The Lake Iroquois Association conducts water quality and aquatic invasive species monitoring of Lake Iroquois and its tributaries through multiple programs.
Aquatic monitoring for invasive species is conducted via the Vermont Invasive Patroller (VIP) program implemented statewide by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC). Volunteers known as ‘VIPs’ traverse the Lake in search of new invasive aquatic flora and fauna.
Lay Monitoring is conducted in-lake by volunteers who measure water clarity and nutrient levels. This group of citizen scientists are trained by the VT DEC and have been collecting water quality data on over 100 lakes in Vermont since 1979. Lake Iroquois has had lay monitors since the inception of the program Monitoring records are available as far back as 1979. The data collected helps the LIA to determine which projects to undertake to enhance water quality of the lake. In addition, the data provide important evidence of the success of these projects. As noted in the summary report, linked below, LIA remediation projects have contributed to a significant decrease in the nutrient load of the lake.
The LIA Tributary Sampling Program is supported by a grant from VT DEC’s LaRosa Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Analytical Services Partnerships (LaRosa Partnership Program) to cover the cost of chemical analysis at the state’s LaRosa Lab. The LIA began participation in this program in 2010. In that year 21 tributaries were inventoried surrounding the Lake to determine potential sources of nutrients entering the lake. In 2011, ten tributaries were selected for volunteer sampling of nutrients, turbidity, and chlorides. After a two-year hiatus in 2015 and 2016 to analyze results and consider mitigation projects, the LIA renewed its tributary sampling effort in 2017. Five tributary sites were added in 2018 and the LIA expanded its reach within the watershed to eight sites on Patrick Brook to determine nutrient influence downstream from the Lake. In 2019, the Lewis Creek Association took on sampling in Patrick Brook while the LIA continued to sample the tributaries around Lake Iroquois.
LaRosa program and watershed database information (including Lake Iroquois data).
Volunteers also monitor the Lake for signs of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms. The LIA, in conjunction with the Lake Champlain Committee, has sponsored training for lake residents to identify cyanobacteria blooms. Lake Iroquois has two official volunteer monitors who file a report of conditions on the lake with the VT Department of Health each week from mid-June into mid-fall. They are also on call to check other areas if anyone around the lake spots something suspicious. The Lake Champlain Committee provides training and issues a weekly mailing during the summer season that includes all reports from volunteer monitors throughout the Lake Champlain basin.