Water Quality

Chelan County Natural Resources Department works with the State Department of Ecology on water quality issues throughout the county.  Chapter 7 of the Wenatchee Watershed Management Plan outlines water quality issues and recommendations for the Wenatchee Basin. The State Department of Ecology manages Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and water quality in the Wenatchee River.

Lake Wenatchee Water Quality Monitoring

Lake Wenatchee residents have been concerned about water quality conditions in the lake.  The Department of Ecology provided funding to develop a water quality monitoring strategy for the lake in 2009.  Residents have been volunteering time and boats to assist Chelan County NRD with water quality sampling.  The sampling protocol includes: the identification of submerged aquatic plants and algae, temperature, dissolved oxygen, water chemistry, and stormwater monitoring.  Water sampling is conducted July through September and stormwater monitoring from February through May. See our project fact sheet.

Lake Wenatchee Food Web Monitoring

Lake Wenatchee Monitoring

For several years, Chelan County Natural Resources Department has worked with the community and fisheries management agencies to develop a plan to evaluate the food web dynamics in Lake Wenatchee.  Partial funding has been secured to start this monitoring effort.  This summer, fisheries biologists began data collection in Lake Wenatchee, the Little Wenatchee, and the White River to monitor juvenile spring Chinook salmon.  The results will help scientists understand the distribution, feeding behavior, growth, and risk of predation as these fish migrate through the Lake.  This research also estimates which fish eat juvenile spring Chinook salmon.  The data will provide an initial estimate for predation losses imposed on juvenile salmon by different predators.  Future studies, if funded, will calculate the survival rate of spring Chinook as they migrate through the lake.  Data is being collected by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Geological Survey, and US Forest Service Research Station.  Starting Monday October 30th, scientists will be collecting fish samples from boats starting at dusk and work may continue until dawn depending on catch rates.  Lakeside residents might see buoys on the water which are often blinking at night.  Residents might also hear the generator on the boat that runs the electrofishing equipment and boat lights will be shining into the water to facilitate sampling efforts. There will be a community meeting this winter to discuss the preliminary results of the 2017 data collection.   For more information, see the project fact sheet. If you have questions, contact Jennifer Hadersberger at jennifer.hadersberger@co.chelan.wa.us or (509) 667-6682.