In recent decades, many algorithms have been developed for the retrieval of water quality parameters using remotely sensed data. However, these algorithms are specific to a certain geographical area and cannot be applied to other areas. In this study, feature-orientated principal component (PC) selection, based on the Crosta method and using Landsat TM for the retrieval of water quality parameters (i.e., TSM and Chla), was carried out. The results show that feature-orientated PC TSM, based on the Crosta method, obtained a good agreement with the MERIS-based TSM product for eight Landsat TM images. However, the Chla information, selected using the feature-orientated PC, has a poor agreement with the MERIS-based Chla product. The accuracy of the atmospheric correction method and MERIS product may be the main factors influencing the accuracy of the TSM and Chla information identified by the Landsat TM images using the Crosta method. The findings of this study would be helpful in the retrieval of spatial distribution information on TSM from the long-term historical Landsat image archive, without using coincident ground measurements.