The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced its need for volunteers to monitor water quality in the state's lakes, streams and rivers.

The agency needs volunteers to measure water clarity in hundreds of streams - including 676 high-priority sites - and 2,857 lakes, then report back to the agency.

MPCA Citizen Water Monitoring volunteers do a simple water clarity test twice a month during the summer. Lake monitors boat to a designated spot to check water clarity. Stream monitors perform their test from the streambank or from a bridge over the stream. The MPCA provides equipment and training; no prior experience is needed.

"Our volunteers allow us to get more coverage by collecting water quality data in more places. Their work is invaluable to us, and yet they do it for free," said Katrina Kessler, MPCA assistant commissioner for water.

Several Lake County bodies of water are identified as high-priority, including areas of the Gooseberry, Stony, Island, Little Isabella, Kawishiwi, Baptism, Caribou, Dumbbell and Knife rivers.

To learn more about high-priority bodies of water in Lake County and to sign up, visit pca.state.mn.us/water/citizen-water-monitoring or call 651-296-6300 or 800-657-3864.