Michigan’s Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program enters its 39th field season!

One of my jobs at the Huron River Watershed Council is to serve as a manager for the state of Michigan’s volunteer lake monitoring program, the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP).   The CLMP has been around since 1974… that is an impressive length of time!

The current state of Michigan inland lakes... Click for a bigger picture!

Since that first year, the thousands of volunteers across Michigan have:

  • Taken 92,185 secchi disk measurements
  • Grabbed 4,274 water samples for phosphorus analysis
  • Filtered 5,956 water samples for chlorophyll
  • Made 2,023 observations of the dates that ice melted off their lakes
  • Measured dissolved oxygen and temperature 52,290 times and created 3,486 dissolved oxygen and temperature lake profiles
  • Searched 17 lakes for exotic plants and mapped out full plant communities on 12 lakes.

All of this delicious data is entered by our volunteers and staff into a publicly accessible and searchable database!

In total, 827 inland lake basins have been monitored through one test or another through the CLMP.  Michigan lake volunteers have contributed about 57,400 hours of work, not counting the time spent driving samples to State offices and going to trainings.  Assuming field technicians across this time period would make an average of $9/hour, that means these volunteers have donated well over a half a million dollars in labor.

If you live on a lake, HRWC wants you to care for it and do what you can to keep it healthy.  The first step is to figure out what is going on beneath the surface, and the CLMP can help you do this.  It is not too late to sign up for the entry parameters: secchi disk and summer phosphorus.  Register now for the 2012 field season!