Lake & Wetland Monitoring Program

The Lake and Wetland Monitoring Program provides information on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of publicly owned lakes and wetlands in Kansas. Waterbodies are visited by staff on a 3- to 6-year rotational schedule. Field measurements and subsequent laboratory analyses provide data on a large suite of physical, organic, inorganic, and biological parameters. For a complete list of parameters, see the Program's Quality Assurance Management Plan.

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Obtaining & Managing Information

Water quality information currently is obtained from a network of 290 lakes and wetlands distributed throughout the state. These include all 24 federal reservoirs, most state-administered fishing lakes (those retaining open water in most years), various other state, county, or locally owned lakes, several privately owned but publicly accessible lakes, and ten state or federally owned marshes. The program's primary database comprises about 300,000 analytical records representing approximately 300 waterbodies and more than 100 different analytical parameters. Program activities are documented in Annual Lake Reports that detail the results of each year's data collection efforts at the waterbodies sampled.


Watersheds associated with many of these monitored lakes and wetlands are periodically surveyed with respect to prevailing land use/land cover and the location and size of any discrete pollutant sources. Macrophyte community composition and areal macrophyte coverage also are evaluated in selected waterbodies smaller than 250 acres. Information derived from these ancillary activities improves the Department's ability to estimate contaminant fluxes, characterize lake trophic conditions, predict future changes in these conditions, and assess the need for regulatory intervention.

This program routinely shares a large amount of data and expertise with other agencies and organizations involved in lake and wetland management, environmental restoration, water quality monitoring, and environmental education. Additional collaborative efforts have addressed the abatement of toxic algal blooms and taste/odor problems in public drinking water supply reservoirs.