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Request for Lay Monitoring Volunteers on Big Averill! - Data to be Shared on

With the full support of the ALA Leadership - The VT Department of Environmental Conservation's Lay Monitoring Program is requesting volunteers to conduct periodic lake water quality samples from your boat using quality assured methods. .ALA member Don Tase has been a multi-year Lay Monitor on Little Averill. Water quality sampling equipment and training are provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The monitor supplies their time and a boat.

Lay Monitors sample at an established site from their boat for total phosphorus concentration, chlorophyll-a (algae and cyanobacteria) concentration, and/or Secchi depth (water clarity) every week to ten days from Memorial Day to Labor Day (training conducted on the lake ASAP after Memorial Day). A minimum of eight sampling days is required to calculate a summer mean. Total phosphorus (TP) concentration is sampled to determine a lake's level of nutrient enrichment. Unlike for humans - nutrients for a Lake are not good! Phosphorus feeds algae, cyanobacteria, and aquatic plants. Chlorophyll-a is the green pigment in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. The concentration of chlorophyll-a in a lake is used to describe the amount of algae and cyanobacteria. Generally, lakes with higher phosphorus concentrations will have increased algae and cyanobacteria growth. Water transparency is measured by using a Secchi disk, an eight inch diameter disk painted with black and white quadrants. The disk is lowered into the lake by a rope, marked in meters, until it disappears from sight, which is the Secchi depth. Generally, water clarity decreases as chlorophyll-a concentration increases.

Unnaturally high levels of phosphorus can result in excessive growth of algae, cyanobacteria, and aquatic plants while decreasing water clarity. Additionally, nuisance algae and aquatic plant growth can interfere with boating, swimming, fishing and other recreational activities we enjoy on our Lakes. For more information on volunteering, please email or call (802) 490-6126. All the information collected and analyzed will be shared on If you have any questions about this or other ALA activities or events - please email us at

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