Learn About Lake Champlain in 10 Short Informative Videos

By Shari Halik, Communications

July 26, 2022


Did you know the Lake Champlain drainage basin is 8,234 square miles and includes Lake George, Lake Placid, and major rivers like the Winooski, Saranac, and Lamoille? About 56% of the basin is in Vermont, 37% in New York, and 7% in Quebec.

Did you also know that Lake Champlain is considered to have world class bass fishing but is now also home to 51 aquatic invasive species such the zebra mussel, sea lamprey, and, most recently, the fishhook water flea? And did you know that by raising your lawn mower blade to three inches, you can grow a healthier lawn and protect the lake from harmful runoff and pollutants? Lake Champlain is a stunning natural resource, but human activity is negatively affecting the lake and its watershed.

In a series of 10 short videos that feature the work and expertise of Lake Champlain Sea Grant education and extension staff, learn about Lake Champlain, water quality, and ways we can work together to keep the lake and basin healthy!


Watch the Videos

  • Natural History of Lake Champlain: The lake has a rich natural history and has served as a hub to support life for millennia, from Abenaki, Mohawk, and other First Nations to European settlers and others from around the globe. The geologic history of the lake, through upheaval and glaciation, combined with the lake’s 120-mile length and huge watershed, make Lake Champlain a natural wonder.


  • World-Class Lake Champlain Bass Fishery: Lake Champlain is considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States, and bass-fishing tournaments attract anglers and revenue to the region. Biologist Mark Malchoff tells us about the Lake’s bass fishery and research on impacts to fish populations.


  • Aquatic Invasive Species: Invasive species are plants and animals, often from distant lands, that are carried by humans to new environments where they thrive and change the ecosystem. Learn about aquatic invasive species impacting Lake Champlain, new ones on the prowl, and tips on what you can do to keep the Lake safe from these invaders.


  • Cyanobacteria: Cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are found in all types of water but under certain conditions can “bloom,” causing public health problems for people and pets. Learn how cyanobacteria blooms happen, what to look for, and how to be safe.


  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure - Mimicking Nature's Way: Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) are human-constructed areas that mimic nature to clean stormwater runoff on-site and reduce its flow. Instead of conventional gutters and pipes, GSI let rain soak into soil for use by plants rather than polluting streams and lakes. See how our built environment can be dramatically enhanced by mimicking nature to handle rain and snow.


  • The Tale of Two Rain Gutters: What happens to rain falling on a roof that flows into a roof gutter? As the water exits the downspout, it might flow over grass. Or it may flow over an asphalt driveway. Follow the Tale of Two Gutters as the roof water makes its path to a stream and then the Lake. Learn how natural environments help keep our waters clean.


  • Raise the Blade - Lawn Care Tips to Protect the Lake: How does the way we mow our lawns protect Lake Champlain? Learn how mowing at a 3” height can help keep the lake healthy. Pick up simple steps we can use at our homes and businesses to help protect streams and rivers from pollution.


  • Road Salt and Lake Water Quality: Winters in the Lake Champlain basin can feel very long, especially if you have to keep sidewalks and driveways free from ice and snow. Worse yet, salt can harm the environment, wildlife, pets, and property. Learn steps we can take to keep safe while reducing the “salt intake” of the lake and environment around us.


  • What is Thermal Stratification and Why Is It Important in the Lake: Under the surface, lakes are dynamic systems and, just like the atmosphere above, experience “seasons.” These seasons are important in moving nutrients and oxygen across layers of water in a lake and help to ensure healthy lake ecosystems. Learn how lakes are like “temperature layer cakes” and what happens as layers get colder or warmer with the seasons.


  • Sampling Swim Water for E. coli: Public beaches are routinely sampled to check bacteria levels to make sure the water is safe for swimming. Learn the steps officials use to collect water samples for E. coli testing and why sometimes your favorite beach is closed to swimming.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant is a partnership between University of Vermont Extension, the State University of New York Plattsburgh, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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