Water Quality Monitoring
Protect our Water Quality with "Shoreland Best Management Practices"
If you live at the lake, you can make a significant impact
— pro or con — on Lake Vermilion's water quality. How we
each manage the shoreland on our property affects the lake we share. Check
out these Shoreland Best Management Practices Fact Sheets [click
here] assembled by University of Minnesota Extension. They
cover a wide range of topics, including landscaping, erosion, septic
systems, water wells, construction, lawn & gardens, woodlots, and wetlands.
Advanced Water Quality Monitoring in 2008
[Edited from an article in the November 2007 issue of The Vermilion Sportsman]
For over 30 years, our Sportsmen’s Club has been actively involved in monitoring the water quality of Lake Vermilion. Recently, this activity has largely involved the collection of secchi disk readings and water surface temperatures as part of the statewide Citizen Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP) administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The Secchi disk readings measure water transparency, which is strongly correlated to water quality. These readings are reported to the MPCA at the end of each monitoring season and are published in a state-wide annual report here on their website.
[Editor's note: The MPCA has compiled historical Secchi data specific to Lake Vermilion here.]
The MPCA also administers a more advanced program called CLMP+ where volunteers collect water chemistry and temperature profile data in addition to collecting Secchi disk readings. Under this program, water samples are collected twice monthly from May through September. The samples are sent off to a laboratory to identify the levels of chlorophyll-a and total phosphorus in the lake which determines the Trophic State Index. By verifying this relationship, the MPCA can continue to use Secchi depth readings as a reliable indicator of the nutrients and algal productivity in the lake.
At our September meeting, our SCLV Board voted to apply to the MPCA to have Lake Vermilion included in the CLMP+ program. Since the MPCA provides all of the equipment, training, and laboratory costs, there are a limited number of lakes included in this advanced program each year. In early October, we were notified that Vermilion has been selected for the 2008 season. Samples will be collected from 8 sites, including the six existing DNR / MPCA long term stations in Wakemup Bay, Niles Bay, Big Bay, Frazer Bay, Pike Bay, and a location near Trout Lake portage.
Later in 2008, the MPCA will publish a CLMP+ report on Lake Vermilion. A sample report from another lake may be viewed at the above noted website. Jesse Anderson , MPCA Research Scientist will be at our November SCLV Board meeting to discuss the planning, logistical support, and the training of volunteers for the 2008 program.
Volunteers are needed to staff this effort. A significant time commitment is required. Two teams of three, including a boat pilot, a sample collector and a data recorder, will spend a full day on the water twice a month from May through September. Those interested in helping with this 2008 project should contact Mel Hintz [contact info]. Classroom and on-the-water team training is currently planned for May 6, 2008.
[Editor's note: A mid-summer 2008 progress report on this work is available here on this website.]
For More Information on Water Quality Monitoring or to Volunteer
For more information on our overall water quality monitoring program or to volunteer to assist in this ongoing effort, please contact activity coordinator Mel Hintz [contact info].