What we’re collecting and why
UCLN citizen scientists monitor for invasive mussels and plants using a plankton tow net and by visual inspection. Volunteers also collect basic water quality data to help resource managers and citizens to better understand Montana’s lakes. Establishing baseline water quality data for lakes is vital for understanding the spread and future threats of AIS. Certain AIS thrive in particular environments, and understanding the water quality of these environments will help managers and stakeholders be better educated in their efforts to fight the spread of AIS.
The two key measurements are temperature using a thermometer designed for water environments and water clarity—measured with a Secchi disk. The results of these monitoring efforts provide vital information that would otherwise be unavailable.