Water Quality Monitoring Program

The lakes and streams of Leelanau County enrich the lives of both the permanent and seasonal residents of the area. In addition, these water resources are major recreation and tourist attractions and are therefore important to the health and vitality of the local economy. Credible strategies are needed to protect these important resources that have a valid and strong scientific foundation. Baseline and long-term water quality data are needed to establish this essential reliability. In 1990 the Leelanau Conservancy initiated watershed surveillance and data collection program that was designed fill these needs for both private and public applications. This program consists of measuring and analyzing water quality variables in the major lakes of the County and in numerous tributaries. These data can be used:

  1. To compare the water quality among various local lakes
  2. To compare the water quality of local lakes with other lakes in the State
  3. To detect long-term changes or trends in water quality over time
  4. To develop hydraulic and phosphorus nutrient budgets for the lakes and watersheds that can be used by public officials as rational water quality planning and management tools

Extensive data has been collected over the last 20+ years. A Microsoft Access database was created to allow easy storage and retrieval of these data and to provide convenient summaries of the data in the form of tables and graphs. The database was converted to a web version which is available to anyone via this website. If you would like a copy of the database or any information that is not on our website,  please call the office and talk to Yarrow.

For a concise summary of some of the water quality data in the database, which is now online and readily available to the public, please follow the links below:

Click here to visit our water quality database and see an interactive map of our lake and stream sampling locations.

Lake Sampling Program

Stream Sampling Program

Nutrient Budgets

Historic Water Sampling Reports

For questions about our program or if you are interested in volunteering, call the office or email our Conservation Easement Program Manager Yarrow Brown.

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