Help Protect
Maine Lakes

2020 Summer Season Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing recommendations, LSM will not be having any in-person training sessions this spring and summer.  This includes new volunteer training for all water quality monitoring (Secchi; Dissolved Oxygen) and invasive aquatic species screening workshops.

However, we will be hosting an online webinar series, and other online workshops, as well. The following is a preliminary outline of online training opportunities to be offered by LSM.  More detailed information and schedules will be posted soon:

Water quality Secchi Re-certification Workshops, which normally take place on lakes throughout the state are cancelled, 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 Recertification 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 (alternate arrangements may be made for those without suitable internet connections).  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.

New Water Quality Monitors: Interactive Training Webinars will be offered to individuals who have expressed interest in attending an introductory water quality monitoring certification workshop. These workshops normally consist of an indoor orientation 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.  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.

Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops & Certification: No live, in-person IPP workshops will be held this year, but an IPP certification course will be offered online. The course will be comprised of three webinars. Part 1 will provide a general introduction to the threat of aquatic invaders; Part 2 will dive into Aquatic Plant ID; Part 3 will provide guidance for conducting an invasive plant screening survey, including tools and techniques.  Each section will be followed by an optional online quiz (mandatory only for those who wish to become certified).  In the final stage of certification, participants will collect several plants on their own, and then attend one live plant identification Zoom session for feedback on ID’s and/or guided identification.

Advanced IPP Training: Three Advanced Plant ID webinars will be offered this summer covering milfoils, bladderworts, and common pondweeds.

Other IPP Offerings: Unable to reach out to you physically, both in workshops and events, we will be doing everything we can technologically to provide existing and new volunteers with the knowledge, guidance and encouragement needed to continue to monitor Maine waters for the presence of aquatic invaders. Here are some examples:

We’re producing a GoPro-style video series called Lessons from the Littoral Zone, to be posted to YouTube and Facebook, (some possibly as live events)

LSM will host an IPP Leaders’ Zoom Room, occasional check-in and problem solving sessions for those leading lake teams and regional efforts

IPP Leaders Page will be completely overhauled and updated with a section for team posts

Suspicious Species ID: LSM will continue to provide this important free service for volunteers and the general public. Though plants may still be sent to or dropped off at our Auburn offices, we are encouraging people to make the switch to online photo submission through email (additional electronic submission options will be available in the near future). We will also be holding regularly-scheduled, interactive Zoom-based plant ID sessions, and offering special sessions for teams by appointment.

LSM’s Annual Lake Monitoring Conference, scheduled for July 25 has been cancelled, due to the pandemic. A series of informational interactive webinars will be offered throughout the Spring and Summer. A wide range of topics will be covered, some of which will replace presentations that would have taken place at the Conference. A complete list of topics and presentation dates will be posted soon.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us at stewards@lakestewardsme.org, or (207) 783-7733.

Wishing you all safety and wellness,

The Staff at LSM

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.

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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.