Secchi Disk Program

On Canandaigua Lake, Dr. Bruce Gilman, Dept. of Environmental Conservation and Horticulture at FLCC, has been measuring secchi disk water clarity since the 1980’s at two mid-lake stations. For the last several years, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association volunteers have also collected weekly secchi disk data at over 16 locations around the lake. This cooperative monitoring helps us learn about the factors that affect water clarity and overall lake health.

2017 Data for Water Clarity Monitoring

The below chart illustrates current data collected from the 2017 CLWA secchi disk volunteers. Data is updated weekly. Thanks go out to our long standing Volunteers: Dee Crofton, Gary Helming, Kevin Hefner, Scott Hill, Bruce Kennedy, Marty Lasher, Wade Sarkis, Lynn Thurston, Vickie Tucker, Bill Yust, and Steve Zumbo. We also welcome our NEW volunteers for 2017: Kathy Bromley & Greg Talomie, Amy Bowen, Rob Gray, Nadia Harvieux, Bill Mehls, and Brian & Dolores Perkins!


For web


A nearly 2 meter increase in secchi disk depths indicate clearer lake conditions this week.

A few of our “Dippers” have been reporting an increase in algal activity in the southern basin of the watershed, specifically in the Vine Valley area. Site visits have revealed some filamentous algae. This is normal, non harmful activity, but can look similar to an algal bloom.  As we progress through the summer, we will be on high alert for anything that looks like blue green algae (check out the Harful Algae Bloom Brochure for Canandaigua Lake  for more info).

If you come across anything that looks “suspicious”, we ask that you take a photo and send it to us so that we can determine if further investigation is needed. Photos can be sent to CLWA at and the following addresses:

Kevin Olvany, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council Program Manager

Kim McGarry, Watershed Technician

Click here for more information on filamentous algae.

Concerned about water clarity? 

See our quick blue green algae guide or visit the NYS DEC website and NYS DOH website fomore information on blue green algae.  If you have any questions or see a suspicious bloom, please email or

Interested in Volunteering? 


Secchi Disk volunteers use their own boats to go out on the lake and take weekly recordings. Findings are reported electronically, which makes real-time response to a possible critical condition possible. The additional data gathered by volunteers helps us supply more detail to the ongoing “picture” developing of Canandaigua Lake.

For more information, contact the CLWA office at (585) 394-5030 or email us.