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Tag Archives: Flathead Lake

New West Daily Roundup for Mar. 27, 2017

Today in New West news: study suggests some cattle grazing may help greater sage grouse, an update on Montana Water Artesian Company, and GREENbike vs. inversion.

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There’s Something Fishy (Sorry) About This Tournament

The idea of the Mack Days trout tournament on Flathead Lake is to try and control the population of the predacious lake trout, which feeds on the smaller, more fun-loving native bull and cutthroat trout. If you’ve ever fished Flathead Lake, you know when you’ve caught a lake trout. It’s usually huge, wearing a leather jacket, has a number of crude, prison-style tattoos, and is probably smoking a cigarette. I hauled one into my canoe last summer, and it had three Daredevil spoons hanging off its lower lip, and one eye was frosted over. It spit out its cigarette, grunted, smacked me in the face with its caudal fin, and flipped back into the water. Tough fish. In order to lure (sorry) fishermen into the tournament, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is offering huge cash prizes for the most fish caught. Top prize is over $1,000, so you can bet there is a veritable navy of anglers out there every day, harvesting the lake trout. (I’m sorry, but when sportsmen use the term “harvesting” as a euphemism for hooking, shooting, stabbing, spearing, trapping or otherwise killing wildlife, I picture them driving around the woodlands in an International Harvester combine or something. Harvesting. Psht.)

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Flathead Lake’s Economic Worth Estimated Between $6-$10 Billion

The war between development and environment tends be too simplistic and trite in the Flathead these days. That's why, just maybe, a report by a UM economist may add a more interesting facet to the debate. On July 5 the Bigfork Eagle published a story highlighting the work of Jack Stanford, director of the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS). Stanford, who has done extensive work on the biology and ecosystem of the Crown of the Continent and its "Crown Jewel," Flathead Lake, said that a UM economist estimates Flathead Lake's economic worth between $6 and $10 million dollars.

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