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Water Quality Check-In Sessions
LSM staff are conducting water-quality-focused discussion sessions once a month during the 2021 summer. These check-in sessions (via Zoom) are intended as a way for volunteers to discuss any questions or issues they may have pertaining to their lake or monitoring work. For those with insufficient bandwidth for online video conferencing, there is the option to call in (phone information will be included in your registration confirmation email). These sessions will be informal, and will provide folks with an opportunity to speak directly with LSM staff about concerns, observed phenomena, or other broader water quality topics.
A few examples of the types of topics that may be discussed include, but are not limited to:
- Observations of recent conditions on/in a lake;
- Problems or questions regarding volunteer monitoring equipment;
- Any issues with quality assurance;
- Discussion / interpretation of recently collected (or historical) lake data;
- Any unusual phenomena recently observed; and,
- Changes in protocol due to the pandemic and other broader social issues as it related to lake monitoring and science.
You are welcome to attend as many of the sessions as you like throughout the summer. We will be there!
The sessions are currently scheduled to take place from 2-3:30 PM on Thursday afternoons. Moderators will have the option to continue individual sessions beyond this point or conclude earlier depending upon participant interest. In addition, we will make the decision to offer additional sessions if there is a specific group that is interested in meeting or an additional time that will meet a persons schedule. If this is of interest to you, please send an email to Tristan@lakestewardsME.org.
Please be sure to pre-register for each session you are planning to attend
We have recently updated our plans concerning summer 2021 water quality training and certification process. Please see the letter embedded below or click here to download it.
Hello Lake Stewards of Maine!
As we approach spring and summer and the number of people vaccinated for Covid-19 grows, we are paying close attention to the guidance being provided by the Maine CDC concerning group meetings.
It is still too early to predict if it will be possible for LSM to conduct in-person training and recertification workshops this year, because despite vaccinations, the number of new infections is on the rise and co-variants are emerging. However, if all goes well, it is conceivable that it will be safe for us to conduct workshops by mid to late summer (July and August). Unfortunately, we will not be able to make workshop decisions until at least sometime in June.
Safety for our staff and volunteers remains our highest priority.
Please see the detailed information below for both existing certified lake monitors and new (2021) or partially certified monitors (from 2020). One way or another, the following options will be available to you early in the season.
For Existing Water Quality Monitors; Re-certification for Secchi & Dissolved Oxygen Monitors
Secchi: Log on to the LSM Secchi Simulator, answer the associated questions and take an official reading. Your reading will be recorded in the LSM database, indicating that you have received this message and are planning to monitor in 2021. If you are due, or overdue for an in-person workshop, it may be possible for us to offer one near you later in the summer. If not, your in-person requirement will be waived for another year, providing that you use the Secchi Simulator
Dissolved Oxygen: Please follow the requirements above for Secchi Monitors, in addition to the following…
Maine DEP and LSM staff will continue to provide a pre-season checkup on your dissolved oxygen meter at no charge. Because of existing social distancing guidelines in Maine, the process of checking meters will likely take longer than in previous years. It may be a few weeks before your meter can be returned to you. This service not only saves you money, it helps to ensure you (and us) that your meter will be in good operating condition at the onset of the season. Volunteers who monitor dissolved oxygen should have already received details; if you monitor dissolved oxygen and haven’t received instructions, please contact Tristan@lakestewardsme.org for a copy.
LSM will post a series of review videos (coming soon) and the “2021 DO Quiz” (coming soon). All certified DO monitors are required to complete the quiz. In addition to taking the quiz, you must attend one of the Zoom Tech Support sessions, at which LSM staff will discuss the quiz results with each group of attendees, and, submit your first two profiles for review. If no in-person workshops are offered in 2021, your recertification requirements will be waived until 2022, providing that you fulfill the requirements listed above. If in-person recertification workshops become possible later in the summer, we will be in touch with you.
Instructions for sending your first two profiles: Please scan or photograph, and send your first two data sheets of the season to Tristan@lakestewardsme.org. Please make sure the images are legible. Our staff will review your data, and will be in touch if we observe any concerns that should be brought to your attention. This process is very helpful in our data quality assurance process.
Certified Advanced/Baseline Sampling Monitors: If you have been trained to conduct advanced water quality monitoring, you must fulfill all of the requirements above for Secchi and DO monitors. In addition, we are preparing a quiz that you will be required to complete and submit for LSM staff to review.
Additional opportunities: We may offer “video auditing” recertification sessions this summer if you have access to a cell phone with video capability. If video, or in-person workshops become available this summer, we will be in touch.
For Lake Water Quality Monitors who attended a Zoom training workshop in 2020, but who have not yet completed an on-the-water certification workshop:
If you attended a Secchi and/or DO training workshop last summer, but were unable to attend a field certification session with LSM or DEP staff, please review the training information that you received last year on the LSM website. Please log on to the LSM Secchi Simulator, take the Secchi simulator quiz and a practice Secchi reading.
We are relying on the guidance of the Maine CDC and hope to offer on-the-water training sessions later in the summer, at which time you will be fully certified and able to submit data from your lake to LSM.
If you are not trained and certified, and you would like to become a LSM Certified Lake Monitor (Secchi/Water Clarity):
If you have not previously attended any in-person or Zoom training workshops, please contact LSM and register for a training workshop. LSM will schedule Zoom training sessions, starting in the spring and early summer, at which time we will conduct the indoor portion of the training, explain the certification process, and share details about any in-person workshops that may be offered in 2021. You must register for all workshops in advance. Contact the LSM office if you wish to register.
If you are a professional:
Please contact Tristan@lakestewardsme.org to discuss your options.
Everything That You Might Want to Know About Lake Flushing Rates
LSM Technical Support Webinar with special guest Jeff Dennis
One of the most significant natural characteristics of a lake is the rate at which the volume of water in the lake is “flushed”, (aka: hydrologic retention period) over time. This phenomenon varies from one lake to the next, and it influences, among other factors, the vulnerability of a lake to a decline over time.
Join us for an in-depth discussion on this topic, presented by long-time Maine DEP Biologist, Jeff Dennis. Following Jeff’s presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions and answers, as well as an extended technical discussion with Jeff, for those who are interested.