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Maine Lakes

Water Quality Workshops

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Everything That You Might Want to Know About Lake Flushing Rates

LSM Technical Support Webinar with special guest Jeff Dennis

One of the most significant natural characteristics of a lake is the rate at which the volume of water in the lake is “flushed”, (aka: hydrologic retention period) over time. This phenomenon varies from one lake to the next, and it influences, among other factors, the vulnerability of a lake to a decline over time.

Join us for an in-depth discussion on this topic, presented by long-time Maine DEP Biologist, Jeff Dennis. Following Jeff’s presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions and answers, as well as an extended technical discussion with Jeff, for those who are interested.

To view the recording from Tuesday, March 2th, 2021 please click HERE.

Water Quality Check-In Sessions

LSM staff are conducting bi-weekly open-session opportunity for certified lake water quality monitors to check in (via Zoom) to discuss any questions, comments or observations that you may have pertaining to your lake or monitoring work. For those of you with insufficient bandwidth for online video meetings, you have the option to call in, as well (phone information will be included in your registration confirmation email).  These sessions will be informal, and will provide you with an opportunity to speak directly with LSM staff.

A few examples of the types of topics that may be discussed include, but are not limited to:

  • Observations of recent conditions on/in your lake;
  • Problems or questions regarding your monitoring equipment;
  • Any issues you had with quality assurance;
  • Discussion / interpretation of your (and historical) lake data;
  • Any unusual phenomena you may have recently observed; and,
  • Whether or not the pandemic has interfered with your ability to monitor your lake the past summer.

You are welcome to attend as many of the sessions as you like throughout the summer. We will be there!

The sessions are currently scheduled to take place from 10-11 AM on Thursday mornings. However, the moderators will have the option to continue individual sessions beyond 11AM, if there is interest among participants.

In order to ensure everyone is able to participate, we will restrict the number of registrants in a session to 22 people. If there is additional interest, we will schedule an additional session that will start at 11:30 pm.

The next session is Thursday, March 4th, 2021
Pre-registration is required, so please use this link to sign up.

Water Quality Monitor Re-certification for Secchi & Dissolved Oxygen Monitors

Secchi Re-certification Workshops, which normally take place on lakes throughout the state are cancelled for 2020, due to social distancing restrictions. If your certification status requires you to attend an in-person workshop this year to maintain your status, that requirement is deferred to 2021.  We hope that you will be able to continue to safely monitor your lake this summer. Please be assured that LSM staff will be available throughout the year to provide technical support, as always.

Dissolved Oxygen Re-certification Workshops: We are in the process of developing a special online re-certification workshop for certified DO monitors, in which you will be required to participate, in order to submit data in 2020. The workshop will consist of an interactive Zoom video conference that will include a refresher demonstration video on DO meter maintenance and calibration, on-the-water monitoring procedures, and a series of questions for you to answer.  This online session will be in lieu of your requirement to attend an in-person workshop in 2020.  We also request that you mail/scan & email your first Temp/DO profile data form to LSM as soon as possible. We will quickly review your data for any indication of equipment problems. If an issue is suspected, we will help you to resolve the problem, after which you will be able to continue gathering data for the remainder of the monitoring season.  Please email forms to this address, or mail a copy to LSM, 24 Maple Hill Rd, Auburn, ME 04210.

New Water Quality Volunteer Monitors (Secchi/Water Clarity)

New Water Quality Monitors: Interactive Training Webinars were offered in 2020 to individuals who had expressed interest in attending an introductory water quality monitoring certification workshop. These workshops normally consist of an indoor ‘classroom’ session which typically lasts approximately two hours, followed by an on-the-water session, at which attendees are trained to take a Secchi disk reading and to take a sub-surface total phosphorus grab sample. Both sessions are required in order for attendees to be certified to collect and submit data to LSM. Current and anticipated social-distancing safety requirements make it unlikely that we will be able to offer the on-the-water session in 2020.  However, by fulfilling the indoor session requirements this year, attendees will only need to attend the on-the-water session next year, after which they will be fully certified to gather and submit data for their lake.

Secchi Training Webinar (fulfills classroom requirement only)
Friday, July 10 at 10am
Wednesday, July 29 at 10am

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.