Province Summary


Lake Chelan Subbasin Summary

The Lake Chelan subbasin is located in north central Washington and lies entirely within Chelan County. The subbasin comprises 6.5% of the Columbia Cascade Province and consists of 599,905 acres (937 sq. mi.).

The upper portion of the Chelan subbasin is within the North Cascades National Park and the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. The middle part of the basin is in the Wenatchee National Forest. Most of the lower basin, which contains the majority of the development, is privately owned. Lake Chelan, which comprises approximately 50.4 miles of the 75-mile-long basin, is the third deepest freshwater lake in the nation and the largest and deepest natural lake in Washington. The subbasin lies within an elongated, steeply sloped fjord basin formed by two glaciers. The Lake has an average width of 1.5 miles, a maximum depth of 1,486 feet, and it drains 2,393 sq. km. It is bordered on the north by the Sawtooth Mountains and on the south by the Entiat and Chelan Mountains and the Glacier Peak Complex. Water from Lake Chelan flows from its southern end into the shortest river in Washington, the 4.1-mile-long Chelan River. This river falls 400 feet in its descent through a steep, rocky gorge to the Columbia River.

Source: Lake Chelan Subbasin Plan

Status and Trends of Focal Species in Lake Chelan Subbasin
 
Species ESU MPG Population Biological Objective (s) Biological Status Federal Status Data / Charts
Bull Trout       Draft Recovery Plan Criteria :
None
 
Unknown, further investigation needed 438 Threatened No Data
Westslope Cutthroat       Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Unknown 403 Species of Concern No Data
Kokanee       Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Adult Escapement
2012: 17,216 adult escapement 505
Not Listed Status & Trends
    
View abundance data for Lake Chelan Subbasin
 
Hatcheries located in Lake Chelan Subbasin
**Hatchery data will be updated in 2016**

Hatchery / Acclimation Pond Hatchery Info Releases / Returns Program Reviews(APRE / HSRG / HGMP / USFWS) Map
Blackbird Island Ponds View View    
Lake Chelan Sportsman View      
 
Hatchery Releases and Returns to Lake Chelan Subbasin
**Hatchery data will be updated in 2016**

Some releases into subbasins may be from hatcheries located in other provinces and subbasins. Hatchery releases of anadromous fish, within the geographic range of an ESU/DPS, are listed accordingly.
 
Hatchery / Acclimation Pond Species ESU/DPS Released in 2009 Returns to Collection Facility in 2009 Data as of
Chelan PUD Hatchery Kokanee 189,524 8 / 30 / 2010
Rainbow Trout 56,356 8 / 30 / 2010
Westslope Cutthroat 216,990 8 / 30 / 2010
Chelan State Fish Hatchery Brown Trout 25,092 8 / 30 / 2010
Rainbow Trout 79,998 8 / 30 / 2010
Tiger Trout 14,639 8 / 30 / 2010
Westslope Cutthroat 251,646 8 / 30 / 2010
Trout Lodge Commercial Rainbow Trout 1,001 8 / 30 / 2010
Wells Hatchery Rainbow Trout 225 8 / 30 / 2010
Recovery Status for ESA-Listed Salmon and Steelhead in the Lake Chelan Subbasin

    No recovery status for Lake Chelan subbasin.
Limiting Factors in the Lake Chelan Subbasin 403

Bull Trout
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Food Altered Primary Productivity -- Water Management Water: Nutrient Alteration All Levels of nitrates, chlorophyll a, zooplankton, and benthic organisms are low, especially in the Lucerne Basin. The productivity of the lake is also affected by elevated bacterial levels and pesticide residues.
Food Competition -- Species Management Species Introduction Juveniles, adults Competition between native fish species and introduced game fish has reduced or eliminated native fish populations.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management; Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Adults Sediment deposits at the mouths of some tributaries have created barriers to spawning areas. Fish, Safety, Prince, Gold, Grade, Mitchell, and Rail Road creeks contain sediment barriers that block passage of during upstream spawning migrations.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Riparian Degradation; Bank Destabilization Juveniles, adults Large woody debris has been removed limiting cover and reducing in-stream complexity. Tributaries to Lake Chelan (from Manson to Stehekin) lack appropriately sized gravel for trout spawning as well as large woody debris.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices; Forest Management; Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Riparian Degradation Juveniles, adults Vegetation is limited along the Lake Chelan shoreline due to the steep-sided configuration of the drainage, the thin, rocky soils, and heavy wave action. Riparian and wetland habitat have been removed or filled near the mouth of the Stehekin River. Grazing and lake level fluctuations have reduced riparian habitat. Large trees, snags, and woody debris are limited. From Mitchell Creek down the lake, large trees and mid– to low-level shrubs and forbs/grasses are limited in numbers. Most tributaries (Grade, Mitchell, Box, Big, Bear, Prince, and Fish) have narrow, steep-walled drainages, deeply-incised channels, narrow bands of riparian vegetation alongside the streams, and a lack of large woody debris.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Fishery Management Harvest Adults Populations are subject to high levels of legal harvest.
Water Quality Oxygen; pH; -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas Alteration; All First Creek and the lower Chelan River (Chelan Falls and Hatchery) are on the EPA’s 303d list for impaired water quality due to dissolved oxygen. Mitchell Creek was listed for irregularities in pH.
KOKANEE
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Food Altered Primary Productivity -- Water Management Water: Nutrient Alteration All Levels of nitrates, chlorophyll a, zooplankton, and benthic organisms are low, especially in the Lucerne Basin. The productivity of the lake is also affected by elevated bacterial levels and pesticide residues.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Species Management Species Introduction Juveniles, adults Competition between native fish species and introduced game fish has reduced or eliminated native fish populations.
Water Quality Oxygen; pH; -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas Alteration; All First Creek and the lower Chelan River (Chelan Falls and Hatchery) are on the EPA’s 303d list for impaired water quality due to dissolved oxygen. Mitchell Creek was listed for irregularities in pH.
WESTSLOPE CUTTHROAT
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Food Altered Primary Productivity -- Water Management Water: Nutrient Alteration All Levels of nitrates, chlorophyll a, zooplankton, and benthic organisms are low, especially in the Lucerne Basin. The productivity of the lake is also affected by elevated bacterial levels and pesticide residues.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management; Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Adults Sediment deposits at the mouths of some tributaries have created barriers to spawning areas. Fish, Safety, Prince, Gold, Grade, Mitchell, and Rail Road creeks contain sediment barriers that block passage of during upstream spawning migrations.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Riparian Degradation; Bank Destabilization Juveniles, adults Large woody debris has been removed limiting cover and reducing in-stream complexity. Tributaries to Lake Chelan (from Manson to Stehekin) lack appropriately sized gravel for trout spawning as well as large woody debris.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices; Forest Management; Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Riparian Degradation Juveniles, adults Vegetation is limited along the Lake Chelan shoreline due to the steep-sided configuration of the drainage, the thin, rocky soils, and heavy wave action. Riparian and wetland habitat have been removed or filled near the mouth of the Stehekin River. Grazing and lake level fluctuations have reduced riparian habitat. Large trees, snags, and woody debris are limited. From Mitchell Creek down the lake, large trees and mid– to low-level shrubs and forbs/grasses are limited in numbers. Most tributaries (Grade, Mitchell, Box, Big, Bear, Prince, and Fish) have narrow, steep-walled drainages, deeply-incised channels, narrow bands of riparian vegetation alongside the streams, and a lack of large woody debris.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Fishery Management Harvest Adults Populations are subject to high levels of legal harvest.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Species Management Species Introduction Juveniles, adults Competition between native fish species and introduced game fish has reduced or eliminated native fish populations.
Water Quality Oxygen; pH; -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas Alteration; All First Creek and the lower Chelan River (Chelan Falls and Hatchery) are on the EPA’s 303d list for impaired water quality due to dissolved oxygen. Mitchell Creek was listed for irregularities in pH.