Vermont Lay Monitoring Program
View the Data
Lay Monitoring Lake Water Quality Data - from 1979 to present.
Individual Lake Reports with LMP Data
Part 1: 30 Year Vermont Lay Monitoring Report (1979-2008) 4.2MB
Part 2: 30 Year Vermont Lay Monitoring Report (1979-2008) 4.9MB
Part 1: 30 year Lake Champlain Lay Monitoring Report (1979-2008) 4.71 MB
Part 2: 30 year Lake Champlain Lay Monitoring Report (1979-2008) 1.51 MB
Lake Champlain Lay Monitoring Program Report 2010 2.79 MB
Inland Lakes Lay Monitoring Program Report 2010 5.59 MB
Spring Phosphorus Lake Data
What is the LMP?
The Vermont Lay Monitoring Program is a cooperative effort between the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and lake users. People from all walks of life who are actively involved in lake protection make up the Lay Monitoring Program.
The LMP was established in 1979 and continues today with the same goals:
- to describe water quality conditions on each lake participating in the program;
- to establish a database on each lake useful for documenting future changes in water quality; and
- to educate and involve lake residents in lake protection.
The LMP samples a lake for total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a concentration, and water clarity.
Total phosphorus is collected to determine a lake's level of nutrient enrichment. Since phosphorus
is typically the limiting nutrient in a lake system, when in excess, it is the nutrient that can cause the most productivity (aging)
in the lake. Excessive phosphorus feeds aquatic plants, algae and other plankton (free floating, aquatic life), increasing a lake's
Chlorophyll-a is the green pigment in plants and algae. The concentration of chlorophyll-a in a lake
is used to describe the amount of algae in the lake.
Generally, lakes with high phosphorus concentrations will have increased algae
Water clarity is measured by using a Secchi disk, an eight inch diameter, black and white painted disk.
The disk is lowered into the lake by a rope, marked in meters, until it disappears from sight, at which point the lake's transparency
is measured. Generally, the more algae, the lower the water clarity.
Why measure total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a and water clarity? The primary cause of lake problems is
from increased phosphorus. Human activity along a lake's shoreline and in the watershed can accelerate the amount of phosphorus entering
Sources of phosphorus include:
- shoreline erosion
- fertilizer run-off
- run-off from dirt roads
- failing septic system
- agriculture runoff
- residential runoff
- erosion from logging
- erosion from construction
Unnaturally high levels of phosphorus cause excessive aquatic plant and algae growth, which lowers
the water clarity. Additionally, nuisance plant and
algae growth can interfere with boating, swimming, fishing and other recreational
activities. As the excessive growth dies back each year it falls to the lake
bottom, causing sediments to build up more rapidly. When
the natural environment of a lake is altered, the species of fish and other wildlife in the lake may also change.
How to join the LMP
All water quality sampling equipment is provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The
monitor supplies the time, boat and gas. Sampling takes place weekly between June 1st and September 1st.
For more information about this program contact Amy Picotte, the VT LMP & Project WET Coordinator
Helpful local, regional and federal volunteer monitoring web sites
Directory of Vermont Watershed Groups
Vermont LaRosa Laboratory Services Program
Vermont Lay Monitoring Program
The Lake Champlain Basin Program
UVM Watershed Alliance
The River Network
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring National Facilitation Project (USDA College Extension).
EPA Volunteer Monitoring
Vermont Acid Rain Program