Flathead Lake in the News

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Lakers Highlight Lake Threats
Courtesy of Robin Steinkraus,  Lake County Leader, posted 8/15/11

The magnitude of the threat of zebra and quagga mussels infesting Flathead Lake clearly alarmed people at the Flathead Lakers annual meeting last week.

Not only are invasive mussels closer than before, at Lake Mead and other southwest reservoirs, AIS specialist Erik Hanson said it would not be feasible to eradicate them should they become established here.

But preventing them from reaching Flathead waters can work. Since the mussels are primarily moved by boats, making sure boats are clean before launching in Flathead waters is the solution, Hanson said.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.leaderadvertiser.com/news/article_30d7f75a-c756-11e0-93ee-001cc4c002e0.html

Water Craze
by Alizabeth Bronsdon, Lake County Leader, 8/12/11

POLSON– Swimmers from all over Northwestern Montana and even a few out-of-staters converged on Polson's Boettcher Park for the 9th Annual Polson Bay's Water Daze one-mile swim race to benefit Mission Valley Aquatics.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.leaderadvertiser.com/news/article_996fd540-c46c-11e0-83d0-001cc4c03286.html

Buoys to monitor water quality, weather
The Daily InterLake, 8/10/11

Two large instrumented buoys are being placed in Flathead Lake this week to monitor water quality and weather on the lake.

The buoys were developed by the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

These buoys provide a platform for a suite of instruments that allow continuous automated measurements of water quality and meteorological conditions, according to a news release from the University of Montana.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_3410ec40-c3a7-11e0-ad7e-001cc4c002e0.html

North Fork Flathead may be protected from all future gold, coal minng
by Rob Chaney, Missoulian, 2/15/11

The North Fork of the Flathead River may be permanently off limits to gold and coal mining because of multimillion-dollar contributions by two private conservation groups.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced on Monday that Nature Conservancy Canada and the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy are willing to pay $9.4 million to cover the expenses of mining firms that have been exploring the Canadian end of the Flathead River drainage.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://missoulian.com/news/local/077663d2-3891-11e0-9597-001cc4c03286.html

Money found to seal N.F. mine deals
by Jim Mann,
Daily InterLake, 2/15/11

Another chapter is unfolding in the running effort to ban mining in the Canadian headwaters of the Flathead River: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer announced a deal Monday that will compensate two mining companies for investments they already have made in the drainage.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_3871c80a-38b4-11e0-b995-001cc4c002e0.html

Flathead Lake study gains U.S. recognition
Daily InterLake 1/8/11

Recent research at The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station has provided important data about how introductions or invasions of nonnative organisms can lead to major changes in the structure of aquatic ecosystems.

UM Assistant Research Professor Bonnie Ellis and Jack Stanford, director of the station, were among a team of scientists from around the Pacific Northwest who studied how the organisms can affect biological diversity of Flathead Lake, according to a news release from the University of Montana.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the scientists’ study, “Long-term Effects of a Trophic Cascade in a Large Lake Ecosystem,” will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Nature.

The researchers looked at a 120-year record of the food web structure and dynamics of the lake, the largest freshwater lake in the western United States.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_1ecf9cf0-1ab5-11e0-91c7-001cc4c002e0.html

Flathead Lake study points to shrimp as cause of decline in biological diversity
Missoulian article by Chelsi Moy 1/16/11

It hasn't been the same since 1986, and Flathead Lake may never be again.

For years, scientists have been concerned about water quality and increasing nutrient levels in the largest freshwater lake in the western United States.

Meanwhile, the kokanee salmon, bull trout and cutthroat trout populations in Flathead Lake have struggled to survive or died off completely as introduced lake trout took dominion.

Though scientists at the Flathead Lake Biological Station suspected those two phenomenons were somehow interrelated, they couldn't prove that hypothesis. A lingering hypothesis nags at scientists, of course, so a team from across the Pacific Northwest set out to analyze more than 100 years of data regarding food-web structure and the lake's dynamics.

Four-and-a-half years later, they now know their hypothesis was correct. Water quality in Flathead Lake and the rise and fall of different fish populations all point to the same culprit: introduction of the mysis shrimp in the 1980s.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_77afb480-2137-11e0-b13d-001cc4c002e0.html

Invasive Species Might Have Arrived in Flathead Lake
Missoulian article by Vince Devlin 11/15/10

Have the dreaded zebra or quagga mussels reached Flathead Lake? "There is definitely reason for concern," Eileen Ryce, aquatic invasive species director for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said Monday.

FWP announced that microscopic larvae suspected to be from exotic mussels may be contained in four of 17 plankton samples collected from the 200-square-mile lake this summer.

Ryce hopes to send divers into Flathead's chilly waters within the next several days in search of adult mussels.

To read the rest of this article go to: http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_77afb480-2137-11e0-b13d-001cc4c002e0.html

Public Embraces New Lakeside Park
Daily InterLake article by Lynette Hintz 8/24/10

Flathead County’s newest public park opened Aug. 13 on the shore of Flathead Lake in Lakeside, offering a one-of-a-kind waterfront amenity worth $3 million.

Named Volunteer Park after the community spirit that has shaped Lakeside through the years, the 1.5-acre park is located at the end of Adams Street and includes the area where the Bayshore Motel previously was located.

Property owners Bruce Ennis and his wife, Margaret Davis, signed an agreement with the county earlier this year enabling them to develop the day-use facility and then transfer ownership to the county.

“We’re tickled. It exceeds our expectations,” Davis said about the park. “We knew there was a pent-up demand for this kind of park and we’re delighted with how it’s being used.”

To read the rest of this article go to: Public Embraces New Lakeside Park

Much Progress to Report on Protecting North Fork
Op-Ed by Dave Hadden, Robin Steinkraus, and Will Hammerquist • 8/18/10

Here in Montana, August brings us the county fair and farm harvests. And this year we also celebrate a harvest of victories for Glacier National Park, the North Fork Flathead River and Flathead Lake.

In addition to commemorating Glacier's first one hundred years, citizens from across the Montana-British Columbia border, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester did yeoman's work to protect this special place.

The victories began this past winter during the Vancouver Olympics when British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced that he would place the Canadian Flathead Valley off-limits to mining and energy development.

To read the rest of this op-ed go to: Much Progress on Protecting North Fork

Lakers Thank Governor
Lake County Leader article by Sasha Goldstein 7/23/10

YELLOW BAY - Over thousands of years, Flathead Lake has been one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, lakes in the world. For more than 50 years, the Flathead Lakers have been making sure that stays true, despite a major population base surrounding the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River.

The dedication and hard work of the Lakers was celebrated at their 52nd annual meeting last Thursday night as more than 200 people showed up to enjoy music, food, drinks and, of course, the lake itself. An appearance by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer capped off a special evening at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station on Yellow Bay that included a "State of the Lake" address by Dr. Jack Stanford.

Schweitzer accepted the 2010 Stewardship Award, an honor bestowed annually by the Lakers to someone who "has made a significant contribution to preserving the quality and beauty of Flathead Lake." This year, Schweitzer shared the honor with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who was invited but could not attend. The Lakers chose to honor the two for their cooperation on an agreement signed in February banning coal mining and exploration in the upper Flathead Valley on both sides of the border. If the mining had gone forward, residual effects would have made their way downstream to the Flathead Lake and below, essentially polluting the entire watershed.

"It's our heartfelt thanks for what you've done, Governor, and we greatly appreciate it," Lakers' president Larry Ashcraft said. Continuing, Ashcraft said the agreement is instrumental in "protecting Flathead waters from impacts of coal development, resolving one of the longest transboundary water disputes along the Canadian-U.S. boundary, and ensuring that our iconic wildlife continue to roam, clean waters continue to flow, and our special Flathead landscapes and way of life are sustained."

Met by a loud round of applause and the presentation of a framed aerial photograph of the Flathead watershed, Schweitzer claimed to have been a "very, very small part of this."
"It wasn't me who got this done, it's you all that got this done," Schweitzer said.

To read the rest of this article go to: Lakers Thank Governor

Woman Swims Flathead Lake as Leukemia Fundraiser
Missoulian article by Michael Moore 7/21/10

At the end, she could see and hear almost nothing, only the inky water lapping, the sound of her hand slipping again into its dark embrace.

Then the faint glimmer of car lights scattered across her wet, furrowed brow. And slowly, building, the sound of people cheering, clapping their hands from the shores of Flathead Lake.
"Come on, Emily, you're almost here, you can do it," they cried.

"The sound of those voices, knowing that they'd stayed into the evening to wait for me, it was incredibly emotional for me," Emily von Jentzen said Tuesday. "I'd been thinking that because it had taken me so long, there wouldn't be anybody left."

But there they were, at least 50 people waiting to see the first woman to swim the length of Flathead Lake slowly and painfully haul herself from the water on Saturday.

To read the rest of this article go to: Woman Swims Flathead Lake


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