Water Quality Discussion Second in a Series of City’s Town Hall Meetings
By Dennis Rahm
Lake Chelan’s Water Quality was a focus of discussion at a Town Hall meeting held at the Chelan Senior Center on Thursday, April 19th.
About 50 to 60 interested citizens were in attendance to hear from a panel of presenters representing several organizations and groups working to preserve the lake’s ultra-low nutrient status as well as ensure Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention (AIS).
Leading off the session was Mike Kaputa of the Chelan County Natural Resources Department who spoke on watershed planning including long term water supply and water needed for future uses.
Kaputa noted that “Lake Chelan is not too big to fail”.
He went on to discuss the importance of understanding trends, identifying problems and implementing solutions. While there are currently no tending issues at this point, Kaputa did note the lake has about 12 acres of milfoil and a population of Asian clams.
Phil Long, Executive Director of the Lake Chelan Research Institute, spoke about recent efforts to conduct more regular data collection from the lake. There was two-year water quality study initiated in 1987 that was released in 1989, and up until about two years ago data was collected only sporadically.
The slide pictured below outlines what the Lake Chelan Research Institute has been doing to add to the knowledge base about the lake.
Other presenters at the Town Hall meeting included Marcie Clement from the Chelan County PUD, John Olson representing Friends of Lake Chelan and City of Chelan Engineer Jake Youngren.
In opening remarks for the City’s second Town Hall meeting, Mayor Mike Cooney said the Water Quality session was purposely scheduled as a lead up to Saturday’s Earth Day observance.