Here’s a good summary of the ‘State of the Lake” report given at the Flathead Lakers annual meeting . . .
The bad news about Flathead Lake is that primary productivity, or the lake’s ability to grow algae, climbed back above 100 grams of carbon per square meter per year in 2012, exceeding the water quality target of 80.
“The good news is that the decline in dissolved oxygen at the bottom of the lake isn’t getting any worse,” Flathead Lake Biological Station director Jack Stanford reported in his annual State of the Lake report at the Flathead Lakers’ annual meeting.
Nitrogen, a nutrient that contributes to algae growth, is increasing, Stanford said, but the increased nitrogen means that algae growth is now being limited by the amount of phosphorus coming into the lake.
Read more . . .
Your friendly web-slinger was away on an extended road trip, so we’re playing catch-up. Here’s the first clutch of articles about significant events over the past couple of weeks . . .
Elk River poisoned by coal mining – Dr. Ric Hauer of the Flathead Lake Biological Station of the University of Montana issued a March 2, 2013 study comparing water quality in the Elk and neighbouring Flathead River Basins. Commissioned by Glacier National Park, the study found nitrogen levels at 1,000 times the background rate, sulphate levels at 40-50 times the background rate and selenium levels at 7-10 times background rate (p.2). The researchers tested above and below mines and used the pristine water quality of the nearby Flathead River to determine background levels and ascertain what aquatic life would normally be present in the Elk River were it not so polluted. Continue reading . . .
FWP: Montana’s wolf population drops 4 percent – At least 625 wolves inhabited Montana at the end of 2012, a 4 percent population drop compared to a 15 percent increase the year before, according to state wildlife managers. The minimum wolf count is the number of wolves actually verified by FWP wolf specialists. The latest population estimate came while Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks comples the federally required annual wolf conservation and management report. The report is expected to be available online by April 12. Continue reading . . .
Agency to target fish in five creeks – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue efforts to suppress rainbow trout and hybrid trout populations in the upper Flathead River system. Region One Supervisor Jim Satterfield signed a finding of no significant impact for the work Monday. That basically approves plans to continue removing hybrids and rainbows from the mouths and channels of Abbot, Sekokini, Rabe, Ivy and Third creeks in the main stem Flathead and North Flathead rivers. Continue reading . . .
The Hungry Horse news posted some nice, additional coverage on Erin Sexton and her well-deserved award for her work over the last decade to protect the transboundary Flathead Valley . . .
Erin Sexton, long recognized for her work in protecting rivers in Montana, likes to point out that the Flathead River is literally in her backyard.
“I can see the Middle Fork from my home in Hungry Horse,” she points out.
The research scientist at the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station recently was awarded the 2012 Conservation Achievement Award by the Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Organized in 1870, AFS is the oldest professional society in North America dealing with natural resources.
Continue reading . . .
Erin Sexton won an award for her work over the last decade to protect the transboundary Flathead Valley . . .
Earlier this month University of Montana Research Scientist Erin Sexton was awarded the 2012 Conservation Achievement Award for her work in developing a long-term solution in protecting the Flathead Basin ecosystem.
The Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society presented the highly coveted award to Sexton at its Feb. 7 annual meeting.
Sexton served as the transboundary coordinator for the state of Montana and is a research scientist at UM’s Flathead Lake Biological Station. During the past 10 years, Sexton has been a leader in protecting the international Flathead River for generations to come.
Continue reading . . .
An artistic map of Flathead Lake is being sold to raise money for the Flathead Lake Biological Station . . .
The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station and the Flathead Lakers have collaborated with a Missoula-based map making company to create a unique, artistic rendition of Flathead Lake to benefit the biological station.
The limited-edition print of Flathead Lake from Xplorer Maps features an antique style complete with illustrations of regional flora and fauna…
To view or purchase the map and find more information about the map and the programs that the proceeds will support, visit www.xplorermaps.com, www.flatheadlakers.org or www.umt.edu/flbs.
Continue reading . . .
Here are a few nuggets kicked up over the past few days . . .
Proposal to release roadless, wilderness study areas gains backers, opponents
A proposed bill to release federal roadless and wilderness study areas to local management and development is gathering lengthy lists of supporters and opponents, even though it’s stalled in Congress . . .
Flathead Lake biological station examines netting, cascading effects
How would Flathead Lake’s complex food web and ecology change if an aggressive netting project started removing 140,000 lake trout every year?
That is considered an important question that has yet to be answered, but it is a subject being addressed in a study being conducted for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes as part of an environmental review for a proposed lake trout netting project on the lake . . .
Wolverine spotted at Whitefish ski resort
A handful of skiers had the rare opportunity to see a wolverine Monday on the front side of Big Mountain.
The sightings later were confirmed by tracks and scat found around a deer carcass . . .
The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station is holding an open house on Tuesday, August 2, from 1 to 5 p.m. The open house includes several hands-on activities, demonstration boat trips on the Jessie B and a number of new research displays, including one on “North Fork Conservation.” See their flyer or check out their web site for more details.
The Flathead Beacon posted a tardy, but well-written article covering both of the North Fork’s recent “endangered river” designations . . .
As the threat of large-scale mining continues to bear down on the headwaters of the Flathead River Basin – and as funding for conservation research hits a snag – Ric Hauer believes the North Fork Flathead River’s recent designation as one of the most endangered rivers in North America arrives with appropriate timing.
Read the entire article . . .