MTPR

Shawn Devlin

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.

Phil Matson collects a water sample from Flathead Lake for use in e-DNA testing for quagga and zebra mussels.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

Wherever you go, you leave behind a tiny trace of yourself, a fingerprint even smaller than a cell that says you were here. Every organism does this, including the invasive quagga and zebra mussels the state is trying to keep out of Montana. This summer, a team of scientists in the Flathead Valley is using cutting-edge technology to detect the mussels’ genetic fingerprints sooner. They say early detection may offer the only hope for eradicating the mussels if they do get here.

Flathead Lake Biological Station research boat, Jessie-B.
Courtesy Flathead Lake Biological Station

Researchers at the Flathead Lake Biological Station are studying how climate change may affect the lake’s chemistry and temperature. Corin Cates-Carney reports from a research presentation at the station Thursday night.

The bullet point is Flathead Lake is an extremely complex body of water; and it’s changing.