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Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

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The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network, the core of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, creates a bond between over 1000 citizen volunteers statewide and the Wisconsin DNR. Our goals are to collect high quality data, to educate and empower volunteers, and to share this data and knowledge.

Volunteers measure water clarity, using the Secchi Disk method, as an indicator of water quality. Volunteers may also collect chemistry, temperature, and dissolved oxygen data, as well as identify and map plants or watch for the first appearance of Eurasian Water Milfoil near boat landings.

In addition, satellite images are used to retrieve water clarity data for lakes across the state. This effort began in 1999 when the University of Wisconsin-Madison Environmental Remote Sensing Center (ERSC) developed a model for the retrieval of water clarity data from satellite images and Citizen Lake Monitoring Network volunteers provided on-the-ground Secchi data to calibrate this model for each satellite image. Water clarity data was retrieved for over 8,000 lakes statewide between 1999 and 2001. The DNR continues to analyze data in this way today in its remote sensing program.

Interested? Contact your local Citizen Lake Monitoring coordinator about getting started.

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