Lake Look is a monthly essay produced by the Lake Champlain Committee. Essays cover the natural history of the lake and current issues about lake management. Lake Look is distributed to newspapers throughout the basin and is available to members by email. Click here to sign up online to receive them. Links below take you to some recent columns. Click on "Archives" to access columns from previous years.
Many of the Lake Look columns have been pulled together in LCC's award-winning book LAKE CHAMPLAIN: A NATURAL HISTORY. This book is filled with intriguing facts and personal insights on various natural phenomena connected to Lake Champlain. This is a must-read if you enjoy the Lake Look essays and want entertaining stories and comprehensive understanding of the local environment in the Champlain Basin.
Recent Lake Look Articles
- How Lake Trout Made Their Comeback in Lake Champlain
May 2023 - Annual stocking of lake trout in Lake Champlain has been halved for the 2023 season. It's a response to recent increases in wild recruitment, or survival past the first winter of life, of lake trout. While thousands of animal populations across taxa around the world plummet, the native lake trout here are making a comeback. Why?
- Go Home Foam
April 2023 - Bits of polystyrene foam are one of the most common pieces of inorganic debris collected in Lake Champlain beach sediment, and docks are a major source.
- The Faults in the Salt
March 2023 - When road salt dissolves, it needs to go somewhere—and in the Lake Champlain Basin, it winds up making our lake a bit saltier, which is bad news for freshwater life.
- Champlain Rain Disdain
February 2023 - Changes in precipitation patterns from climate change is fueling cyanobacteria blooms on multiple fronts. Learn about how soil management can help.
- All About Ice
January 2023 - Icy activities have been a part of life in the Lake Champlain basin for generations untold, but freezing frequency is expected to plummet due to climate change.
- Fish in Winter
December 2022 - Have you ever wondered what the fish of Lake Champlain are up to in the winter season?
- Imagine a Day without Water
November 2022 - The “Imagine a Day without Water” campaign is a useful tool for those fortunate enough to have easy access to fresh water. There are, however, areas even in the US, even in 2022, where this is not the case.
- Native Aquatic Plants
April 2021 - “Our underwater flora is often overlooked, but these plants are like trees in a forest: a vital part of the system, providing the stage on which life plays out below the surface of our lakes.”
November 2018 - “Evolutionarily speaking, longnose gar are considered living dinosaurs. Their long, needle-like snout is filled with rows of teeth, making them unmistakable from any other fish species.”
- A Long Winter’s Nap – How Turtles Weather Winter
January 2018 - Ah, to be a turtle… At first blush, they appear to have very comfortable lives. However, as idyllic and restful as a turtle’s winter might sound, hibernation is no easy task.
- Under Ice
November 2016 - Winter brings to Lake Champlain, and to the many smaller lakes and ponds around the Lake Champlain Basin, a window into a world where the normal rules of life are suspended. People who can't swim can walk on the water instead.
- The Limits of EPA's Pollution Plan for Lake Champlain
July 2016 - The long awaited revised TMDL for Lake Champlain has been released, but what will it actually achieve?
- Wipes Clog Pipes
June 2016 - Products mislabeled as "flushable" can cause serious sewer issues.
- Act Locally for Water Quality
May 2016 - Water quality protection starts in your own town.
- Reinvest in America
April 2016 - The failure to provide clean drinking water in Flint, MI is a reminder that maintaining infrastructure requires on-going investment.
- How Did We Get Here?
March 2016 - All lake's age. Some faster than others.
- Champlain Canal - Trapped in a Bureaucratic Web
February 2016 - a labyrinth of bureaucracy has prevented invasive species protections.
- Marimo in Lake Champlain
January 2016 - What are these little green balls?
- Horned Grebes
December 2015 - An introduction to a common winter waterfowl on Lake Champlain
- Improving Soil Health: Cover Crops and No-till Agriculture
November 2015 - Cover crops and no-till systems are two tools to improve soil health and perhaps reduce agricultural impacts on water quality.
- Looking Beyond Phosphorus
October 2015 - Phosphorus isn't the only thing driving an increase in algae blooms.
- EPA Releases New Champlain Pollution Budget
September 2015 - A look at EPA's new TMDL for Lake Champlain
- Electric Transmission and the Lake
August 2015 - Underwater transmission lines pose less environmental risk than overland lines.
- A Day at the Beach
July 2015 - How beaches and dunes form and the plants that grow there.
- What To Do With Waste?
June 2015 - How should human waste be disposed of after it has been treated?
- Using Wetlands for Flood Protection
May 2015 - Examples of wetlands limiting down steam flood damage.
- April Stool's Day
April 2015 - Pick up after your pets!
- Manure Happens
March 2015 - Proper manure management by farms is important for protecting water quality
- Salty Water
February 2015 - How important is road salt as a water quality issue in Lake Champlain?
- Microcystin - How Much Is Too Much?
October 2014 - Lack of nationwide drinking water standards for algae toxins has led to confusion.
- Spiny Water Flea Have Arrived - What Next?
September 2014 - Predictions about the ecological impacts of Lake Champlain's latest invasive species - the spiny water flea.
- The Lake Protection Pledge
August 2014 - Steps all basin residents can take to reduce their impact on Lake Champlain
- Monitoring Cyanobacteria Blooms
July 2014 - How do we know when and where cyanobacteria blooms occur on the lake?
- Bass Tournaments
May 2014 - Does the proliferation of fishing tournaments affect the health of the lake?
- Rail Transport of Oil Poses Lake Risk
April 2014 - The boom in fossil fuel extraction out west means a huge increase in traffic of dangerous unit trains along the shore of Lake Champlain
- Planning Shoreline Protection Projects
March 2014 - What factors should landowners consider before undertaking erosion control projects?
- Nurdles to Neuston
February 2014 - small plastic pellets from soaps and other products can be found in our waters
- Pharmaceuticals in Water
January 2014 - drugs from our medicine cabinets are getting into our water. What does it mean?
- Agricultural Tile Drains - Beneficial or Costly?
December 2013 - what does the spread of tile drainage mean for Lake Champlain water quality?
- Tenuous Links Between Cyanobacteria and Neurological Diseases
November 2013 - evidence is unclear about whether cyanobacteria might play a role in Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease
October 2013 - Learn more about a real Lake Champlain "monster", the long-nosed gar
Access to older Lake Look columns