Volunteers needed to monitor streams

sampling stream

2015: The MPCA wants you to be come a stream monitorer today! Learn more about the program, use their interactive map to see if your lake or stream needs monitoring.

Volunteers are being recruited to monitor streams across Minnesota, including several in Northeastern Minnesota. Volunteers take stream samples weekly during spring and summer months and report their findings to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The Citizen Stream Monitoring Program looks at water clarity, rainfall, weather conditions and general appearance of the water at designated spots along streams.

Published on March 1, 2005, Page 02B.

Read the news release from the MPCA.

Get involved with E. coli monitoring and learn more about the project here.

Become an Urban Salt Monitorer (WI, MI, IA residents only).

The LakeSuperiorStreams project needs volunteer help in evaluating how well two efforts to fix problems in our local streams are working. One is at Miller Creek just behind the Miller Hill Mall and the other is on a small tributary to Amity Creek just upstream from the most downstream bridge crossing Amity.

Please contact us if interested.

Watch an interactive tutorial on using a secchi disk, or view all the updated videos for volunteer stream monitors produced by Water Action Volunteers (WAV).

Streams in NE Minnesota needing monitors:

  • Aitkin - Seastade Creek @ MN-18, 2 miles E of Wealthwood
  • Itasca - Morrison Creek @ Walker Road NW of Hill City
  • Koochiching - Rainy River @ Intersection of 3rd St and 12th Ave near Forestland School
  • Pine - Kettle River off Old Gov't Rd @ Deer Creek Confluence N of Hinckley
  • Pine - Mission Creek @ CSAH 11, 2 miles NW of Pine City
  • Pine - Mission Creek @ CSAH 61 near Beroun
  • Pine - No. Fork Grindstone River @ Co Hwy 27
  • Pine - Snake River @ Sherwood St W or at Public Access near Pine City
  • St Louis - Miller Creek @ Trinity Road in Enger Park
  • St Louis - Rocky Run Creek @ St Louis River Road E

Visit the MPCA website for more information about their Citizen Stream-Monitoring Program.

Wildlife Health Event Reporting:

For a healthy Great Lakes Ecosystem, Share What You See!

Have you seen dead or sick wild animals? Report the issue here. Download the fact sheet.

Lake volunteers needed across Minnesota

Secchi disk

Posted on March 21, 2005

If you live on, own a cabin on or just like to visit a favorite lake in Minnesota, state pollution regulators may need you.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program is in need of dozens of volunteers to keep track of water quality on lakes across the state, including many in the Northland.

Data gathered once each week during the summer by volunteers yields valuable information about the current health of Minnesota's waters. Now in its 32nd year, volunteers in the program are monitoring 900 different lakes.

The job doesn't take much time. Volunteers visit a designated spot on the lake where they drop anchor, make notes of the water's physical condition and recreational suitability and measure the clarity of the water with a Secchi disk -- an 8 inch white metal disk that is lowered into the water until it can no longer be seen. The depth, measured by markings on the cord, helps give a snapshot of the lake's relative water quality.

For information on becoming a volunteer, call the PCA at (800) 657-3864, or go to www.pca.state.mn.us/water/clmp.html.

Northland lakes in need of volunteers are, by county:


  • Aitkin Lake near Libby
  • Hill Lake at Hill City
  • Waukenabo Lake at Waukenabo


  • Crescent Lake near Tofte
  • East Bearskin Lake near Grand Marais
  • Four Mile Lake near of Tofte
  • Greenwood Lake near Grand Marais
  • Homer Lake near Lutsen
  • Loon Lake near Lutsen
  • Saganaga Lake near Grand Marais
  • Sea Gull Lake near Grand Marais
  • Tom Lake near Hovland


  • Blackwater Lake near Cohasset
  • Bowstring Lake near Deer River
  • Coon-Sandwick Lake near Bigfork
  • Cowhorn Lake near Warba
  • Cut Foot Sioux Lake near Inger
  • Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake near Inger
  • Little Winnibigoshish Lake near Deer River
  • Rice Lake near Max
  • Squaw Lake at the Town of Squaw Lake
  • White Oak Lake near Deer River
  • Whitefish Lake near Wirt


  • Greenwood Lake southwest of Isabella
  • Moose Lake near Ely
  • Sand Lake west of Isabella
  • Silver Island Lake near Sawbill Landing
  • Snowbank Lake near Ely

St Louis

  • Ash Lake near Orr
  • Bear Head near Tower
  • Big Lake near Ely
  • Big Rice near Virginia
  • Birch Lake near Babbit
  • Boulder (Orchard) Lake near Duluth
  • Colby Lake in the Town of Hoyt Lakes
  • Crane Lake near Orr
  • Echo Lake near Orr
  • Elbow Lake near Orr
  • Elephant Lake near Ash Lake
  • Embarrass Lake near Biwabik
  • Fish Lake Flowage near Duluth
  • Island Lake Reservoir near Duluth
  • Lost Lake near Tower
  • Myrtle Lake near Orr
  • Pelican Lake near Orr
  • Rainy Lake near International Falls
  • Sturgeon Lake near Chisholm
  • Whitewater Lake near Aurora
  • Wild Rice Lake near Arnold

Visit the MPCA website for more information about their Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program.