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Dane County is looking for volunteers who don’t mind getting wet to help plant 2,000 native aquatic plants at Indian Lake Saturday, part of a larger restoration project to help the lake recover from years of being overrun by carp.

It’s the first time Dane County Parks will use volunteers on an in-lake planting project.

The project will start at 8 a.m. Saturday at the boat landing of Indian Lake County Park, along Highway 19 between Springfield Corners and Marxville in the northwest part of the county.

The lake was rife with carp before the state Department of Natural Resources treated it with chemicals in March, the first step in revitalizing the lake and the fishery. Carp can wreak havoc on lakes since they are bottom feeders, pulling out aquatic plants and stirring the sediment to cause murky water conditions, which are good for algae but bad for plants and water quality.

Plants will be installed both on shore and in the shallow shore water, so volunteers are asked to bring shoes that would work in both situations.

“The lake is the centerpiece of a fantastic park and a natural resource for everyone to enjoy,” said Jeff Durbin of the Friends of Indian Lake.

Baby Northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill and walleye are being stocked in the lake.

Volunteers are asked to register before Saturday by calling parks volunteer coordinator Rhea Stangel-Maier, 608-224-3601, or emailing her at

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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