R = 0.80–0.97). Fluorescence emission at 685 nm is shown through tank measurements to display robust but distinct relationships with chla concentration for the two cultured algae species investigated (cyanobacteria, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, and chlorophyta, Scenedesmus armatus). The ratio between fluorescence emissions measured at 650 nm, related to the phycocyanin fluorescence maximum, to that at 685 nm is demonstrated to effectively distinguish these two species. Validation through both laboratory measurements and field measurements confirmed that site specific calibration is necessary. This study presents the first known assessment and application of ship-mounted fluorescence LiDAR in freshwater lake conditions and demonstrates the use of UFL in measuring important water quality parameters despite the more complicated hydro-optic conditions of inland waters.