MTPR

Flathead Lake Biological Station

Aaron Bolton

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are in the midst of their Mack Days fishing contest on Flathead Lake and their parallel gillnetting efforts aimed at reducing invasive lake trout numbers. Both are showing signs of working, but a this comes as one of the species’ main food supplies is going through some major changes.

A boat at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A viral Facebook post is spreading false information about a toxic blue-green algae bloom in Flathead Lake, according to lake researchers. The post claims that a dog died after swimming in the lake, but the Flathead Lake Biological Research Station says there’s no evidence to support the claim.

A view from the depths of Flathead Lake.
David Colombo / Innerspace Science

There was something odd bubbling beneath the surface of Flathead Lake earlier this summer, but it wasn’t a lake monster. It was a submarine. Two, in fact. The subs' pilots were there to help cash-strapped researchers physically see the mostly unexplored depths of Flathead Lake for the unforgettable price of free.

Aaron Bolton

Flathead Lake continues to defy national trends as a healthy blue body of water that’s free of invasive mussels. That’s according to the director of the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station, who gave his annual state of the lake address Friday. 

A safety diver starts a Go-Pro camera on the Nekton Gamma before it dives in Yellow Bay on the east side of Flathead Lake August 5, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Boaters on Flathead Lake might see a strange sight this week: small submarines surfacing at various locations. The subs are diving in an effort to help researchers at the Flathead Biological Station reach unexplored depths. 

An aquatic invasive species inspection station in Montana.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A coalition of state, federal, tribal and private organizations dedicated to protecting the Columbia River Watershed from aquatic invasive species (AIS) met in Polson Wednesday. They said building connections between local groups and water managers will be crucial to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in Montana.

A boat at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Flathead Lake Biological Station added a new monitoring site in Polson Bay last month that could help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and generate valuable information about the ecosystem.

Jim Elser, director of the Station, says near Polson the lake is shallower and warmer than at the other monitoring station, and sees different kinds of use.

A boat at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station is asking businesses in the area to help fund its work.

Proceeds from the drive that starts Monday will benefit research and monitoring on Flathead, Whitefish, and Swan lakes, and the surrounding watersheds.

Hans McPherson at his ranch in the Bitterroot Valley.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A new federal rule that would roll back Clean Water Act protections across the country opened for public comment last week. If finalized, the rule would abandon enhanced protections the Obama administration proposed for a large portion of Montana’s stream mileage and wetlands.

FLBS visiting researcher Xiong Xiong collects samples to look for microplastics in Flathead Lake. He is using methods similar to his Yangtze River research project to determine microplastic concentrations in the Flathead Lake watershed.
Heather Fraley / FLBS

Plastics like the fibers in t-shirts and the abrasive beads in body wash are polluting rivers more than previously thought, according to researchers from the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station.

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