Lake Assessment Continues to Show High Clarity, Low Nutrient Levels

According to results from the LGA’s Lake quality water sampling in 2018,  Lake George continues to be “oligotrophic” – meaning high water clarity, and low nutrient and algae levels.

LGA Education Director Kristen Wilde pulls a Kemmerer bottle up from deep in the Lake with a water sample for the CSLAP program.

The Lake George Association participates in a statewide water quality monitoring program to track Lake George water quality and to monitor changes in the makeup of the water.

The LGA’s results from the Citizen Science Lake Assessment Program testing in 2018 showed similar water quality conditions across all four sites: Diamond Island, Basin Bay, Gull Bay and Hearts Bay.

“Water quality conditions are similar in all four CSLAP sites sampled in 2018,” said Kristen Wilde, LGA Education Director. “Water clarity was highest in Gull Bay averaging 8.5 meters (27.88 feet). Conductivity levels were slightly higher at the Diamond Island and Basin Bay sites than the other two sites.”

“Our sampling results show the lake continues to have a near neutral pH, intermediate hardness, low water color, and low nitrogen levels,” she said.

In 2018, for the first time, the CSLAP water samples were analyzed for soluble nutrients. The testing showed that most of the phosphorus in the lake is soluble (meaning able to be taken up easily by algae), indicating a high potential for more algae growth.

Charts included in the reports show algae levels in the water, and the reports show that overall, open water algae levels are low.

Fortunately, Lake George’s current water quality conditions indicate a low susceptibility to harmful algal blooms, with no reported blooms along the shoreline or in the open water.

In comparison to other nearby lakes in the CSLAP program, Lake George has higher water clarity and lower chlorophyll a and phosphorus levels.

The final reports are posted each year to the LGA’s website under “Citizen Science.”

“We need to continue to be vigilant, even with the good results from testing,” said Walt Lender, LGA Executive Director. “Programs to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen from entering the Lake, and stopping stormwater from flowing into the water, are among the keys to preserving the Lake’s water quality.”

Protecting water quality and scientific monitoring are two parts of the overall mission of the Lake George Association, which is supported by thousands of members and friends. “It is thanks to support from our members that we are able to perform this testing, which we started in 2004,” said Lender.

Water samples taken as part of the program are taken from shallow water and deep water. The citizen scientists check the clarity of the water using a Secchi disk, record the air and water temperature, and whether there are algae blooms present.

In addition, the citizen scientists document the physical condition of the water at their sampling site, aquatic plant populations, recreational conditions and weather.

For more information on the current program or on previous testing, please call (518) 668-3558 or see our updated and encyclopedic website at

The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, scientific monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.

All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.

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All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.
Lake George Association

Lake George Association