Otter Tail COLA fulfilled its mission in 2018
The year 2018 was another successful year for the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA). This was especially true with water quality sampling and analysis. "Thanks to COLA members and dedicated volunteers who take the samples, t...
The year 2018 was another successful year for the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA).
This was especially true with water quality sampling and analysis. "Thanks to COLA members and dedicated volunteers who take the samples, the data from 2009 to 2018 has been compiled, analyzed and now has been integrated into a multi-year trend analysis report for each member lake," said COLA spokesman John Kruse to members of the County Board of Commissioners on Dec. 18.
"This information is valuable to lake property owners and is an important resource for state and county agencies for making beneficial decisions on lake management." The COLA water quality sampling and analysis program currently includes 56 lakes in Otter Tail County. The program, in coordination with RMB Labs of Detroit Lakes, has been in operation for more than 20 years.
COLA membership includes not only associations from many county lakes, but also Lake Improvement Districts in Otter Tail County and individual members. "COLA member lakes cover 70 percent of lake acreage in Otter Tail County," Kruse said. The program provides organization and education of volunteers and includes discounted rates for water sample analysis. Reports include phosphorus, chlorophyll and Secchi (water clarity) readings.
"Lake health evaluation tools include suggestions for improving lake health and a directory of organizations and agencies to contact for more information, education and even potential funding assistance," Kruse said. COLA has also compiled data and created water quality reports for 49 additional, appropriately-sized lakes in Otter Tail County.