The Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ community-based water quality monitoring program started in 2011. 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). Following recommendations set out by the BC Ministry of Environment, the Ambassadors measure the following:

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


Swim Beach Water Quality


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!


Results Reports:

Document Title File Type Size Action
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

Executive Summary

2016 marked the eleventh year of lake monitoring since the Lake Windermere Project started data collection in 2006. The spring and summer of 2014-2016 brought mild climatic conditions without the major flooding events which characterized 2012-2013. Measured lake depths in 2016 were comparable to those in 2006-2008, and shallower than average levels in more recent years (2012, 2014). Lake Windermere met Objectives for temperature, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity throughout the summer. This means the water was clear, cool, and well oxygenated: all in line with historic levels. Beach monitoring results showed that shoreline bacteria levels did not exceed the recommended Guidelines for safe swimming on any of Lake Windermere’s public beaches over the summer.

Last year, our monitoring project detected high values for phosphorus at ice-off, exceeding Water Quality Objectives for the lake. In 2016, however, phosphorus values were below or at the Objective throughout the sampling season. It is not yet clear or conclusive whether there is an overall increasing trend in phosphorus levels and productivity in Lake Windermere. In order to recognize changes in phosphorus from year to year, the report recommends this parameter continue to be monitored closely in 2017.

The Ambassadors’ annual aquatic plant survey found no invasive species in Lake Windermere for the seventh year of sampling, and presence of the unknown algae found in 2015 could not be detected again this year. No invasive mussels were detected through veliger sampling in 2016.


The 2016 Lake Windermere community-based water quality monitoring project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, Regional District of East Kootenay and the District of Invermere. In-kind support was also provided by the District of Invermere through the donation of a boat and fuel.

This project would not have been a success without the dedication and support of community volunteers and partners. Acknowledgement is also due to Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ Watershed Stewardship Assistant, Katie Watt, who rose to the occasion to model stewardship and offer her unique talents to this project.

Thank you to the following for providing assistance, expertise and insights into this monitoring report: Rachel Darvill (Goldeneye Ecological Services), Pat Wray (East Kootenay Invasive Species Council), Suzanne Bayley (Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners), and Rick Nordin (BC Lakes Stewardship Society).