Citizen Lake Monitoring & Citizen Science



There are numerous opportunities for people of Wisconsin to take part in helping monitor our waters quality and quantity.



Would you like to learn how to search your lake for AIS and collect water quality data? Volunteer lake monitoring is a great way to learn more about your lake, observe and document long-term changes in lake health, and collect valuable data. This data is used to report on lake conditions and water quality trends, to prepare lake and watershed management plans, and to teach others about our lakes’ health and what we can do to take better care of them. Wisconsin has several monitoring programs though the Citizens Lake Monitoring Network that depend on citizen involvement. Monitoring programs include:

  • Water Clarity Monitoring
  • Water Chemistry Monitoring
  • Ice-On/Ice-off Monitoring
  • AIS Monitoring
  • Native Aquatic Plant Monitor

Wisconsin’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network began in 1986. Today more than 1,100 citizen volunteers statewide are collecting water quality data for more than 850 Wisconsin lakes. The goals of citizen lake monitoring are to collect high quality data, educate and empower citizens, share and use this data and knowledge. Lake enthusiasts can receive training through the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. 
If you are interested in becoming a Citizen Lake Monitoring Network volunteer for your lake, give us a call at 715-369-7835 or visit the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network website at


Volunteers are an integral part of the Wisconsin’s approach to monitoring hundreds of species and habitats in forests, grasslands, wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state. This public involvement, called citizen-based monitoring, leads to high quality scientific data, offers rewarding and educational outdoor opportunities for volunteers and promotes information sharing and collaborations between members of the public and professional scientist. Working together, we can better  natural resource management and conservation.
Citizen-based monitoring volunteer opportunities are available for everyone, regardless of initial skill level, science or nature experience or time availability. No matter who you are or where you are in Wisconsin, you can contribute to the management of our precious aquatic and terrestrial natural resources.
Wisconsin’s citizen-based monitoring projects:

  • Citizen Lake Monitoring Network 
  • Water Action Volunteers – citizen stream monitoring 

Invasive species

  • Clean Boats, Clean Waters 
  • Invasive earthworm monitoring and reporting
  • Invasive plant surveys, reporting and monitoring
  • Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network

Plants of Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin Rare Plant Monitoring Program 

Animals of Wisconsin

  • Bird Monitoring 
  • Breeding Bird Atlas II 
  • Frog and Toad Survey
  • Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program 
  • Deer hunter wildlife survey
  • Operation Deer Watch
  • Snapshot Wisconsin
  • Southwest Wisconsin Deer and Predator Study
  • Volunteer carnivore tracking
  • Bat Monitoring Program 
  • Odonata Survey (dragonflies and damselflies) 
  • Mussel Monitoring Program

To learn more about these programs please visit