This dataset includes data for the lake water quality and geospatial variables that describe climate, hydrology, land use land cover, and lake characteristics that were used to study spatial structure in lake properties at the sub-continental scales (Lapierre et al. Quantifying spatial structure to improve understanding of the relationships between climate, landscape, and lake ecosystem properties, to be submitted to Ecology). All observations came from LAGOS-NELIMNO v. 1.054.1 and LAGOS-NEGEO v. 1.03 (LAke multi-scaled GeOSpatial and temporal database), an integrated database of lake ecosystems (Soranno et al. 2015). LAGOS-NE contains a complete census of lakes great than or equal to 4 ha with corresponding geospatial information for a 17-state region of the U.S., and a subset of the lakes has observational data on morphometry and chemistry. Approximately 54 different sources of data were compiled for the LAGOS-NELIMNO v. 1.054.1 dataset and were mostly generated by government agencies (state, federal, tribal) and universities. In this analysis, we compiled lake water quality data from the summer stratified season (June 15-September 15) in the most recent 10 years of data included in LAGOS-NELIMNO v. 1.054.1 (2002-2011). We report the median total nitrogen, total phosphorus, secchi depth, and chlorophyll values for each lake, which was calculated as the grand median of each yearly median value. We also include data for lake and landscape characteristics including variables related to lake morphometry, climate, hydrology, atmospheric deposition, land use and land cover.