MTPR

Flathead River

Rafters on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
Glacier National Park (PD)

The Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park are preparing a new comprehensive management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River, and they want the public’s input. That’s according to an announcement today from the U.S. Forest Service.

Flood outlook for the Clark For River near Missoula.
National Weather Service

Western Montana’s flood waters receded a little bit Thursday, but it’s only a temporary reprieve. Warmer temperatures are on the horizon, and there’s more snowpack left in the mountains. Lots more.

Snow water equivalent, basin percentage of normal, Feb. 1, 2018.
Natural Resources Conservation Service

The National Weather Service says there's a 70 percent chance of flooding in the Clark Fork and Flathead River valleys this spring.

"Probably not a bad idea to start thinking about sandbags," National Weather Service hydrologist Ray Nickless says in a youtube video posted today.

Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

A judge in Flathead County says opponents of a water bottling plant outside Kalispell will have an answer before late March regarding a citizen-petitioned zoning change that could ban the plant.

The Egan Slough community in Creston say they want to block the the water bottling plant because of its potential impact on local property values, its drain on existing wells and possible impacts on the Flathead River.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes released a seasonal closure reminder Monday for the Ferry Basin Wildlife Management Unit in the southwest corner of the reservation. The area is closed each year to non-tribal members to minimize impacts to big game in critical winter and calving ranges from January 1 through May 15.

Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
(PD)

The Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park are updating the comprehensive river management plan for the three forks of the Flathead River.

The plan will describe the current status of the river, outline goals and desired conditions, determine user capacities and create a monitoring strategy and plan.

'Field Notes:' What's Wrong With Whitefish?

Dec 10, 2017
Mountain whitefish.
(PD)

I dipped my woven landing net into the frigid creek water and drew the fish towards my legs. It was winter and I was standing mid-calf deep in a favorite fishing spot outside Missoula. I knew the fish wasn’t a trout before I scooped it into my net.

An icy bank embraced the creek, and my breath rose before me, rhythmically billowing out my mouth and nostrils. The fish nonchalantly took one of the nymphs I had been sinking near the creek bottom, diving into the depths and pulling its weight into my fly line. I could feel its tail in the handle of my fly-rod, palpitating like an irregular heartbeat.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company says it’s started reimbursing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday for costs associated with assessing contamination at the CFAC Superfund Site.

CFAC says it sent a check to the EPA for a little more than $300,000 to cover travel costs, laboratory costs and hourly wages for government officials to review the assessment.

Georgia Smies, an aquatic biologist for the Flathead Tribes, plays a game about the impacts of aquatic invasive species with students from Lolo
Nicky Ouellet

This week, the shore of the lower Flathead River west of Ronan is the biggest classroom in Montana. Fourth and fifth graders from across western Montana are here for the River Honoring, an annual event hosted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, where they learn about the plants and animals native to the reservation.

Jim Elser, director of the Flathead Biological Research Station, answers questions at a public meeting on aquatic invasive mussels.
Nicky Ouellet

Zebra and quagga mussels are aquatic invasive species, quick to colonize and very difficult to get rid of. They’ve caused millions of dollars of damage since they started popping up in Great Lake states in the 1980s, and they have a lot of people in the Flathead Valley concerned right now.

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