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Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

As part of the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network, Buffalo Lake is approved for Water Chemistry testing, Water Clarity testing and Aquatic Invasive Species monitoring. 

We need more help! If you are interested in being trained to conduct lake monitoring tests, contact Karyn at

Water chemistry volunteers measure phosphorus levels, chlorophyll-A concentrations (a measure of algae growth in the water), water clarity, and a temperature profile from the top to the bottom of the lake. This type of monitoring is done four times per year, and requires several hours of time during each monitoring event. Chemistry monitoring helps determine if nutrient pollution is occurring in a lake, or if seasonal fish die-offs may be a possibility due to low oxygen levels. 

Water clarity monitoring is a process in which the volunteer lowers an 8” diameter, black & white disc (“Secchi disc”) into the deepest part of the lake to determine how far down they can see the disc as it is lowered. Water clarity monitoring is done every 10-14 days throughout the open-water season. Water clarity is a quick way to estimate lake health, and it plays an important role in determining the types of plants and animals that a water body can support.


Aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring involves searching the lake for aquatic invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, rusty crayfish, and others. The frequency that volunteers perform AIS monitoring varies, but most volunteers do this a few times per year. Most volunteers conduct AIS monitoring in high-risk sites around their lakes (like boat landings) to detect early populations of AIS. Early detection of AIS is crucial for effective, inexpensive management, so these volunteers are incredibly valuable. 

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