A survey conducted in the Wapato Basin and the lower Lucerne Basin area of Lake Chelan shows an increase in aquatic invasive species, potentially pushing out native species.

The survey was conducted by the Four Peaks Environmental Science and Data Solutions of Wenatchee back in August-September of 2021 to compare population growth from a study eight years ago.

Increases in invasive species were seen near the shoreline, the southern basin of the lake, and other high-use areas.

Chelan County PUD is encouraged to lower water levels during the fall and winter months in order to curb the rise of these invasive species.

The survey found that the Eurasian Water Milfoil and Curly Leaf Pondweed populations increased, along with a possible increase in freshwater clams, which is a food source for the local lake trout. 

Further research will be needed on how the increase in the invasive freshwater clams and how they affect native species and water quality.