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
Aquatic Invasive Species – (AIS) Swan Lakers has carried out boat inspections twice-weekly in July and August at the USFS Boat Launch in the town of Swan Lake for 10 years. Thank you to our core group of inspectors! It is a very important part of our mission to keep Swan Lake pristine. We plan to extend our season in 2024 with more inspection days. A training session will be held in June, date to be determined. All new inspectors will be accompanied by an experienced inspector and each inspection is only 4 hours. A sign-up schedule sheet will be listed here soon. It is fun, easy and worthwhile! Please consider becoming a volunteer inspector in 2024.
With regard to AIS, its spread is a growing problem across the United States and Canada. AIS that threatens Montana includes 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 of 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. Be aware and concerned.
Our Fall Highway Cleanup was a success, with only 13 people we picked up 15 BIG bags of trash! Denny even found a beaver skull in the ditch. Thank you, fellow Swan Lakers!
Thank you to Mike O’Hearn and Jan Boyce for hosting our 18th Annual Meeting and Appreciation Party! It turned out to be a beautiful evening after some welcome showers and what a setting it was. Fun was had by all!
Congratulations to Jeff for retiring from the Presidency after 7 out of 8 long years and passing the baton over to our new President, Chris Moore.
Swan Lakers offered an annual scholarship in 2023 – We’d like to congratulate Nora Kehoe who was presented a $2,000 check on June 1st. Nora will be attending the U of M Davidson Honor College in the fall and plans to study wildlife biology. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
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.
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.
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 interested in purchasing a map, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Swan River Gauging Station Click on the link below for up-to-date data.