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Talking Invasive Fish, Clean Water, And Swimmers Itch At The Flathead Lake Biological Station

Katrin Frye

The Flathead Lake Biological Station has scientists conducting research not just on the waters of the Crown of the Continent, but also around the Pacific Rim, South America, and Norway, among others. Each summer the Station opens its doors to the community to showcase some of the different work being done.

Dr. Jack Stanford said at each annual open house they try to emphasize different research Biological Station scientists are conducting.

“For example; this time Amanda Delvecchia has her research display about the Nyack Stoneflies that she’s working on, and then we did create a little film this year for our work that goes on at Kodiak Island on bears and salmon,” Stanford said.

Stanford said they also highlight threats to the lake.

“We’re constantly worried about the next invasive species. Which one will it be; I personally think that small mouthed bass are an issue. But, also, we’re really so worried about these mussels,” Stanford said.

Stanford said questions people bring range from swimmers itch to what happened to the kokanee salmon. He said the open house offers a great chance to connect with the public.

“We want the public to know what’s going on at their Biological Station. I mean, if we can’t make our science relevant to everyone who lives in the watershed in the Crown of the Continent region, then we’re not doing our job. What we learn at the Bio Station helps people to understand the resources that they come to view as a part of the quality of their lives,” Stanford said.

Stanford also said the Biological Station is engaging the public more and more to help with funding for projects like long-term lake monitoring. He said the Station recently met a million-dollar-matching challenge grant with much help from people around the lake.

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