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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Volunteer Protocols 

Benthic Monitoring Program

caddisflyOntario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN)

Benthic monitoring involves the study of the presence and abundance of bugs that live on the bottom of waterbodies. Benthos (water bugs) serve as an excellent early warning of threats to water quality, as they are greatly impacted by relatively small changes within their environment.


Terrestrial Monitoring Program

Monitoring terrestrial ecosystems is beneficial for long-term trend identification and overall ecosystem health assessments.

  • Tree Health
  • Annual Decay Rates
  • Regeneration and Sapling Survey
  • Plethodontid Salamanders


NatureWatch Volunteer Programs

naturewatch logo

NatureWatch programs monitor local change in natural systems in order to understand broader climatic and ecosystem changes.

plantwatch logo   frogwatch logo   icewatch logo   wormwatch logo


Bacteria Monitoring Protocol

Muskoka Watershed Council 

The Muskoka Watershed Council has worked with local lake associations and scientists to prepare a bacteria monitoring protocol for use by lake associations. When a lake does not want to use an accredited lab to analyze water for E. coli and total coliform, a home test kit called a 'coliplate' can be used. This method will give a reliable estimate of any bacteria contamination.


Invading Species Watch

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH)

Invading Species Hotline: 1-800-563-7711

stop-signInvading species are one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of Ontario's waters, wetlands and woodlands. Originating from other regions of the world, and in the absence of their natural predators or controls, invading species can have devastating effects on native species, habitats and ecosystems.

Invading Species Watch is a free volunteer-based lake monitoring program for aquatic invading species. It is an initiative of the Invading Species Awareness Program, which is a partnership between the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.


bsc-logoBird Studies Canada


Bird Studies Canada has a variety of volunteer based programs that provide information on the changing environment


Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo supports two monitoring programs that study ponds and wetlands.


Ontario Lake Partner Program


The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), through the Lake Partner Program, supports lake associations in their lake monitoring programs by sponsoring a clarity (Secchi disk) and phosphorus testing program.