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

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.  We are excited to announce that we have secured partial funds to start this monitoring effort.  This summer, fisheries biologists will begin 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 will also estimate which fish eat juvenile spring Chinook salmon.  This data will also 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 will be collected by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Geological Survey, and US Forest Service Research Station.  There will be a community meeting later this year to discuss the preliminary results of the data collected this summer.  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.