retained by Bernice Marx and her family, the majority of the Mud Lake shoreline will be protected through the current acquisition, which is estimated to be approximately 72 acres. In 2000, Dane County acquired Lussier County Park along the eastern shore of Fish Lake that is 140 acres in size and protects approximately 3,000 feet of shoreline. Together, Lussier County Park and the Marx properties are known as the Fish Lake Natural Resource Site. A resolution approving the purchase will be introduced to the County Board Thursday, May 19, 2005. # # #
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