Metaphyton Monitoring

Metaphyton2 creditThe VLMP has developed a process to allow volunteers to identify, document and track the growth of metaphyton in Maine lakes and ponds. “Metaphyton” is a group of filamentous algae that form blooms in shallow (littoral) areas of lakes. The blooms are often described as having the appearance of green or yellow/green cotton candy. The significance of possible increases in metaphyton growth in some Maine lakes is not fully understood. Interest in the role that this group of algae play in lake ecosystems is growing. Anecdotal and observational information suggests that many lakes have experienced a substantial increase in metaphyton growth during the past decade. This project will enable volunteers to participate in gathering information to help study this phenomenon. Please contact the VLMP at 207-783-7733 or for more information about monitoring metaphyton. You can also view our standardized protocols for metaphyton monitoring here.

Metaphyton Poster ImgPlease click here for this informative one-page review on metaphyton by Hannah Shute and Dr. Karen Wilson of the University of Southern Maine.

For this document’s references, please click here.


Our Mission

The Mission of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program is to help protect Maine lakes through widespread citizen participation in the gathering and dissemination of credible scientific information pertaining to lake health. The VLMP trains, certifies and provides technical support to hundreds of volunteers who monitor a wide range of indicators of water quality, assess watershed health and function, and screen lakes for invasive aquatic plants and animals. In addition to being the primary source of lake data in the State of Maine, VLMP volunteers benefit their local lakes by playing key stewardship and leadership roles in their communities.


The VLMP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the collection of information pertaining to lake water quality. For 40 years, trained volunteers throughout Maine have donated their time so that we may all learn more about one of Maine’s most beautiful and important resources — our lakes.