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Low Lake Levels Likely To Impact Flathead Recreation

Flathead Lake. Flathead County Commissioners are considering a proposal to regulate short-term housing rentals outside of incorporated towns.
William Neuheisel (CC-BY-2)
An overview look of Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake is a good two feet below full pool following this particularly dry spring in northwest Montana. Northwestern Energy, which manages Kerr Dam, has notified tribal and federal agencies that water levels are low which could affect outflows this summer. Kerr produces power, regulates the lake's water levels and several reservoirs.

Northwestern spokesman, Butch Larcombe, says agricultural producers probably won't be affected much:

"But recreation certainly. There are lots of people that have docks along the lake and they're used to having their boats at a certain level on their dock and that sort of thing. So that might take some adjustment on their part; but at this point we're still hoping to see some precipitation and some higher lake levels."

National Weather Service Meteorologist Luke Robinson says northwest Montana may get a taste of heavy and steady rain this evening.

"It won't put a dent in it, but it will help. We'll need another week or two of really decent rainfall for that to really catch up. We do have some scattered showers and thunderstorms still in the forecast when you're looking past Tuesday."

But Robinson says those showers will only affect isolated areas and likely won't have much of an impact on Flathead Lake's low water levels.

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