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View Real-time Data from the USGS Gage at ECHO

WHAT IS MEASURED AT THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN GAGE? click for water levels at ECHO gage click for water temperature at ECHO gage click for specific conductance at ECHO gage

Figure with clickable regions for lake level, temperature, and specific conductance (see text to right if necessary)

The lake gage at the ECHO Center continuously measures the level of the water in the lake. Since December 2004, measurements of water temperature and specific conductance are also being taken. Specific conductancelook up 'specific conductance' in glossary is a measure of how easily electricity travels through the water, which can provide an indication of the dissolved materials in waters near the lake gage.

To see the real-time look up 'real-time' in glossary information collected at the USGS Lake Champlain gage at ECHO recently, click each symbol in the picture, or click the following links:
Lake level | Water temperature | Specific conductance



The level of Lake Champlain varies within about 5 feet each year. Water levels are generally the lowest during late summer and early fall when runoff from tributary streams is lowest because of the movement of moisture back to the atmosphere (through evapotranspirationLook up 'evapotranspiration' in the glossary.) over the summer. The water levels are usually highest from April to May because of high runoff in tributary streams due to snowmelt and low evapotranspiration.

Click to see a graph of extreme lake levels.Is the lake level (gage height) increasing or decreasing this week? Check here.
Why do you think that is happening?

The highest recorded level at the gage in Burlington was 103.27 feet above mean sea level on May 6, 2011.

The minimum lake level observed in Burlington was 92.61 feet above mean sea level on December 4, 1908.


Photo of flooded street, 1992, Montpelier, Vt

The lake level information from the gage is used by Federal, State, and local agencies (such as the National Weather Service, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of Burlington, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program), engineering firms, researchers, and river recreationists to determine fishing, boating, and swimming conditions, design bridges, issue flood warnings, study climate changes, and understand the water cyclelook up 'watercycle' in glossary of a watershedlook up 'watershed' in glossary.

Water temperature and specific conductance measurements can be used as a general starting point in the evaluation of water quality in the lake. The collection of continuous data of these two measurements at USGS gaging stations are useful in determining changes in lake conditions over time. These measurements, in association with other water chemistry measurements, can be used to provide an overall assessment of water resources.

Photo of women canoeing in a river
Photo of girl drinking water from tap Photo of bridge


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Page Last Modified: January 3, 2013

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