Lake Monitoring

Lake Assessment Program

Two people out in a boat working with monitoring equipmentThe primary function of the Lake Assessment Program is to monitor the status and trends of Vermont’s inland lakes.  Sampling conducted at spring turnover  (through the Spring Phosphorus Program) since 1977 is used to monitor inland lake water quality trends.  To assess the status or current condition of Vermont’s inland lakes, the program conducts summer sampling as part of the National Lake Assessment and Vermont Next Generation Lake Assessment. Additional special studies may focus on a particular stressor or a particular lake, or aid in the development of new methodologies to measure Vermont Water Quality Standards or in interpreting status or trend data.

Lake Champlain Long-Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project

Woman on boat pulling water sample from Lake ChamplainThe Lake Champlain Long-Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project surveys the quality of Lake Champlain waters on a bi-weekly basis, at 15 locations throughout the lake. Twenty-one major tributaries are sampled on an event-basis as well. The program's large physico-chemical parameter list includes: species of phosphorus, nitrogen and organic carbon; chlorophyll-a; base cations and alkalinity; TSS; dissolved oxygen; conductivity; and pH. The project also performs biological sampling, which is primarily aimed at assessing phytoplankton, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrate communities.

Lay Monitoring Program

People out on Lake Champlain gathering water samplesThe Lay Monitoring Program is a statewide, volunteer lake monitoring program that has sampled more than 90 inland lakes and 30 stations on Lake Champlain since 1979.  

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Lay Monitors follow a strict protocol to measure Secchi transparency and collect water samples that are tested for the nutrient Total Phosphorus and Chlorophyll-a, the green pigment in algae.  Results characterize a lake's trophic status and allow us to track water quality trends over time.

Vermont Long-Term Monitoring (VLTM) of Acid Sensitive Lakes 

VTDEC has conducted Long-Term Monitoring (VLTM) of Acid Sensitive Lakes in Vermont since the winter of 1980.

Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring

VTDEC routinely monitors waterbodies for aquatic invasive species.

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