Lake monitoring

Last updated on February 15, 2024

Kathlyn Lake

Monitoring the water quality of lakes is essential to understanding current conditions, as well as changes in natural processes and the influences of human activities over time. This knowledge can then be used to determine the ecological health of lakes and lead to the development of sound, science-based plans and tools for watershed management. The need for lake monitoring and watershed planning is increasing due to potential impacts from multiple stressors, including population growth, land development, recreation, and climate change.

The Province's lake monitoring programs aim to better understand and report on these changes to help guide resource management decisions, and to inform both decision makers and stakeholders on lake water quality conditions.


To be provincial leaders in lake water quality monitoring and experts in B.C. limnology.


To coordinate and implement science-based provincial lake monitoring programs, that provides timely, consistent, and accurate long-term water quality trend data.

Provincial lake monitoring programs:

B.C. Lake Monitoring Network

  • 61 lakes (82 sites) are sampled each year to determine current water quality conditions and understand long-term trends
  • Sampling coordinated and conducted by Ministry staff
  • Sampling technique and effort is standardized for consistent province-wide approach at each lake site.

B.C. Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program

  • Number of lakes sampled per year varies and dependent on volunteer interest and commitment
  • Sampling coordinated by Ministry staff and conducted by volunteers
  • Sampling frequency - initial three years of sampling and more if warranted
  • There are multiple levels of study conducted on lakes that build upon each other
B.C. Lake Ice Reporting Tool

Help track ice-on and ice-off information for B.C. lakes.

Fairy Lake, Vancouver Island

Visit the B.C. Lake Ice Reporting Tool's web page to submit your findings. 

Contact Information

For more information about the Province's lake monitoring programs and the interactive map, send an email to one of the contacts below:

B.C. Lake Monitoring Network
B.C. Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program