Tomah police: Don’t use Lake Tomah as ‘Cold Water Challenge’ location

City has ordinance against swimming in Lake Tomah

The Tomah Police Department is asking the community to refrain from using Lake Tomah as part of the “Cold Water Challenge” craze.

Police said the challenge, which entails jumping into cold water and then nominating three others, went viral recently in the Tomah area community. The Police Department made the announcement on its Facebook page on Tuesday morning.

The challenge originally started out as a charity fundraiser for a cancer survivor, but Tomah police said people are now doing it because it’s fun and entertaining. Some people are jumping off from the dock at Winnebago Park.

“The lake is not that deep right here, so there are probably fishing lures and the like that people are going to, no pun intended, get hooked on, so you have a situation where people are going to end up with cut feet, infections,” said Lt. Ronald Waddell.

He also says in his 22 years with the department, he’s never written a ticket for someone swimming in the lake.

However, since they became aware of this trend, they’ve stopped several groups from taking the leap.

The City of Tomah has an ordinance against swimming in Lake Tomah. Tomah police pointed out the ordinance states: “No person shall swim in Lake Tomah except while in the course of engaging in water skiing, aquaplaning or similar activity not otherwise prohibited by this article.”