Lay Monitoring Program

panoramic view of lake

The Vermont Lay Monitoring Program (LMP) trains and equips volunteers (or Lay Monitors) Vermont Lay Monitoring Program logoto conduct periodic lake water quality sampling from their boat using quality-assured methods.  Since the program's inception in 1979, the principal goals have remained the same: 

  • to establish baseline water quality conditions,
  • to track long-term nutrient enrichment, and
  • to teach lakeshore homeowners and lake users about lake ecology and stewardship. 

In total more than 90 inland lakes and 40 Lake Champlain stations have been monitored by this dedicated group of citizen scientists, with support from the Department of Environmental Conservation.  We are grateful for their interest and commitment to better understanding the health of Vermont lakes and ponds.

What We Monitor and Why
How You Can Help
Lay Monitoring Program Manual, Secchi Disk Simulator, Data Sheets, and QAPPs
Lay Monitoring Annual Lake Reports & Inland Lake Score Card Trends+Status Reports
View and Export Lay Monitoring Data
Lakeshore Land Use/Land Cover Maps
Other Volunteer Monitoring Resources and Opportunities


What We Monitor and WhyRichard using a Secchi disk to measure water clarity

Lay Monitors sample a lake for total phosphorus (nutrient) concentration, chlorophyll-a (algae and cyanobacteria) concentration, and/or Secchi depth (water transparency) every week to ten days from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A minimum of eight samples must be collected to calculate a summer mean.  Total phosphorus concentration is sampled to determine a lake's level of nutrient enrichment.  Phosphorus feeds algae, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), and aquatic plants (including nuisance and invasive plant populations). Chlorophyll-a is the green pigment in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.  The concentration of chlorophyll-a in a lake is used to describe the amount of algae and cyanobacteria.  Generally, lakes with higher phosphorus concentrations will have increased algae and cyanobacteria growth.  Water transparency is measured by using a Secchi disk, an eight inch diameter disk painted with black and white quadrants.  The disk is lowered into the lake by a rope, marked in meters, until it disappears from sight, which is the Secchi depth.  Generally, water clarity decreases as chlorophyll-a concentration increases.

Why do we measure total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and water clarity?  Nutrient pollution is one of the most widespread environmental issues in lakes, which are typically limited in primary productivity (natural eutrophication) by phosphorus.  Unnaturally high levels of phosphorus caused by human activity can result in excessive growth of algae, cyanobacteria, and aquatic plants while decreasing water clarity (cultural eutrophication).  Additionally, nuisance algae and aquatic plant growth can interfere with boating, swimming, fishing and other recreational activities.  As the excessive growth dies back each year it falls to the lake bottom, causing sediments to build up more rapidly while depleting oxygen during decomposition.  When the natural habitat of a lake is altered, fish and wildlife populations using the lake may also change.  Human activity along a lake's shoreline and in the watershed can accelerate the amount of phosphorus entering a lake.  Sources of phosphorus include: shoreline erosion, fertilizer run-off, run-off from dirt roads, failing septic systems, agricultural runoff, residential runoff, erosion from logging, and erosion from construction.


How You Can Help

Water quality sampling equipment and training are provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The monitor supplies their time and a boat. For more information on volunteering, email Mark Mitchell or call (802) 490-6129.  

Lake Score Card Checklist of Lake Protection Actions

Lakeshores and Lake Wise

The Lake Wise Program is an Agency of Natural Resources initiative that awards lake-friendly shoreland property, including that of state parks, town beaches, private homes and businesses.  The goal of Lake Wise is to establish a new normal, a new culture of lakeshore landscaping that is proven to help protect the lake. A property that earns the Lake Wise Award will represent a "model" shoreland property.  The Lake Wise Award certifies a property is well managed, using shoreland Best Management Practices, and is maintained to care for the lake. View the Map of Lake Wise Participation.

Report an Environmental Violation

 If you observe or have knowledge of any activity that may be in violation of Vermont's Shoreland Protection Act, an unauthorized lake encroachment, or other lake-related violation, please report the violation to the Environmental Enforcement Office (you may remain anonymous).


Lay Monitoring Program Manual, Secchi Disk Simulator, Data Sheets, and QAPPs

Vermont Lay Monitoring Program (LMP) Manual
Vermont Lay Monitoring Program (LMP) Sampling Protocol
Depth Charts of Vermont Lakes and Ponds

Secchi Disk Reading Simulator (from Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program)

2017 LMP Supplemental Water Sampling Data Sheet
2017 LMP Basic Monitoring (Secchi-only) Data Sheet
2017 LMP Rain Gauge Data Sheet

Lake Champlain Lay Monitoring Program Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) 2013 - 2017
Inland Lakes Lay Monitoring Program Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) 2013 - 2017


Lay Monitoring Annual Lake Reports & Inland Lake Score Card Trends+Status Reports

(National Weather Service Precipitation Records for Vermont available here

2017: 
Note: For information on the Inland Lake Score Card Trends+Status Reports, see How Lakes are Scored. For additional Lake Champlain monitoring reports, see Lake Champlain Long-Term Monitoring Project.

INLAND LAKES

Adamant Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Beebe Pond (Hubbardton): Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a ComparisonLake Score Card Trends+Status
Berlin Pond: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Big Pond: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Bomoseen: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency ComparisonPhosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Brownington Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Carmi: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency ComparisonPhosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Caspian Lake: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Chipman Lake: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Chittenden Reservoir: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transaparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Cole Pond: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency ComparisonPhosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Coles Pond: Lay Monitoring ReportSecchi Transparency ComparisonPhosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Curtis PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Danby Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency ComparisonPhosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake DunmoreLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
East Long PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Echo Lake (Charleston)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Echo Lake (Hubbardton)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake EdenLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Elfin LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Elmore: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Fairfield PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake FairleeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Fosters PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Gillett: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Great Hosmer PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Green River ReservoirLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake GreenwoodLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake GrotonLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Halls LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Harvey's LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
High Pond (Sudbury)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Holland PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison | Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison | Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake HortoniaLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Indian Brook ReservoirLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake IroquoisLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Joes Pond (Danville)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Little Lake (Wells)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Long Pond (Westmore)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lowell LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Maidstone Lake: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake MemphremagogLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Memphremagog - South BayLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Miles Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Mirror Lake (#10 Pond): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Morey: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Muckross Pond (Goulds Pond): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Nelson Pond (Forest Lake - Calais): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Newark PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Nichols PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
North Montpelier Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Parker: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Peacham PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Perch Pond (Benson)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake RapondaLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake RescueLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Runnemede: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake Salem: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Seymour LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Shadow Lake (Glover): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Silver Lake (Barnard): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
South Pond (Eden): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
South Pond (Marlboro)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake St. Catherine: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Stratton Pond: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Sunrise LakeLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Sunset Lake (Benson): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Sunset Lake (Marlboro): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Ticklenaked PondLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Valley Lake: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Waterbury Reservoir: Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Lake WilloughbyLay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status
Woodbury Lake (Sabin Pond): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Temperature & Dissolved Oxygen Profiles Lake Score Card Trends+Status

LAKE CHAMPLAIN

Lake Champlain #4 (Button Bay - Broad Lake): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison
Lake Champlain #7 (Burlington - Broad Lake)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison
Lake Champlain #9 (Colchester Shoals): Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #10 (Outer Malletts Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison
Lake Champlain #11 (Inner Malletts Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #21 (Keeler Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #22 (Maquam Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #30 (Alburg Bridge)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #33 (Burlington Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #38 (Town Farm Bay)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #40 (Burlington - North Beach)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends
Lake Champlain #41 (Queneska Island)Lay Monitoring Report | Secchi Transparency Comparison Phosphorus Comparison | Chlorophyll-a Comparison Phosphorus Trends

Past Lay Monitoring Program Annual Reports:

2015 Lay Monitoring Program Report (PDF, 156 MB)
2014 Lay Monitoring Program Report (PDF, 8 MB)
35 Year Vermont Lay Monitoring Program Report - Inland Lakes (1979-2013) (PDF, 8 MB)
35 Year Vermont Lay Monitoring Program Report - Lake Champlain (1979-2013) (PDF, 2 MB)
2012 Lay Monitoring Program Report - Lake Champlain 15 MB
2012 Lay Monitoring Program Report - Inland Lakes 8 MB


View and Export Lay Monitoring Data

Lay Monitoring Lake Water Quality Data - from 1979 to Present (view and export to Excel)

Vermont Integrated Watershed Information System (IWIS): The VTDEC-Watershed Management Division’s new online data portal for water quality information. Here you can access water quality and chemistry testing information from throughout Vermont.


Lakeshore Land Use/Land Cover Maps

A lake's health is directly impacted by the land use and land cover (LULC) around the lakeshore. These maps depict the LULC mapped within a 100-meter or 600-meter buffer zone- of select lakes within the Lay Monitoring Program.  These maps were created as an outreach tool and include layers from the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and the UVM Spatial Analysis Lab. For more information about this LULC layer, click here


Other Vermont Volunteer Monitoring Resources and Opportunities

Vermont Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide

The LaRosa Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Analytical Services Partnerships (LaRosa Partnership): Since 2003 this partnership has helped watershed associations and monitoring groups across the state of Vermont implement new and/or ongoing surface water monitoring projects for waters in need of water quality assessment by helping to alleviate the financial burden of laboratory analysis costs. This testing allows citizens to get out and see their streams and rivers firsthand, learn about water quality issues, and use water testing to identify where impacts are present.

Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) Program

Vermont Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Monitors and Lake Conditions

Vermont Department of Health Swim Water Testing for E. coli

 

WSMD - lp Lakes Home

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