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County Executive Unveils New Enhancements to Family Fishing in Stewart Park in Advance of Season Opener

May 03, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8858
County Executive

ADA Fishing Pier, Trout Stocking, Increase Access to and Quality of Fishing for All


In advance of Wisconsin’s fishing season opener Saturday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced new improvements to Stewart County Park that will increase access to quality fishing for all families at a pier dedication ceremony today.  The creation of a recreational fishing area within Stewart County Park has been a top item requested by residents and park visitors. 


Dane County is home to the second highest number of registered boats in Wisconsin (25,445).  The county also leads the state in annual fishing license sales (45,393 individual and 55,802 composite license types that include fishing), and are amongst the top five in inland trout stamp sales (7,245). 


“Dane County is nationally known for its top-notch fishing opportunities and we’re proud to make expanded access to our extensive waterways a priority for our parks system,” said Parisi.  “Our work is made possible through community partnerships like the ones that have helped spur Stewart County Park’s incredible transformation over the years into a premier outdoor recreation destination.”


Community partners joined the county in dedicating a new floating fishing pier on Stewart Lake that meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and will increase access to quality fishing for everyone.  Mt. Horeb High School Technology and Engineering students assisted Dane County Parks with fabrication of the boardwalk frames. 


Funding for the new pier was made possible by the Family of Jenni and Kyle Geurkink, Madison Community Foundation, Mount Horeb Rotary Club, and a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) County Conservation Aids Grant. 


Efforts to create a healthy fishing population also continue – the WDNR recently stocked Stewart Lake with 1,000 rainbow trout.  A 2012 fish stocking re-introduced trout to Stewart Lake for the first time in 12 years.


Community groups continue to come together to beautify the thriving park on land as well.  The Mound Vue Garden Club, Friends of Stewart Lake Park, Mt. Horeb Rotary, Americorp, Girl and Boy Scouts, and Mt. Horeb Schools have all contributed to the planting of an 8-acre prairie, invasive species removals, trail clearing, and many other service related projects.


Dane County has also completed the repaving and marking of the Stewart Park parking lot, constructed a stormwater management structure off of county highway JG, and has plans to create additional ADA access near the beach.  Plans are also underway for a new park shelter and updated restroom facilities at the park.


The improvements are part of an ongoing renovation of Stewart County Park and Lake that began in 2006 and has included lake dredging, dam improvement, the creation of a swimmer’s beach, and the restoration of a healthy fish population.  Stewart Park is Dane County’s first, and oldest, county park.

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