History of Flathead Lakers Accomplishments

Founded in 1958, the Flathead Lakers has a long history of efforts to protect Flathead Lake and water quality. This is what the Daily InterLake published about the Flathead Lakers as we celebrated the organization's 50th Anniversary in 2008:

From its inception as a small group of locals who loved the lake, the organization has grown to a membership of 1,500. Over the years the Lakers have been involved in a variety of water-quality campaigns, ranging from the ban on phosphate detergents to upgrading sewage treatment to managing lake levels.


Their efforts are evident in what is still a remarkably clean lake. But many pressures exist on the precious commodity of water, so the work of the Flathead Lakers is likely to be needed for the next 50 years.


We all owe a debt of appreciation to the Lakers and groups like it that are helping protect a major resource in Northwest Montana.


Historic Flathead Lake & Watershed Milestones

~10,000 years ago glaciers covered much of western Montana and an ice dam created Glacial Lake Missoula. The ice dam formed and broke dozens of times, causing extreme flooding in the Columbia River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

1812 Canadian explorer David Thompson rode to a hill near Polson and described Flathead Lake in his journal.

1855 Treaty established the Flathead Indian Reservation, which includes the south half of Flathead Lake.

1891 Chief Charlot and a band of Salish people were forced out of the Bitterroot Valley onto the Flathead Reservation by U.S. troops.

1899 University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station established.

1910 Glacier National Park established.

1938 Kerr Dam began operation.

1951 Hungry Horse Dam began operation.

1958 Flathead Lakers founded, one of the oldest and largest lake protection organizations in North America.









Take Action
Stay Informed

Flathead Lakers P.O. Box 70 Polson, MT 59860 406-883-1346 Contact Us