Lake Surveys

Water Quality Testing

The DEQ, in partnership with the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc. (MLSA), developed the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP) as a cost-effective method for citizens to monitor water quality and to document changes in lake quality over time. The Michigan DEQ comments as follows:

Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP) 

Citizen-based volunteer monitoring has been a long-term element in Michigan's inland lakes monitoring history. The Self-Help program was initiated in 1974. This program was expanded in 1992 in cooperation with the Michigan Lake and Stream Association, Inc. and renamed the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP). The CLMP continues as a foundation program under the recently formed Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps), Michigan's volunteer surface water monitoring network.

The primary purpose of the CLMP is to help citizen volunteers monitor indicators of water quality in their lake and to document changes in lake quality over time. The CLMP is a cost-effective process for the DEQ to increase the baseline data available for Michigan's inland lakes as well as to establish a continuous data record for determining water quality trends in lakes. The CLMP goals are:

  • To measure baseline water quality and document water quality trends on participating lakes. 
  • To educate the public in lake ecology, lake management practices, and in procedures for collecting water quality data. 
  • To build public support for lake quality protection and to encourage sound lake management practices. 
  • To increase baseline water quality data for inland lakes statewide 

The CLMP provides volunteers with sampling methods, training, workshops, technical support, quality control, and laboratory assistance to monitor lakes for indicators of nutrient enrichment and lake productivity. CLMP volunteers monitor for water clarity, total phosphorus, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen and temperature, and aquatic plants. Long-term monitoring of these parameters on a consistent and regular basis provides the data needed to recognize changes in lake productivity. Click here to view the CLMP manual.

Data collected in the CLMP are stored in the Data Exchange Network on the MiCorps website. Annual data summary reports are prepared by the DEQ and its CLMP partners. 

On Magician Lake

Water samples have been taken and tabulated all summers for over 15 years. This is the best method to create a baseline of lake conditions and to track any changes that take place. Click here to see the 2015 report from CLMP.