How to choose a lake

Tyhee Lake

If you are thinking about becoming a volunteer lake monitor, you will need to choose a lake to study. 

When choosing the lake you want to monitor, consider the acronym LAKE:

  • Lake
  • Access
  • Kilometers
  • Enjoy


What size is the lake that you are considering? Lakes that are less than 5 meters in depth are not considered lakes but ponds, and are not monitored under the program. Additionally, if the lake you are considering is a significant size, you may be required to sample at multiple locations. This factor will affect the amount of time and equipment required to successfully complete a monitoring program.


  • Is the lake accessible?
  • Is there a road, boat launch, parking area, etc. that will allow you to get onto the water in whatever watercraft you have?
  • Is your watercraft suitable enough to conduct the level of study you are planning?


  • Where is the lake in proximity to where you live, work and play?
  • Will it be easy for you to get to at the frequency required for the level of study you want to conduct?

Also consider how far the lake is from a shipping location if you are considering a Level 3 program. Water samples need to be shipped within 24 hours of collection.


Choose a lake that you enjoy visiting, or one that is of particular interest or concern to you. A minimum of 12 monitoring events per year for a 3 year period is the required commitment for a volunteer monitoring program. We want to ensure that your volunteerism does not turn into “work”, and that you can fully enjoy your experience with the program.