MONITORING MOUNTAIN LAKES AT MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK AND THE NORTH COAST AND CASCADES NETWORK
Mountain lakes are both essential park ecosystems and integration sites for the effects of anthropogenic and nonanthropogenic influences. Factors influencing mountain lakes include atmospheric pollutants, visitor impacts, the introduction of nonnative fish species, climate change, fire, glacial activities, and wind. Highly beloved by visitors, these lakes nevertheless face stressors due to climate change and contamination from industrialized areas. Through continuous temperature monitoring and annual field sampling of water chemistry, lake level, zooplankton, amphibians, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, NCCN's Mountain Lakes Monitoring Program provides baseline characterization of a core of mountain lakes in Mount Rainier and other NCCN parks and will assist with the detection and quantification of substantive trends in lake chemistry and ecology. Contunuous weather and air quality monitoring at stations throughout the NCCN supplements data collected from lake sites.