Lakes are an important part of South Dakota's culture and economy, and it is important to ensure that our state's lakes are protected for future generations. DENR monitors lakes throughout the state as part of the Statewide Lake Assessment Program. The goals of the Statewide Lake Assessment are:
To learn how, when, where, and why we collect data for the Statewide Lake Assessment program, scroll through the storymap below or view it in fullscreen here.
Every year, a portion of the lakes in South Dakota are selected for monitoring based on a series of priorities, which are listed below.
Priorities are not ranked in order of importance to allow flexibility on an annual basis to meet the needs of each specific priority and to integrate with other projects that engage in lake monitoring to prevent duplication of efforts. If the lakes monitored for the Integrated Report Assessment and TMDL Development priorities are in Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the Publicly Important priority, it will have little impact on the frequency that each lake is sampled over the course of a 10 year period. However, if Tier 3 lakes are sampled for the Integrated Report Assessment and TMDL Development priorities, some Tier 1 and Tier 2 lakes may be sampled less frequently.