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The Catch: Secrets of Lake Mendota

The Catch: Secrets of Lake Mendota
November 11, 2022 GLN Editor

Broadcasting in our monthly PBS television program, The Catch is a Great Lakes Now series that brings you more news about the lakes you love. Go beyond the headlines with reporters from around the region who cover the lakes and drinking water issues. Find all the work HERE.


This month, The Catch features a story about a canoe that is thought to be made by ancestors of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

In Madison, Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Sarah Lehr has been covering the discovery and preservation of an ancient Great Lakes relic. A team of archeologists and divers pulled a 3,000-year-old canoe out of Lake Mendota in September. It’s believed to be the oldest canoe ever discovered in the Great Lakes region and the second to be found in Lake Mendota.

Both were spotted by maritime archeologist and scuba diver Tamara Thomsen.

“I think to you or me it wouldn’t look like anything special, it would be like, ‘Okay, this is just a piece of driftwood.’ But her being very skilled at spotting these kinds of things, she felt that it was something more,” Lehr said. “And basically was like, ‘Wow, this is another dugout canoe.'”


Catch more news at Great Lakes Now: 

The Catch: Historic land transfer

The Catch: 1,400-year-old trees on Michigan cliffs


Featured image: A team of researchers and scientists recover a 3,000 year-old canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)

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