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  • 03 May 2024 4:11 PM | Maggie Sullivan (Administrator)

    Interested in the water quality of your lake but there is no data out there? Join the Indiana Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program! Volunteers like you donate about one hour of their time every two weeks to collect the necessary data. Your efforts provide a number of benefits:  

    • As a volunteer you will learn more about lake science (limnology)
    • You’ll be able to take Secchi disk transparency readings, qualitative water assessments, and possibly collect total nitrogen, total phosphorous, and chlorophyll-a samples.
    • By analyzing your samples and summarizing the information that you collect, we will be able to assess the changes in water quality at your lake.
    • You will be able to compare the water quality of your lake to lakes around the state.
    • After collecting several seasons’ worth of data for a particular lake, we can begin to assess the long-term trends in the lake and determine if the lake’s water quality is being degraded, is improving, or staying the same.
    • This assessment can identify which lakes should receive more intensive management and/or monitoring.

    For more information on the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program: Sign up for our May 29th webinar, visit the Indiana Clean Lakes Program website or email

  • 18 Apr 2024 4:01 PM | Maggie Sullivan (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone that attended the 35th Annual Indiana Lakes Management Conference on March 21st and 22nd at Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park in Angola, IN.  One of the highlights of the conference is handing out our annual awards.

    Congratulations to Volunteer of the Year Ronald Vaughn of the Pretty Lake Conservation Club in Lagrange County for his multi-year volunteer efforts to improve the water quality of Pretty Lake.

    The Outstanding Project Award was given to LaGrange County Strategic Water Quality Monitoring Program for their coordination with multiple lake associations, local government, and nonprofits to develop a county-wide strategic water quality monitoring program.

    And congratulations to Outstanding Lake Association Steuben County Lakes Council for their lake testing efforts as well as their multiple efforts and collaborations with the community at large including Trine University, the Steuben County Community Foundation, and the Angola library.

    Other conference highlights include plenary speakers Matt Meersman of St. Joesph River Basin Commission and Dr. Indra Frank of Hoosier Environmental Council.  We also had the opportunity to wish Indra a happy retirement.  She will be missed!

    It was great to see people mingle with the exhibitors and learn about topics such as mute swan management, various case studies around our great state, how water quality effects our herpetofauna, and many other great presentations surrounding our Indiana waters. On Friday, attendees partook in a Limnology 101 workshop with opportunities to learn more about aquatic plant ID, algal and macroinvertebrate ID, and how to use various forms of water sampling equipment.

    Thank you to everyone that participated in the conference and we are looking forward to seeing you next year in Indianapolis!

  • 19 Jan 2024 4:35 PM | Maggie Sullivan (Administrator)

    Help us celebrate 35 years of Indiana Lakes Management Society! The Indiana Lakes Management Society will be hosting the 35th Annual Indiana Lakes Management Conference March 21st and 22nd, 2024 at the Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park in Angola, IN.

    Find more information on our conference page.

    ILMS Lake Leaders Scholarships Now Available

    Indiana Lakes Management Society provides scholarships to assist in building the capacity of our state’s lake leaders to learn about protecting our valuable water resources. The Lake Leaders Scholarship is intended to reduce the cost of registration, meals and lodging for attendance at our annual conference.

    A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to staff, board members and active volunteers who hold a leadership role in lake organizations or watershed groups. Scholarships will be provided to cover a portion of the cost of attending the conference to those best-qualified applicants who are in need of assistance to enable their participation. Preference will be given to those individuals who have not attended an ILMS conference in the last 3 years.

    Those interested in receiving a scholarship must:

    • Be affiliated with a lake organization 
    • Commit to attend the entire conference
    • Express a financial need 
    • Pay for their own costs above and beyond what is reimbursed 
     Apply here:  Lake Leader Scholarship Form

  • 02 Oct 2023 9:45 AM | ILMS Administrator (Administrator)

    Bathymetry is the measurement of the depth of water in oceans, seas, lakes, or ponds. Bathymetric maps look a lot like topographic maps, which use lines to show the shape and elevation of land features. On topographic maps, the lines connect points of equal elevation. On bathymetric maps, they connect points of equal depth. 

    Bathymetry has been used in many forms for hundreds of years. In ancient times, scientists would conduct bathymetric measurements by throwing a heavy rope of the side of a ship and recording the length of rope it took to each the seafloor. These were highly inaccurate measurements and needed thousands of measurements to make a map. 

    Today, sonar or echo sounders are used to make bathymetric measurements. These devices sends out a sound pulse from a ship's hull, or bottom, to the bottom of the water body. The sound wave bounces back to the ship. The time it takes for the pulse to leave and return to the ship determines the topography of the seafloor. The longer it takes, the deeper the water. 

    Sonar based mapping technology is extremely useful for lake management.

    These management tactics are as follows:

    • Sonar-based mapping technology has the capability of developing aquatic vegetation maps of a lake or pond. These maps can be incredibly helpful in developing plans, budgeting, and permitting. 
    • Mapping can help identify opportunities to enhance your fishery. Assessing depth can help identify fish habitat needs within the water body. 
    • Lake mapping can be useful in identifying the water volume of a water body.  This knowledge can be used for historical data and also resource management for municipal water resources. 
    • Mapping of sediments on a water body can help identify effective strategies for dredging, sediment phosphorus management, or tracking sedimentation accumulation over time due to erosion. 

    While there are many ways to manage a waterbody, bathymetry can be a management tactic to add to our toolboxes for lake management. Having knowledge of what is going on both at the top and bottom of a water body can inform and improve overall management.

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