Part of the Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Lake of the Isles is located in the heart of the Kenwood neighborhood. The 93-acre lake is popular with walkers, bikers and those who enjoy canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding. The lake is linked to Lake Calhoun by a canal that passes under Lake Street and to Cedar Lake by the Kenilworth Channel.  Lake of the Isles, with its naturalized shoreline and islands, enjoys an "excellent" ranking in aesthetics and habitat quality. Aquatic plants are abundant in Isles due to its good water clarity and shallower waters. Since Lake of the Isles does not have a swimming beach a score was not calculated for public health.

Water Clarity

Recent Secchi Disk Readings

October 18, 2018

Secchi Depth (feet): 4.0


Secchi Disk Readings

secchi diagram

To measure water transparency with a Secchi disk, the disk is lowered from the shaded side of a boat until it cannot be seen. The depth of the water is recorded at the point where the disk reappears upon raising it from its original depth beyond visibility. It is important to remember that the Secchi measurement is a simple, approximate measurement of water clarity and can be influenced by various factors such as time of day, reader's eyesight, water color and suspended particles in the water. Therefore, Secchi disk readings should be used as a comparative tool to determine trends between lakes and over time.

  • Increased water clarity may be due to reduced nutrient inputs, seasonal algal cycles, decreased sediment inputs, and zooplankton grazing on algae.
  • Decreased water clarity may be due to large algal blooms, increased soil erosion inputs, wind circulation of sediments and nutrients, stormwater inputs, or a decrease in zooplankton.

Secchi readings for the lakes are done during the regular lake sampling schedule, with some lakes sampled every other year.


Lake Aesthetic and User Recreation Index (LAURI)

lauri graph for lake of the isles

The Lake Aesthetic and User Recreation Index (LAURI) was designed to give recreational users a source of information about conditions affecting their use of city lakes.  The goal is to have an accurate, science based and easily understandable recreational indicator for the public.  The  LAURI has five indices:

Public Health Index (E. coli measured at public swimming beaches)

Water Quality Index (water clarity/Secchi depth)

Habitat Quality (aquatic plant and fish diversity)

Recreational Access (availability and ease of public access)

Aesthetic Considerations (color and odor of water, garbage and debris)