Water Quality Monitoring – Priest Lake

Selkirk Conservation Alliance has been monitoring water quality on Priest Lake since 2008. This program is conducted in conjunction with the State of Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality under the citizens volunteer monitoring program. The goal of the monitoring program is to accumulate baseline data that may lead to early detection to any detrimental impacts to water quality. As with any program, the early detection of any problems leads to a greater prospect of success of any necessary corrective actions.

Water quality is important aspect of almost all business, homeowners and visitors to the Priest Lake region. A 1996 Recreational User Survey that was conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands and the University of Idaho indicated that the number of recreation user days to the Priest Lake drainage nearly topped those of Glacier National Park in Montana. This study also found that 50 percent to those recreation user days were associated with water-based recreation such as, shoreline camping, boating, swimming and fishing. All of this above mentioned activities are closely, if not intimately connected with water quality.

Our Efforts

  • Participate in the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s Watershed Advisory Group (WAG) for the Priest Lake and Priest River area.
  • Conduct routine water quality monitoring on Priest Lake in conjunction with Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Water Samples are collected to submitted to laboratory for analysis Chlorophyll-a and Phosphorous. Measurements of water temp and dissolved oxygen are also conducted.