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White Iron Chain Of Lakes Association

News & Updates Blog

MPCA Citizen Monitoring Programs

WICOLA Members participate in two types of MPCA Citizen Monitoring Programs: CLMP+ (Advanced Citizen Lake Monitoring Program) and CLMP (Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program)

The WICOLA water monitoring program (CLMP+) is conducted monthly and involves:

1. Water Sampling
Water samples are collected into bottles at a depth of 2 Meters for laboratory analysis. Test results include: Total Phosphorus, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Sulfate, and Chlorophyll A.

2. Sonde Readings
A Sonde (or probe) is a specialized water quality monitoring instrument. Readings are conducted at the surface and then every meter throughout the water column down to the bottom and are recorded on a data sheet. Readings include:  Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, and pH.

3. Secchi 
Secchi Disc is a circular disk 30 cm / 12” in diameter used to measure water transparency. The disc is mounted on a line and lowered slowly down in the water. The depth at which the disk is no longer visible is recorded and taken as a measure of the transparency of the water.

4. Invasive Species
Invasive species tests are conducted at a depth of 15 to 20 feet. Water is collected in a specialized container with a magnifier and viewed on the surface to look for Spiny Water Fleas.


WICOLA volunteers also participate in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizen Monitoring Programs (CMP) which provides the opportunity for anyone in Minnesota with an interest in lakes and streams to participate in a simple, yet meaningful citizen science monitoring program.

CMP volunteers take weekly measurements of water clarity (transparency) during the summer using equipment provided by the MPCA. These collaborative programs represent one of the best methods for obtaining large-scale, long-term water quality data in Minnesota. For many lakes and streams, CMP data are the only regularly collected water quality information available, making this work by CMP volunteers invaluable.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizen Monitoring Programs Page contains links on the right hand side of the page - Uses of data collected by CLMP volunteers - that have a further explanation of how they use the data. Track lake and stream water clarity changes over time has the entire set of data through 2017 and our lakes are listed under Lake/St Louis Counties.

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