Inland Lakes Program

After a hiatus, Ohio EPA re-started monitoring Ohio’s inland lakes in 2008.  The objectives for monitoring inland lakes are to:

  • Track status and trends of lake quality
  • Determine attainment status of beneficial uses
  • Identify causes and sources of impaired uses
  • Recommend actions for improving water quality in impaired lakes

Ohio EPA currently monitors up to 16 lakes per year.  Priority is placed on lakes used for public drinking water or used heavily for recreation and suspected of being impaired for either of those uses.  Secondary priorities (not currently being addressed because of limited resources) include developing a more robust sampling program, expanding to a wider variety of lakes, exploring the use of remote sensing in the screening of water quality in lakes and attempting to track water quality changes in lakes that might be attributed to Section 319 funding and other watershed water quality improvement efforts.

Ohio EPA participated in U.S. EPA’s National Lake Surveys in 2007 and 2012.

Information on lakes as an emerging program is reported in the Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Reports.

Ohio EPA looks for opportunities to partner with the Surface Water Credible Data (Volunteer Monitoring) Program on lake data collection.

Additional Information

    Ohio EPA Inland Lakes Sampling

    The following criteria are considered for selecting lakes to sample:

    1. Identify lakes within the watersheds where TMDL field sampling is occurring
    2. Identify public drinking water lakes or lakes with heavy recreation
    3. Identify possible impaired lakes
    4. Identify lakes that need to be assessed for other programmatic needs


    Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water will sample 13 inland lakes as part of our Inland Lakes Monitoring Program.  They are as follows:

    Central District Office (Alum Creek Study Basin)

    • Alum Creek (Year 1) Delaware County
    • Hoover Reservoir (Year 1) Franklin/Delaware Counties

    Southwest District Office (East Fork Little Miami River and Mill Creek Study Basins)

    • Winton Woods (Year 1) Hamilton County
    • Stonelick Lake (Year 2) Clermont County

    Southeast District Office (Stillwater Creek Study Basin)

    • Piedmont Reservoir (Year 2) Belmont/Harrison Counties
    • Tappan Lake (Year 2) (Cadiz PWS) Harrison County
    • Clendening Reservoir (Year 2) Harrison County

    Northwest District Office (St. Joseph River and Tiffin River Study Basins)

    • Archbold Reservoir #2 (Year 2) Fulton County
    • Nettle Lake (Year 2) Williams County

    Northeast District Office (Black River Study Basin)

    • Mosquito Creek Reservoir (Year 1) Trumbull County
    • Wellington Upground Reservoir (Year 1) Lorain County
    • Findlay Lake (Year 2) Lorain County
    • Summit Lake (Year 2) Summit County

    Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water will sample 20 inland lakes as part of our Inland Lakes Monitoring Program.  They are as follows:

    Central District Office (Mill Creek Study Basin)

    • Madison Lake(Year 2) Madison County
    • Hargus Lake (Year 2) Pickaway County
    • Deer Creek Lake (Year 2) Pickaway/Fayette Counties
    • Buckeye Lake - Nutrient Reduction Strategy Study. Fairfield/Licking/Perry Counties

    Southwest District Office (East Fork Little Miami River Study Basin)

    • Caesar's Creek Lake (Year 2) (Wilmington PWS) Warren/Clinton/Greene Counties
    • Stonelick Lake (Year 1) Clermont County

    Southeast District Office (Stillwater Creek Study Basin)

    • Pike Lake (Year 2) Pike County
    • Ross Lake (Year 2) Ross County
    • Caldwell Lake (Year 2) Ross County
    • Stewart Lake (Year 2) Ross County
    • Lake White (Year 2) Pike County
    • Piedmont Reservoir (Year 1) Belmont/Harrison Counties
    • Tappan Lake (Year 1) (Cadiz PWS) Harrison County
    • Clendening Reservoir (Year 1) Harrison County

    Northwest District Office (Ten Mile Creek and Maumee Mainstem Study Basin)

    • Lake Olander (Year 2) Lucas County
    • Auglaize Power Reservoir (Year 1) Defiance County
    • Grand Lake St. Marys (Celina PWS) (monitoring in support of alum treatment) Mercer/Auglaize Counties

    Northeast District Office (Black River Study Basin)

    • Meander Reservoir (Year 2) (Youngstown PWS) Mahoning/Trumbull Counties
    • Findlay Lake (Year 1) Lorain County

    The seventeen lakes that were sampled in 2011 are:

    Southwest District Office

    • Caesar's Creek Lake (Year 1) (Wilmington PWS) Warren/Clinton/Greene Counties

    Southeast District Office

    • Vesuvius (Year 2) Lawrence County
    • Timber Ridge (Year 2) Gallia County
    • Pike (Year 1) Pike County
    • Lake White (Year 1) Pike County
    • Ross Lake ( Year 1) Ross County
    • Caldwell Lake (Year 1) Ross County
    • Stewart Lake (Scioto Trails S.P.) (Year 1) Ross County

    Central District Office

    • Madison Lake (Year 1) Madison County
    • Deer Creek Reservoir (Year 1) Pickaway/Fayette Counties
    • Hargus Lake (Year 1) Pickaway County

    Northwest District Office

    • Metzger Reservoir (Lima PWS) ( Year 2) Allen County
    • Grand Lake (Celina PWS) (Year 2)  Mercer/Auglaize Counties
    • Lake Olander (Year 1) Lucas County

    Northeast District Office

    • Meander Reservoir (Youngstown PWS) (Year 1) Mahoning/Trumbull Counties

    The sixteen lakes that were sampled in 2010 are:

    • Lake Vesuvius – Lawrence County
    • Metzger Reservoir – Allen County
    • Beaver Creek Reservoir – Seneca County (finish up 5 samples)
    • Akron water supply reservoirs (East Branch Reservoir, LaDue Reservoir and Lake Rockwell) (finish up 5 samples)
    • Barnesville – Belmont County (3 reservoirs)  (finish up 5 samples)
    • Woodsfield – Monroe County  (finish up 5 samples)
    • Timber Ridge -Gallia County
    • Griggs Reservoir – Franklin County  (finish up five samples)
    • O'Shaugnessey Reservoir – Delaware County  (finish up 5 samples)
    • Kiser Lake – Champaign County (finish up 5 samples)
    • Lake Loramie – Shelby County (finish up 5 samples)

    Also, Grand Lake St. Marys in Mercer/Auglaize counties was sampled 5 times in 2010 to collect baseline water quality data in conjunction with the multi-agency water quality improvement initiatives.

    Buckeye Lake was sampled 5 times again in 2010 in conjunction with microcystin sampling Ohio DNR conducted.

    Note: The first two lakes listed for sampling in 2010 were sampled 5 times this year and 5 times in 2011.  All the other lakes listed (except Grand Lake St. Marys and Buckeye Lake) for 2010 were sampled the second, and last, time in 2010.

    The fifteen lakes that were sampled in 2009 are:

    • Vets Memorial Reservoir (Fostoria Reservoir #6) – Hancock County (finish up five samples)
    • Beaver Creek Reservoir – Seneca County
    • Akron water supply reservoirs (East Branch Reservoir, LaDue Reservoir and Lake Rockwell)
    • Frazier Quarry (Maysville Regional Water District Reservoir) – Muskingum County (finish up five samples)
    • Cutler Lake (Blue Rock Lake) – Muskingum County (finish up 5 samples)
    • Barnesville – Belmont County (3 reservoirs)
    • Woodsfield – Monroe County
    • Griggs Reservoir  – Franklin County
    • O'Shaugnessey Reservoir – Delaware County
    • Kiser Lake – Champaign County
    • Lake Loramie – Shelby County

    Note: Lakes sampled in 2009 were sampled 5 times in 2009 and 5 times in 2010 unless otherwise noted.

    Ohio EPA Division of Surface Water completed its first year of lake sampling in 2008.  The eight lakes that were sampled in 2008 are:

    • Buckeye Lake – Fairfield, Licking, Perry Counties
    • Clear Fork Reservoir – Richland, Morrow Counties
    • Swift Run Lake – Miami County
    • Vets Memorial Reservoir (Fostoria Reservoir #6) – Hancock County
    • Frazier Quarry (Maysville Regional Water District Reservoir) – Muskingum County
    • Dillon Lake – Muskingum County
    • Cutler Lake (Blue Rock Lake) – Muskingum County
    • Deer Creek Lake – Stark County

    Ohio EPA’s work to assess lakes began in 1989 with a Clean Water Act Section 314 Lake Water Quality Assessment grant that supported the evaluation of 52 lakes.  Various additional grants enabled the evaluation of 89 more lakes through 1995.  An analysis and determination of beneficial use status for 447 public lakes (greater than 5 acres in surface area) was presented in Volume 3 of the 1996 Ohio Water Resource Inventory (305(b) report).  As part of that report, Ohio EPA developed and applied the Lake Condition Index (LCI) to characterize overall lake health and to assess beneficial use status.

    After dedicated U.S. EPA funding for lakes monitoring ended, Ohio EPA monitored only 53 lakes over the next 10 years.  The Ohio LCI became obsolete with the passage of Ohio’s Credible Data Law (House Bill 43 (amended), effective 10/21/2003).  This law requires that all decisions on impairment for surface waters (streams, lakes, wetlands) use only level 3 credible data.  Ohio’s LCI assessment process included a combination of level 2 and level 3 credible data to make impairment decisions.

    Ohio EPA began researching ways to re-establish a lakes monitoring program in 2005.  During the 2007 field season, Ohio EPA participated in the U.S. EPA-sponsored National Lakes Survey; 19 Ohio lakes were selected through a probability-based random selection process.  The effort served as a precursor for renewed lake sampling program in Ohio.

    National Lake Survey

    Ohio EPA completed our participation in the U.S. EPA sponsored National Lake Survey during the 2007 field season. For more information, see the following links:


    In 2012, Ohio EPA is partricipating in the National Lake Survey as we did in 2007.  Every five years we participate in this national study to detemine the status of Ohio's inland lakes when compared with other lakes across the country.  The purpose is to obtain a snapshot of lake conditions during one sampling event at each lake, and not to determine the overall quality of the lake. The 16 lakes that were randomly selected for sampling in 2012 are:

    • Lake Loramie
    • Belmont Lake
    • Holiday Lake
    • Lucys Pond (Indian Lake)
    • Caldwell Lake
    • Mogadore Reservoir
    • Beaver Creek Upground Reservoir
    • Vandergrift Lake
    • Lake of Four Seasons
    • Killdeer Upground Reservoir
    • Mystic Lake
    • Hammertown Lake
    • Swift Run Lake
    • Spencer Lake
    • Summit Lake
    • Lake Aquilla