Lake Monitoring Program

Lake Monitoring Program

The purpose of this program is to determine and monitor the trophic state of a lake. The trophic state of a lake can change over time due to both natural and human addition or subtraction of nutrients going into the lake. A long-term lake data set can be used for trend analysis, which can interpret a lake’s health over time. Over 1,000 Minnesota lakes have chosen to participate in RMB’s Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program.

The lakes monitoring program involves citizen volunteers collecting water samples once a month from May through September for phosphorus and chlorophyll a analysis. Other observations such as Secchi disk, lake level, rainfall, and recreational suitability are also documented. Following laboratory analysis, the data is available on our website and shared with the MPCA’s statewide database.

Want to lean about lake biology and what you’re testing for?

Visit RMB’s new lakes monitoring website where you can find training videos, helpful articles and a Limnology Primer to learn about lake mixing, trophic states, and much more. Visit

Want to find your lake testing results?

Check out RMB’s new online database to get your results, run trend analysis, and get lake reports. Results will be posted in on RMB’s online database 7-10 days after sample collection. Visit

Lake sampler training will be held May 13th at Public Works – Parking Lot (Social Distancing applies) from 4:00 – 6:00. If you would like to be sampling this year, please update your contact information, or notify Danielle with any changes. If your lake will have a new sampler, make sure their contact information is updated as well.

2022 Sampling Drop-off dates:
May: 23
June 13
July 18
August 15
September 19
All samples must be dropped off at the SWCD office before 1:00 PM on the date listed.

In previous years the lakes sampled in Douglas County include: Brophy, Carlos, Chippewa, Darling, Geneva, Ida, Irene, Latoka, Le Homme Dieu, Lobster, Mary, Miltona, Pocket, Rachel, Smith, Stowe, Stony, Vermont, and Victoria. No samples were taken from Cowdry.