State and Tribal officials lauded the cooperative effort to manage Flathead Lake on Tuesday at the Ninth annual Flathead Lake Honoring Day. The event, held at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) facilities at Blue Bay along Flathead Lake’s east shore, attracted CSKT Chairman James Steele Jr., Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, and other leaders of both the state and tribes. The event is designed to educate local high school students about the ecology and management of Flathead Lake.
Students from Flathead High School, Glacier High School, Bigfork Middle School, Two Eagle River High School, Ronan High School, and Polson High School attended the opening ceremony and learning stations at Blue Bay and at the University of Montana Biological Station at Yellow Bay. Presenters touched on fisheries management, lake water quality, water and boating safety, fishing techniques, and fish care.
As part of the instruction, students handled personal floatation vests, watched fish being “shocked” with electrodes, looked at fish gill nets, and saw demonstrations on various fishing tackle. Students were treated to sack lunches provided by Salish Kootenai College in Pablo.
The Flathead Lake and River Co-management Plan is nationally recognized as an effective effort between CSKT and Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks to manage 28-mile long Flathead Lake. The Plan was signed by the Montana Governor and CSKT Tribal Chairman in 2000, and guides management of the lake through 2010.
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