Watershed Watch


State of the Lake Reports are created using data obtained through our Watershed Watch program. Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and its partner, the Mississippi Valley Lake Stewardship Network, are taking action through Watershed Watch, a program designed to protect and enhance the environmental health of lakes within the watershed. 

The objectives of the program are to accumulate reliable environmental data, both historic and current, and to determine limits of which lakes can process nutrient input. The data is used to encourage shoreline property owners to undertake restoration projects and to adopt sound stewardship practices.

Forty-four lakes are monitored on a five year cycle to identify and document long-term trends in water quality. Staff measure and record:

  • total phosphorus
  • dissolved oxygen
  • temperature
  • water clarity
  • pH​

These results help us determine the age of the lake based on its nutrient levels then classify the lakes accordingly. The three ages of the lakes are:

  • oligotrophic (youngest; deep, least fertile)
  • mesotrophic (middle aged; less deep more fertile)
  • eutrophic (oldest lakes; most fertile and most shallow)

The collected data is shared in a central database to identify long-term trends in water quality. Water quality results are published as  State of the Lake Reports and available to the public.

Volunteer monitoring is the perfect way to transform your concerns for water quality into action. To become involved or for more information about Watershed Watch please contact Kelly Stiles at Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.

Watershed Watch Photo

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