Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association
Water Quality Action
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Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has sponsored a program of lake monitoring that depends on local volunteers to keep track of the water quality in Minnesota's lakes. The CLMP volunteers take regular readings of water clarity by lowering a white metal disk into the water until it is no longer visible, and then noting the depth. This device is called a "Secchi Disk." This data is tracked through the open water months and submitted annually to the MPCA. Further information can be found by contacting Jennifer Klang of the MPCA at (651) 296-6300 or toll-free (800) 657-3864. Their website is:
And now for some good news in 2012:
I just did what will probably be my last reading for this year. The numbers are very exciting. I started with Secchi 12 years ago and my first reading averaged 14.0. This year, the average was 21.1. Wow! That’s a 33% improvement, well exceeding the mission established a number of years ago. For comparison, last year’s numbers averaged 19.8, and 2010’s were 18.1.
The volunteers for Deer Lake are George Ritzinger, Dave Chatterton and Doug Widen.
George Rizinger reports:
I test a spot in Echo Bay in a deep hole near Brandt's property. Testing occurs approximately monthly from May to October and reported back to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. While the readings vary from year to year and from spring to fall, I am averaging about 14 feet. The low is about 12.5 feet and the high is 22 feet. The trend over the five years I have been doing it is essentially level, but I do have to say that there is evidence of growing algae bloom, at least in my area. This doesn't indicate that we are making progress towards the 3 and 20 program.
Here's how you can make your own Secchi Disk to check the clarity of the water (be sure click the "Home" button on this page for more interesting information).