Water Quality (Lakes)

Two biologists in a canoe on a large lake
Collecting water quality data at Isle Royale National Park.

NPS

There are more than 200 lakes among the Great Lakes Network parks. Visitors use those lakes for fishing, boating, swimming, and as a water source when hiking, so preserving water quality and quantity is very important to park managers and the general public.

Long-term Monitoring

We collect data from a set of lakes in each of six parks three times a year using a multiprobe sonde and a Secchi disk or transparency tube. We also collect water samples for laboratory analysis, and we measure water level relative to a permanent benchmark.

Water quality data is integrated with that from our diatom monitoring program. By monitoring water quality and diatoms together, we should be able to determine trends in lakes sooner and more accurately than by monitoring water quality alone.

Learn More

Briefs provide a one- or two-page overview of the latest findings and what they mean. Monitoring reports are in-depth technical reports that include data analyses and possibly management recommendations.

Briefs

Source: Data Store Saved Search 391. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 409. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Protocol

Protocol documents detail precisely how monitoring is carried out.

Elias JE and Others. 2015. Water quality monitoring protocol for inland lakes: Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network, version 1.1. Natural Resource Report. NPS/GLKN/NRR—2015/1027. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado

Elias JE and Others. 2008. Water Quality Monitoring Protocol for Inland Lakes: Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network: Version 1.0. Natural Resource Technical Report. NPS/GLKN/NRTR—2008/109. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado

Last updated: May 16, 2018