The Dorset Environmental Science Centre generates a diverse array of environmental data designed to characterize the state of Ontario's aquatic ecosystems and investigate the effects that multiple stressors have in affecting their health. We have monitored lakes and streams, many for more than 30 years, across 6 major initiatives:

  1. An intensively-sampled group of nine watersheds with over 30 years of data on chemistry, physics and biology in both the lake and their catchment streams (Dorset A-lakes).
  2. An integrated set of sampling sites monitoring fluxes of water and solutes from 20 upland catchments and 6 lakes small enough to study inputs, outputs, and apply mass-balance and modeling approaches (Dorset Streams).
  3. A regularly sampled (spring/summer/fall) group of lakes that increases the spatial extent of our physical, chemical and biological, monitoring program for over 20 years (Dorset B-lakes).
  4. Benthic macroinvertebrates and associated environmental variables are collected on ~20 lakes and ~15 streams in the Dorset area once per year (stream benthos=spring / lake crayfish=summer / lake benthos=fall).
  5. Spatial surveys (typically once per several years) that contribute to larger regional datasets on lake and stream ecosystems, including fish community data from the A-lakes.
  6. Most recently, we have also been collecting real-time high resolution temperature, oxygen and meteorology data from a remotely-sensed raft (THELMA) on Harp Lake.

Real-time DataReal-time Data

Real-time data typically are recorded at 10 minute intervals and transmitted hourly back to DESC for storage. They represent a mixture of hydrometric, climate and lake based observing systems. Please check back often as new stations and supporting documnetation will be made available over the coming months. 

Data RequestData Request

We are very interested in collaborating on projects and sharing the data we have on aquatic ecosystems. If you are interested in using any of these datasets, please contact one of the scientists below and fill out our data access request form.

Dataset Component  Scientist to Contact
1. A-lakes Lake Physics/Chemistry Andrew Paterson
  Lake Phytoplankton/Chlorophyll Andrew Paterson
  Lake Zooplankton Jim Rusak
  Atmospheric Chemistry/Physics Huaxia Yao
  Catchment Hydrology/Chemistry/Lake Hydrodynamics Huaxia Yao
2. Streams Stream Chemistry and Hydrology Huaxia Yao
3. B-lakes Lake Chemistry/Physics/Biology Andrew Paterson
4. Benthos Lake and Stream Chemistry/Physics/Biology Jim Rusak
5. Survey Various Lake and Stream Data Keith Somers
6. THELMA High-resolution limnology/meteorology Jim Rusak
7. OBBN Province-wide benthic invertebrate biomonitoring data  Chris Jones
8. LPP Province-wide volunteer total phosphorus and Secchi data Anna DeSellas

Two other large initiatives housed at DESC are the Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network and the Lake Partner Program. OBBN is a province-wide biomonitoring collaboration that uses aquatic invertebrates  to monitor the ecological condition of lakes, streams, and wetlands. Most data are available online, but to access associated data or data in a different format, please contact Chris Jones. The Lake Partner Program is a volunteer-based initiative that monitors total phosphorus and water clarity in over 600 inland lakes.  Most of these data are also available online, but contact Anna DeSellas if you require data that is unaggregated or in a different format.