Spring Highway Cleanup – April 17


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

Swan Lake

Please mark your calendars for our Highway Cleanup on Saturday, April 17th.
 This year we will be gathering at the St. Patrick’s Church parking lot in Ferndale, on the corner of Hwy 209 and South Ferndale Drive.  Please meet us at 10:00 am and we’ll disperse from there.  Garbage bags and vests will be provided, please remember your own gloves and water bottle.  Cookies will also be provided.
This is always a fun way to see each other (social distancing) in the Spring, after a long winter.  Let’s keep our community clean and beautiful…we look forward to seeing you soon!
 FYI there will be a Zoom presentation coming up on Wednesday, April 14th at 5:30 pm about the Swan Refuge restoration project.  We have been wondering what is up with this project and it will be good to learn more!  Here is a link to Swan Valley Connections with more information…

Welcome Michael Wallace, our new Board President 

Michael Wallace

Michael grew up in central Ohio and attended Harvard University for his BA in Philosophy and PhD in Public Policy. He served in the Peace Corps in Nepal. His professional career included work on long-term environmental and educational programs in Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, and Macedonia. In the US, Michael worked for Room to Read and Mercy Corps, non-profit organizations that strive to improve education and living conditions in the developing world. The purchase of a lakeside summer cabin in Bigfork in 2005 has since evolved into full-time Rocky Mountain living. Michael became Swan Lakers President in July 2020; one of his goals is to expand the number of young people who are actively involved in the organization, using social media to help achieve this objective. Michael enjoys working with numbers; he coined the word “numbulary” to describe our number-vocabularies, the numbers that we know and use in everyday life.
2020 Volunteer of the Year – Peggy Moore


Thank you Peggy (and Penny) for keeping our Trash Bag Box at the Rainbow Drive River Access full all summer long…we appreciate your help and persistence in keeping our river litter free!

Click on photos to enlarge.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our River Cleanup and Fall Highway Cleanup!

2020-fall-cleanup Fall Highway Cleanup

Our 16th Annual Meeting and Appreciation Party was canceled due to concerns over Covid-19.  We missed seeing everyone, stay safe and well…see you in 2021!

The Swan Lakers carry out inspections of watercraft to screen for the presence of AIS. Please see the section of our website, “Get Involved and Volunteer”, and join us in protecting Swan Lake and its watershed.

Aquatic Invasive Species - With regard to AIS, their spread is a growing problem across the United States and Canada. AIS that threaten Montana include Quagga and Zebra mussels, Curly Leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Millfoil.  Unfortunately, Quaga 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.


AIS Newsletter_June_2020_Final

Interesting article on Leachate issues…


Zebra Mussels Found on Boat From Chicago, Oct. 10, 2019…


Fun was had by all at our 15th Annual Membership Meeting and Appreciation Party in 2019.

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 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 it’s 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 River Gauging Station Click on link below for up to date data.


Dec_gauging_station 001