The Upper Sugar River starts where the Wisconsin glacier stopped 50,000 years ago. From the highlands near Mt. Horeb, the river winds its way through southwestern Dane County before hitting the Lake Belleville dam. From there it eventually joins the Pecatonica River in Winnebago County, near the Illinois state line.
It’s had a varied and occasionally troubled history, serving as a power source for timber mills, and more recently, as a outflow for agricultural fields. Lately, however, it has become a mecca for trout fishers, kayakers and naturalists, as the river’s health and ecology has experienced a remarkable rebound. The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association can take a good chunk of the credit for that turnaround. Brian Standing spoke with Wade Moder, Executive Director of the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association, about the work of the Association on the Monday 8 O’Clock Buzz.