“Good water quality is vital for the health and well-being of all who share Mirror Lake”

Water Quality Monitoring

The purpose of water quality monitoring is to learn how to better manage Mirror Lake. MLPA developed a Watershed Management Plan in 2010 to guide Mirror Lake’s management. Typically, a ten-to-fifteen-year plan MLPA is in the process of adding an addendum to the original plan as all but one of the goals has been accomplished. All goals are focused on the ultimate challenge of clean lake water.

The volunteers who collect water samples are providing an excellent service to the lake community and their efforts are applauded!  Their collection and analysis of water samples help quantify the lake chemistry trends and determine whether or not our management goals are being achieved. MLPA participates in the two key water monitoring programs available in New Hampshire administered by: 1) the University of New Hampshire Extension Program; and 2) the NH Department of Environmental Services. The UNH program is administered jointly through the UNH Cooperative Extension Natural Resources Program Team and the Center for Freshwater Biology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and is called  the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program (LLMP) . This volunteer-based, citizen science program provides valuable data on the lakes of New Hampshire. More than 1100 volunteers across the state have participated in this program since the beginning of the monitoring efforts in 1979. The program has spread to 24 states and 11 countries! MLPA has collected regular water samples for the data annually and continues to do so. To view the reports for Mirror Lake and waterbodies around the state, use the LLMP Mapper (use the lake listings on the left of the LLMP site to access Mirror Lake.)

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has a Watershed Management branch as well as a Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Bloom Program. Established in 1985, the NHDES water monitoring program involves over 800 NH lakes. The sheer volume of work means volunteers are needed to collect water samples via the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP.) Volunteer citizens are trained and NHDES biologists are available to assist with VLAP samples. Additionally, two masters level scientists have published theses on the quality of water in Mirror Lake. MLPA developed an early understanding of the threats of invasive species and cyanobacteria and has responded accordingly.  Lake reports are published by NHDES annually.

In addition to analyzing Mirror Lake water samples NHDES also tracks cyanobacteria blooms on NH lakes. Mirror Lake had cyanobacteria advisories in 2008; 2014; 2019; 2021 https://www4.des.state.nh.us/onestoppub/TrophicSurveys/Mirror.Tuftonboro.Cyano.html

MLPA water quality is monitored by taking samples from the tributaries feeding Mirror Lake, samples from the Deep Spot, and samples from seven shallow spots.

Cyanobacteria Blooms: What’s that green stuff?

Not everything green, brown or unusual in the lake is a cyanobacteria bloom. If you’d like to know for
sure what you are seeing please follow the NHDES protocol.

PPT of the Water Quality Trends data

Download the PPT slides by clicking the button below or navigate through the image slides to the left.

Clicking button will initiate a download of the Water Quality Trends PPT

You Can Help Protect Mirror Lake

Protect the lake you love! MLPA is not a homeowners’ association. All are welcome.

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