Vermont has over 800 lakes, with 220 of them larger than 20 acres in size. The Score Card currently includes information for 511
Vermont lakes, including all those over 20 acres in size.
How to Access the Vermont Lake Score Card
Google Earth must be installed on your computer. (If you need to install the
program, use the following link http://www.google.com/earth/index.html).
Click the title above, or use this link to open the Lake Score Card:
Once the image appears, click on a lake to view the lake’s score or select a
layer from the list on the left bar. You can also view layers of specific data
using the folder on the left side bar.
– Link to actions to maintain or improve lake scores.
What’s the Status of Vermont Lakes?
The Vermont Watershed Management Division’s Lakes and Ponds Section
developed the Lake Score Card to provide a method for conveying the
large amount of data gathered through our monitoring efforts. The Score
Card answers the commonly asked question “how is my lake doing?”
Monitoring data is analyzed and reported out in a simple, visual
interactive format. The Score Card rates Vermont lakes in terms of:
- Water Quality
- Aquatic Invasive Species
- Atmospheric Pollution
- Shoreland and Lake Habitat
What Do the Scores Mean?
The Lake Score Card uses three simple colors to convey the meaning of
complex data sets and the status of Vermont lakes for each category.
Water Quality - this score is derived from a statistical trend analysis of phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and Secchi depth data over
time. Stable or improving trends are scored with a blue or good rating, declining trends are scored with a yellow or fair rating, and
highly significantly declining trends receive a red or reduced score. Phosphorus is a key plant nutrient and increased phosphorus concentrations typically result in increased algae growth (measured by chlorophyll-a) and decreased water clarity (measured by
Shoreland and Lake Habitat – this score reflects the conditions of a lake’s shoreland and shallow water habitat. The more lawn
and development near the water’s edge, the lower the shoreland condition. Blue scores represent lakes with >75% vegetated
shores; yellow shows lakes with 50-75% vegetated shores; and red shows lakes with less than 50% lakeshore vegetation. Loss of
shoreland habitat is now considered by the US Environmental Protection Agency to be the primary threat to lake biota.
Aquatic Invasive Species - this score measures the presence or absence of invasive species (blue no known invasive; red confirmed invasive). It does not reflect the abundance or degree of nuisance posed by the species present. Left unchecked,
invasive species can cause significant harm to a lake’s recreational experience and its ecosystem. The score card also tells which, if
any, invasive is in a lake.
Atmospheric Pollution – there are two main airborne pollution types reflected in this score. Mercury contamination has resulted
in fish consumption advisories in nearly every lake in Vermont (and those of nearby states as well – so all Vermont lakes, but two,
get a yellow score). Acid precipitation has resulted in the acidification of some of the high elevation lakes, but this trend is
improving for acid-sensitive lakes.
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources – VTDEC- Lakes and Ponds Section – Tel. 802-828-1535