Independence Monitoring

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is enrolled in the MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program which is directed by a partnership between the MDEQ and the Michigan Lake and Stream Association. The ML&SA administers the program under the Michigan Clean Water Corps. The program goal is to provide baseline water quality data for lakes throughout the state and to educate residents about water conditions while building support in a cost-effective way. It aims to provide an assessment of lake eutrophication at the end of each season. Lake eutrophication, is a natural aging process which occurs though the gradual accumulation of nutrients, increasing productivity, and a slow filling in of the lake basin with accumulated sediments, silt and muck. Although the process is naturally occurring, humans can speed it up.

Lake Independence has been enrolled in the CLMP since 2009, and in 2012 the monitoring constituents included: total phosphorus, chlorophyll, clarity, dissolved oxygen and temperature. These constituents, when measured consistently over time, can be summed up with a Trophic State Index, which is a precise method of describing the productivity of a lake with a numerical index calculated directly from water quality data. The TSI expresses lake productivity on a continuous scale from 0 to 100, with increasing numbers indicating more eutrophic conditions. In other words the continuum progresses from very good to very poor. The leading cause of human-influenced eutrophication, or cultural eutrophication, is contamination by excessive inputs of nutrient, usually nitrogen or phosphorus. Some of the sources of excess nutrients include: runoff from lawns, farm fields and pastures, discharges from septic tanks, and emissions from combustion.

Interested in volunteering to help YDWP with this effort? We would love to have you help. Please contact Mindy Otto by calling 906-345-9223 or

Learn More About MiCorps CLMP Here

Results and Analysis




Map of Lake Independence, Big Bay, Michigan