In addition to standard water quality monitoring, additional data can be collected to help monitor the overall health of your lake.
The information on ice on and ice off dates can be useful as an indicator of the current climatic conditions, and over time it can be used to help monitor indications of climate change. We hope at some point in the future to be able to provide capability for upload and visualization of data. For now, if you start keeping track of the ice on and ice off data, you can start to build a set of data that can be used for trend analysis.
Some lakes have existing definitiions of ice-on and ice-off dates. If there’s a tradtion, certainly use that and gather any historical records you can find. If you don’t have a tradition, one that is widely used is to declare ice on when the ice prevents someone from boating to the deepest part of the lake from all the points on shore. Ice off is when you can boat to the deepest part of the lake from some shorepoint.
Ice on / ice off data can be entered as part of the electronic data collection – see CSLAPdata.org. Or you can note this information on your first CSLAP sampling form of the year, or email it to Nancy Mueller.
Boat counts and recreation surveys are important to help understand lake use and to help manage use (and user!) conflicts.
Two options are available. A count of the total number and types of boats on the lake will give a sense of the potential boat use and the interest in boating. The boat recreation survey provides information on what kinds of boats are used for what types of activities and provides an indication of potential conflict conditions.
Click for data collection instructions and form.
This is a survey to help the state gather information about how lakes are used for fishing, and what anglers feel about the fishing conditions. Much of the information that anyone has about anglers comes from large fishing derbys, which may not represent the conditions that most anglers encounter. This form is meant to enable ordinary anglers on our lakes to give their views.
Here’s the angler survey form
See Scott Kishbaugh’s presentation on the Angler Survey from the 2011 NYSFOLA conference to find out more.
It’s important to know where zebra mussels have spread and if they are in your lake. Monitoring is easy. See the presentation given at the 2011 FOLA conference for more information.
Click for instructions and form.