MTPR

Flathead Lake

Montana's Flathead Valley from above.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead Basin Commission is redefining its role protecting water quality in northwest Montana, after legislators gutted its funding last November and its executive director was fired in February.

The Commission spent much of Wednesday reinventing itself.

Skull and horns of new world record ram.
Dillon Tabish / FWP

The Olympics are barely underway, but there’s one world record that Montana already has locked down: world’s largest bighorn sheep ram.

The Boone and Crocket Club confirmed on Wednesday that a 9-year-old ram that died of natural causes at a Montana state park is a shoe-in as the new world record bighorn sheep.

View from Polson beach area overlooking southern Flathead Lake. Smoke obscures the northern Mission Mountains on the afternoon of August 23, 2016.
Nicky Ouellet

A man who allegedly posed as a U.S. Coast Guard officer and attempted to pull over boats on Flathead Lake will make his first court appearance Wednesday in Lake County Justice Court.

Ryan Lowden of Polson will be charged with three felony counts of impersonating a public official.

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

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 near Polson, MT.
P.J. Johnson (CC-BY-ND-2)

Boaters in the Flathead Basin may see some significant changes next season. A new set of regulations aimed at preventing the spread of invasive mussels next year are now being drafted.

The proposed regulations would require all boats to be inspected before they launch, set up a sticker for boats that only launch in Flathead and Swan Lakes, and establish annual fees to fund the program.

Pages