Photochemical reactions involving a variety of photosensitizers contribute to the abiotic transformation of pesticides in prairie pothole lakes (PPLs). Despite the fact that triplet excited state dissolved organic matter (DOM) enhances phototransformation of pesticides by acting as a photosensitizer, it may also decrease the overall phototransformation rate through various mechanisms. In this study, the effect of DOM on the phototransformation of four commonly applied pesticides in four different PPL waters was investigated under simulated sunlight using photoexcited benzophenone-4-carboxylate as the oxidant with DOM serving as an anti-oxidant. For atrazine and mesotrione, a decrease in phototransformation rates was observed, while phototransformations of metolachlor and isoproturon were not affected by DOM inhibition. Phototransformation rates and the extent of inhibition/enhancement by DOM varied spatially and temporally across the wetlands studied. Characterization of DOM from the sites and different seasons suggested that the DOM type and variations in the DOM structure are important factors controlling phototransformation rates of pesticides in PPLs.