Swan Lakers is devoted to preserving and improving the water quality and natural, cultural, and historical resources of Swan Lake, Montana, including its headwaters, its drainages, and appurtenant lands.

Established as a non-profit 501(c) (3) in 2005, Swan Lakers is a group of friends and neighbors who value the unique character and quality of our community, much of which is based on the pristine nature of the Swan Basin watershed.  Our efforts to preserve and protect this valuable resource include Water Quality Studies, Aquatic Invasive Species Inspections, the Adopt-a-Highway MDOT program, and Swan River Cleanups.  Our organization serves members and the greater community by providing the data, discussion and educational material necessary to make informed decisions regarding issues that affect the watershed’s present and future well being.  Through collaborative efforts with other community organizations and government entities, we work to build a consensus that allows all those who appreciate our special home, residents and visitors alike, the opportunity to maintain the quality of life we all enjoy.  Participation from all who share the Swan Lakers vision is encouraged.  Photos for Banner by Kay Bjork

Please join us on August 27th for our Swan River Cleanup, we’ll meet at the Kellogg’s river property at 10:00 am and disperse from there.

River Cleanup

Swan River National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Restoration Project Field Tour

Join staff from Swan Valley Connections, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and River Design Group for a field tour of the ongoing wetland restoration project south of Swan Lake on Wednesday, August 31st, 10 am – 1 pm.

thumbnail_SRNWR Public Tour Flyer 083122

Please be bear aware!  There have been many spotted in the Ferndale and Swan area.

bear in driveway

For more information, here is an excellent article about recent bear activity.  Click on the link below…

Wildlife Officials Euthanized Four Food-Conditioned Bears in June – Flathead Beacon

Thank you, Chris (Volunteer of the Year) for constructing two new Trash Bag Dispensers that hold our mesh bags for the river floaters!  Besides the one that has been successfully used for several years at the Rainbow Drive River Access, we decided to place one at the South Ferndale Drive Bridge and Kearney Rapids Bridge on Swan River Road.  And thanks Jeff, for helping to dig into the rocky ground!

installing new box

Aquatic Invasive Species – Swan Lakers carries out boat inspections with twice-weekly inspections in July and August at the USFS Boat Launch in the town of Swan Lake.  Please consider becoming a volunteer inspector.

Here is the link with dates and times to sign up for inspections:

 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1q5mKPuo3ecZhbEDcAAce04Ytql4t-WwS-F_WRiOj-x4/edit?usp=sharing

For more general information, here is the link for “Montana Aquatic Invasive Species Boat Inspections 2022:

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/638965fb9c81440bbc154c52e6da84db

Aquatic Invasive Species - With regard to AIS, their spread is a growing problem across the United States and Canada. AIS that threatens Montana include Quagga and Zebra mussels, Curly Leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Milfoil.  Unfortunately, Quagga and Zebra mussels have been found in Montana this past year. Their presence in our state is proof of how easily they can be moved from place to place on trailered watercraft.  The introduction of these mussels would be a catastrophe for Montana’s waterways in terms of appearance and the effect on fishing. They reproduce rapidly in the millions fouling shorelines, clinging to structures like pilings, and clogging irrigation systems. They are filter feeders that interrupt the food chain that supports our fish populations. They can literally destroy a fishery.  See more information below.

Septic Tank Maintenance - Make no mistake, improperly functioning septic systems are the greatest threat to water quality in Swan Lake and the Swan River Watershed.  The following link is to an article that appeared recently in the Bigfork Eagle, it speaks to the urgency of properly maintaining septic systems.

https://bigforkeagle.com/news/2022/jun/22/deep-dive-flbs-flatheads-future-terrible-thing-was/

Also, Flathead and Lake County Conservation Districts offer financial assistance for having your septic system pumped and evaluated.  The following link describes the program and gives instructions on how to apply.  We strongly urge you to take advantage of this program.

 https://lakecountyconservationdistrict.org/septic-maint-reimbursement/

Swan Lakers President, Jeff Kemp, presented a $2,000. scholarship to Bigfork High School graduate, Elliot Sanford on June 2nd.  Elliot has an outstanding history of academic achievement and community involvement.  He plans on majoring in geology/hydrology at the University of Montana.  Congratulations Elliot!

Jeff_Elliot_Scholarship

 Montana Mussel Storymap - Montana Natural Heritage Program, December 2018

Please check out this new “Story Map” developed by the Montana Natural Heritage Program together with the Montana Departments of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Natural Resources and Conservation.  It is an interactive demonstration of Montana’s Invasive Mussel Response Guidelines and tools that will be used in the event of a detection of invasive mussels in Montana waters.  Montana’s Response to Invasive Mussels Story Map

We’d like to share with you another video prepared by some folks in British Columbia.  It is filmed at Kalamalka Lake, which is just south of Vernon, B.C., and about 100 miles north of the U.S./Canada border. Kalamalka Lake, like Swan Lake, is part of the Columbia River watershed.  The situation there is very similar to Swan Lake.  It’s beautiful, and so far, pristine lake is located upstream on a watershed.  Please take a few minutes to view this video.  Splash Mob – Protecting Our Freshwater

 Swan Lake Map – We have for sale a map that displays Swan Lake and its surrounding mountains.  The map displays the depth contours of Swan Lake and identifies the names of various features around the lake.  It was produced by the Flathead Lake Biological Station and is similar to those also made for Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake.  All revenue will be applied to support the Swan Lakers’ monitoring and conservation efforts.   The poster is 24″ x 18″ and the cost per poster is $10, shipping and handling included.  If you are interesed in purchasing a map, please email info@swanlakers.org

Swan_Lake_Map

  Swan River Gauging Station Click on link below for up to date data.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/uv?12370000

Gauging Station