Annual Lake Monitoring Conference

Save the Date!  2018 Annual Lake Monitoring Conference will be held on Saturday, July 28th.  Please stay tuned for more details…

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2017 Lake Monitoring Conference Program:

Morning Session:

  • The Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative: An Approach to Educating the Public About Monitoring, and Managing Harmful Cyanobacteria; Dr. Jim Haney, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences,  University of New Hampshire

Harmful algal blooms (HAB’s), caused by cyanobacteria, pose an increasingly significant risk to the health of our lakes, and to those who spend time on, and in them. Citizen lake scientists (volunteer lake monitors) can play an important role in the detection of HAB’s, allowing us to better understand causative factors, and ways to prevent them.

  • Maine’s Lake Plants ~ How Citizen Lake Scientists Are Enhancing Our Understanding of Native Macrophyte Communities; Roberta Hill, Invasive Species Program Director, Maine VLMP

Maine has some of the richest, most abundant freshwater littoral habitat on earth. The VLMP’s Invasive Plant Patrol Program supports the work of hundreds of citizen lake scientists who are helping to answer the many questions that have arisen regarding both native (and invasive) plants in Maine’s lakes.

  • Citizen Lake Stewardship and Beyonce’s “I Was Here!”: Finding Our Groove For Maximum Lake Resilience In The Face Of Growing Environmental Impacts; Adam Zemans, Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator, Maine VLMP

In the award-winning documentary, The Hunt for Aquatic Invaders, which was produced, directed and filmed by Steve Underwood, Maine VLMP citizen lake steward, Elin Haugen, described the reason for the Maine VLMP’s mission: “This lake is like a gemstone. It’s like the Hope Diamond of lakes here in Maine, and when I come over Indian Hill, it takes my breath away! And Moosehead Lake has so many sensory delights that create memories.” Many of us feel similarly about our own Maine lakes. What does lake stewardship mean to you? What does lake stewardship mean about you? And, when it comes to Maine Lakes, what legacy do you contribute?  The answer is: more than you might imagine.

  • Lake Shoreline and Littoral Zone Conditions as an Indicator of Overall Lake Health: Current Efforts in Maine lakes, and the Future Potential for Citizen Scientists to Participate in this Assessment; Doug Suitor, Biologist, Maine DEP

A significant finding of the National Lakes Assessment (NLA) was that there is a correlation between the disturbance of lake shoreline and littoral areas, and overall lake health. Maine DEP biologists are contributing to this finding through the gathering of additional littoral and shoreline data on lakes throughout Maine. Citizen lake scientists may play an increasingly important role in this assessment in the future.

  • Metaphyton (aka: “green cotton candy) in Your Lake: What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know? Has There Been an Increase of this Algae in Maine Lakes in Recent Years?; Scott Williams, Executive Director, Maine VLMP

In recent years, there has been much discussion and speculation concerning a possible overall increase in  the abundance of metaphyton in Maine lakes. But most of the available information is based on observation, and little can be said with certainty about this often unwelcome lake dweller.  A few shallow ponds have experienced dramatic metaphyton blooms that have encompassed the entire body of water. What might be causing such changes, and what can be done to reduce the risk of blooms, or to control them?

    • Honoring Maine VLMP’s Remarkable Lake Monitors

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Afternoon Workshops:

      • The US EPA mobile lab for monitoring cyanobacteria will be set up at the conference, so that people can see and experience how trainings can be given to interested parties at on site locations.  Workstations will be set up in the mobile lab to demonstrate the preparation of cyanobacteria for identification and data collection purposes along with experiencing the use of fluorometric tools for quantification of cyanobacteria in the water.


      • Water Quality Monitor Re-Certification Workshop: Certified lake water quality monitors that need to be re-certified may do so at the annual conference.  Pre-registration is required, so please contact the VLMP at or (207) 783-7733 to reserve your spot.


Thank you to our generous sponsors!








To get to the Great Outdoors

From the North & West:

Head South on Route 4

In North Turner, turn left onto route 219

Go two miles, turn right onto route 117

In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From South (Auburn)

Head North on Route 4

Turn Right onto Upper Street directly after Paris Farmers Union store

Travel 5 miles on Upper Street

Continue on North Parish Road/Route 117, travel 4 miles

Turn Left onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

From East (Augusta)

Head West on Routes 202/100/11

Turn Right onto Routes 133/41 (2.5 miles)

Bear Left and continue on Route 133 (5.8 miles)

Turn Left onto Route 219

Travel 7.4 Miles, Turn left onto Route 117

In approx .25 miles turn Right onto Naiad Lane, Great Outdoors sign will be at the end of the road, facility is .3 miles in.

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.