Itasca Long Term Monitoring Datasets

Looking for datasets to support your research questions? Check out the resources below to enable new projects or support existing research. We can also help you get in touch with our current researchers. Questions? Contact the Station Scientist at for more information. 

We are currently working to digitize additional datasets, and new data is always being collected, so check back often for updates.

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Weather Data

IBSL has been collecting daily weather data since May 1, 1911. You can access these data in the NOAA database by selecting your dataset of interest and searching for the Itasca Station (ID: GHCND:USC00214106).

The graphs below show recent observed temperature and precipitation data compared to normal and historic high/low ranges.

Graph of accumlated precipitation measured by Itasca Station staff for 2023-2024
Graph of daily temperature data collected at Itasca Station

Lake Ice Tracking

Station staff have been tracking ice freeze and thaw dates for many lakes in the area since 1987. For Lake Itasca, data on spring ice out dates back to 1928. You can view and download a copy of these data here. You can also access them as a data package in the EDI repository, which includes more detailed metadata. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency collect ice freeze and thaw data for lakes across the state. You can access interactive maps of the year’s ice in and ice out dates.

The chart below shows the average date of ice freeze for several lakes in the region based on our collected data. Check back each season as we continue to track lake ice around Itasca.

Graph showing the total ice cover days of Itasca lakes in 2023-24, compared to the recorded average

Lake Water Monitoring

A variety of lake water sampling projects have taken place in the Itasca region across many decades. Station staff are currently consolidating historic lake sampling data that dates back to the mid 1900s. Please contact the Station Scientist at for further information. 

Currently, IBSL samples lakes in Itasca State Park and reports findings to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as part of their Volunteer Water Monitoring Program. You can view or download a spreadsheet of current data. Check back often as we add to this database every summer!

The charts below show measurements of water surface temperatures and water clarity readings taken with a secchi disk during the 2023 season.

Line graph of surface temperature measurements taken in 2023 from 3 lakes in Itasca State Park
Line graph showing lake turbidity measurements taken in 2023 from 3 lakes in Itasca State Park (and at 3 locations in Lake Itasca)