Click here to check out our new Data Portal website to see 2018-2019 data, or scroll down to see all our past annual reports.

Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ water quality monitoring program started in 2010. We depend on community support and volunteers to help us complete this work. To date, we have trained over 100 citizen scientists volunteers in how to monitor and measure the quality of Lake Windermere’s water.

Every summer season, we measure water quality at three sites on Lake Windermere, as well as bacteria levels at three public beaches and water chemistry & tributary flows at one of the major inflows to the lake (Windermere Creek).

Our program builds on the data collected by the Lake Windermere Project (2005-2010). As per recommendations set out by the BC Ministry of Environment, the Ambassadors measure the following parameters:

  • Water temperature
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Conductivity
  • pH levels
  • Turbidity & water clarity
  • Nutrients (total and dissolved phosphorus & nitrogen)
  • Total depth

Swim Beach Water Quality

SwimAppLogo

Want to know how safe it is to swim here? To keep up on Lake Windermere’s beach bacteria levels–  check out the Swim Guide website (also downloadable from iTunes).


Annual Water Quality Reports:

Document Title File Type Size Action
Lake Windermere 2019 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2018 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2017 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2016 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2015 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2014 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2013 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2012 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download
Lake Windermere 2011 Water Quality Monitoring Results pdf N/A Download

 

2019 Lake Results

Executive Summary

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors direct a Community-Based Water Monitoring and Citizen-Science Education program within the Lake Windermere watershed. 2019 marked the thirteenth year of lake monitoring since the Lake Windermere Project began collecting water quality data in 2006.

In 2019, the Lake Windermere Ambassadors collected physical and chemical water quality parameters at three sample sites on Lake Windermere once weekly during the summer, from late May to September. The lake sampling regime included water temperature, turbidity/clarity, pH, conductivity, depth, and dissolved oxygen. Once monthly from May to September we collected Total Dissolved Phosphorus and Total Phosphorous. In addition, the LWA monitored substrate samplers at six sites on the east side of Lake Windermere for invasive mussels, as well as monitoring tributary flows and water quality at the outlet of Windermere Creek and Abel Creek. E. coli data was collected at public swim beaches weekly, from May until September, excluding weeks with a statutory holiday Monday, in partnership with the Interior Health Authority.  Lastly, Goldeneye Ecological Services was contracted to complete an aquatic plant survey, and fall waterbird survey on Lake Windermere.

Findings from 2019 show that Lake Windermeres water quality continues to support aquatic life and recreation.  The only parameter that deviated from the Ministry of Environment objectives was temperature on one occasion in June. Specific Conductivity and pH were both observed to be outside of the optimal range for aquatic life, but may have been impacted by faulty equipment. The three public swim beaches (Windermere, James Chabot Provincial Park, and Kinsmen) met Interior Health Authority guidelines for recreational quality during all sample collection dates in 2019. The annual aquatic plant survey found no invasive species in Lake Windermere for the tenth year of sampling. While overall there is a healthy abundance of vegetation throughout the lake there were a couple sites of concern that saw less healthy vegetation, particularly where sites saw higher boat traffic (Darvill, 2019).  Further to last year’s newly developed waterbird survey protocol and investigative report, this year’s fall waterbird survey found 18 species observed, 889 individuals, with a number of them being rare sightings and species at risk. Invasive mussel larvae (veligers) were not detected in Lake Windermere as sampled for by the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council in 2019 (BC Conservation Officer Service, 2019).

Our major funders for this project and its final report include the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, the District of Invermere, the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Columbia Basin Trust’s Environment Large Grants program, LUSH Charity Foundation, and Royal Bank of Canada Foundation. Additional funding support for our 2019 programs came from the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Canada Summer Jobs, the Columbia Basin Watershed Network, and BC Community Gaming Grants.

Acknowledgements

The 2019 Lake Windermere community-based water quality-monitoring project was made possible thanks to generous funding support from:

  • Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund
  • District of Invermere
  • Regional District of East Kootenay
  • Columbia Basin Trust’s Environment Large Grants program
  • LUSH Charity Foundation
  • Royal Bank of Canada Foundation
  • Columbia Valley Community Foundation
  • Real Estate Foundation of BC
  • Canada Summer Jobs
  • Columbia Basin Watershed Network
  • BC Community Gaming Grants

In-kind support provided by the District of Invermere through use and delivery of the tin boat and fuel. Additional in-kind support provided by community volunteers Gavin Jacobs, Lorin Inglis, and Ken Hoover through use of their personal boats, and by the Interior Health Authority for swim beach samples.

Big thanks goes out to all of our citizen scientists! This year’s community volunteers included:

  • Katie Watt
  • Sierra King
  • Ken Hoover
  • Albertas Zalais
  • Tara Booty
  • Nathan Li
  • Clark Carpio
  • Shelly Hopkins
  • Lorin Inglis
  • Terri Eacrett
  • Tina Friedenberg
  • Gavin Jacobs
  • Bob and Jean Hage
  • Erika S
  • Stacey and Dyaln McIntosh
  • Paola and Emma Albano
  • Kris Nickerson
  • Baiba and Pat Morrow
  • Shawna McKay
  • Meaghan Lochland

A final thank you goes out to the following people for providing assistance with our community-based water quality-monitoring program for 2019:

  • Keri Malanchuk, Water Stewardship Assistant
  • Rachel Darvill, Goldeneye Ecological Services
  • Danny Smart, East Kootenay Invasive Species Council
  • Carol Luttmer, Living Lakes Canada
  • Ashley Dubois, Living Lakes Canada
  • Raegan Mallison, Living Lakes Canada
  • Kat Hartwig, Living Lakes Canada
  • Norm Zirnhelt, BC Lakes Stewardship Society
  • Rick Nordin, BC Lakes Stewardship Society
  • Bill Thompson, Columbia Lake Stewardship Society
  • Tom Dance, Columbia Lake Stewardship Society