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Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) creates a bond between 1000+ citizen volunteers statewide and the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership. Our goals are to collect high-quality lake monitoring data, educate and empower our volunteers, and share our data to inform lake management.

For information on participating in CLMN, or to find other resources related to lake monitoring, please visit the main CLMN site managed by UW Extension Lakes.

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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.

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