Researchers Take To Lake Winnipesaukee To Gauge Its Health

May 4, 2015

Lake Winnipesaukee.
Credit wenzday01 via Flickr/CC -

  Researchers and environmental groups are trying to collect water samples across New Hampshire’s largest lake in a single day.

Today’s sampling is aimed at assessing the amount of phosphorus in Lake Winnipesaukee. Increased phosphorus levels can lead to higher amounts of algae and lake vegetation, which can affect overall lake health.

"The sampling verifies models that are a key to the continued development and implementation of the Winnipesaukee Watershed Management Plan," according to Pat Tarpey, Executive Director of the Lake Winnipesaukee Association

Steve Landry of the Department of Environmental Services says the timing of the sampling, shortly after this year's ice out declaration, is important. During warmer months, the lake water separates into thermal layers and it’s harder to get a full picture of the nutrients.  

“We only see that once or twice a year," Landry says. "And usually the best time to do it is in the spring, right after all the spring runoff has occurred and the ice sheet has disappeared.”

This is the second large-scale comprehensive effort to sample Lake Winnipesaukee. The first took place in 2010.