Madison Parks is aware of the boat launch navigation issues at Olbrich Park. As in previous years, we are advising boaters to use caution navigating the narrowed channel where the Starkweather Creek meets Lake Monona due to low lake levels and creek sediment.

Since 2019, we have worked to secure the necessary permitting and funding to dredge the launch area. The permit process requires a sediment sample, which is tested for contaminants. In addition to contamination typical of urban lake sediment, the Olbrich Park launch site also contained low-level detections of PFAS.

While the contamination level was quite low, the lack of clear disposal standards and processes for PFAS has led to additional delays in establishing how and where to dispose of the dredging sediments. The City is continuing to work with regional and state partners to resolve the issue.

Channel markers are installed by Dane County Land & Water Resources to assist boaters. We recommend for accessing Lake Monona, boaters may consider using an alternate launch site at Olin, Tonyawatha or Winnequah. Lake Access permit holders may use any of the designated launch sites located throughout Dane County.

See Public Health Madison & Dane County, for more information on PFAS in Dane County and Madison and how to reduce your exposure to PFAS in the water and fish.