Resources for volunteers

Woman with white hair wearing orange life jacket standing by lake holding white secchi disk by the stringThe Citizen Lake and Stream Monitoring Programs are proud to support some of the most dedicated water monitors in the country. The high quality data you collect has helped Minnesota better understand and protect our treasured waterways.

We hope to make your monitoring experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you have any questions, or don’t find the resources you need to monitor your site, please contact us.


Citizen Stream Monitoring Program

Citizen Lake Monitoring Program

The electronic datasheets are Microsoft Excel documents, and include completion and submittal instructions. If you use the electronic datasheet, you do not need to submit a paper datasheet. If you sample more than one site, fill out and submit one Excel document for each lake or stream site. If you have any questions about the electronic datasheets, please contact the Citizen Water Monitoring Program.

Note: See Tips for Mac Users at the bottom of this page.

Volunteer monitoring reports and data

Citizen Water Monitors collect valuable data used by agencies and organizations across the state to protect and manage Minnesota’s waters. Data collected by volunteers can be viewed in a variety of ways and at different scales.

  • Individual lakes and streams — Local site reports summarize data gathered at each citizen monitoring location, compare it to other waterbodies in the local watershed, and highlight changes in clarity over time.
  • Citizen Monitoring Program Annual Summary — The summary maps annual water clarity averages across Minnesota, and provides information on program participation rates.
  • Transparency trends — Results describe lakes and stream sites with increasing, decreasing, or unchanging water clarity across the state.
  • Surface Water Data Webpage — Search for more lake and stream data.

Yearbook of volunteers

PDF icon “Reflections” Volunteer Recognition Yearbook

“Reflections” Volunteer Recognition Slideshow

CMP Electronic Datasheet Tips for Mac Users

Since Microsoft Office on the Windows 7 Operating System are the current standard tools for CMP staff, we are unable to process your data in file formats other than Excel 97-2003 (.xls). While some Mac software supports saving in this format, we have heard that some do not. To avoid frustration, please check to see if you can open and save the file in Excel 97-2003 (.xls) format with whatever software program you happen to be using before entering your data into the file. If you cannot save the file to your computer in Excel 97-2003 (.xls) format, please mail your paper datasheet to us at:

Citizen Water Monitoring
MN Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Rd N
St. Paul, MN 55155

We apologize for any inconvenience this limitation causes for anyone who prefers to submit data electronically.