How to choose a 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:
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.