Winter LakeKeepers

What is Winter LakeKeepers?

Winter LakeKeepers allows volunteers to independently monitor lakes or reservoirs for parameters important for understanding lake ecology and health in the winter. The program is well suited to volunteers who ice fish on their favorite lake, but anyone can participate.

Training manuals and monitoring equipment are sent to Winter LakeKeepers volunteers to collect data from lakes or reservoirs. Two different protocols can be followed: a base-level protocol is designed to allow for more time to deliver samples back to ALMS, and an enhanced protocol is designed to collect additional samples that require delivery back to ALMS more quickly.

Depending on which protocol is being followed, equipment provided includes:

  • A YSI ProODO dissolved oxygen and temperature probe (20m or 30m long)
  • Nutrient sample bottles
  • Phytoplankton (algae) sample bottle
  • Isotopes sample bottle
  • Routine chemistry sample bottle
  • Chlorophyll-a sample bottle
  • Chlorophyll-a filtering kit
  • Field sheets
  • Instruction guide
  • Sampling gloves
  • Sample preservatives
  • Tape and Weight

Samples are delivered back to the Alberta Lake Management Society office in Edmonton for analysis and reporting. Samples may be shipped to the office, or hand delivered. Once the samples are analyzed, all of the data and field sheet information is uploaded to the Gordon Foundation’s DataStream water quality data portal, and then compiled into a report for each season. Links to the current reports are below:

If you would like to volunteer with Winter LakeKeepers, contact ALMS at or 780-702-2567. Check out our latest program webinar below!

Winter LakeKeepers is supported with funding from:

Materials for Volunteers:

INSTRUCTION GUIDE: Before getting involved with LakeKeepers, new volunteers should review the LakeKeepers instruction guide to understand sampling protocol.
FIELD SHEETS: Volunteers can print additional field sheets if needed, but they will also be provided in the sampling kits.
INFORMED CONSENT: New volunteers must read ALMS ice safety guide. After reading this guide, complete the ice safety quiz and informed consent form here.
WHAT TO DO WITH SAMPLES: Please refer to page 8 and 9 of the sampling instructions to help you manage your sampling kit and samples after sample collection.
PRESERVATIVE MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS (MSDS): This file contains the MSDS information for the preservatives used for the G2-preserved bottle (sulfuric acid), and the phytoplankton bottle (Lugol’s Solution: 5% iodine solution and acetic acid).

Interested in viewing the past 2022 Information Session? The session introduces participants to the Winter LakeKeepers program, describes results from previous seasons, and prepares participants to participate in the 2022-2023 winter monitoring season.You can view it here.

More information about the YSI ProODO can be found here.

Need help finding your GPS coordinates? Follow these directions:

      • Go to
      • Search your lake’s name, or drag the map to find your lake.
      • Using your mouse, right click on the location of the lake where you collected your sample.
      • Choose “What’s Here?”
      • The GPS coordinates will appear at the bottom of your screen in the format of 55.217876, -113.252806.
      • You can record these coordinates on your field sheet.

If you still need assistance – please phone ALMS for help at 780-702-2567.