[13], Fishermen had introduced lake trout 80 years prior but remained at low densities until the non-native Mysis became established. The island is owned by the Boy Scouts of America, and is used as a summer camp and for other activities.[9]. Once the water reached the top of this moraine dam, it began to cut a channel through it. Flathead Lake is located in Flathead County, Montana. Local residents have reported sighting other aquatic fauna in the lake as well, such as sturgeon and the Flathead Lake Monster. Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi in the lower 48 states, with over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. It contains much of Flathead Lake, the Flathead Valley, and the Flathead River. An average lake trout is considered to be in the three to eight pound range and are caught frequently. Located in the northwest corner of the state of Montana, 7 miles (11 km) south of Kalispell, it is approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 16 miles (26 km) wide, covering 197 square miles (510 km2). [19] Another recent introduced non-native fish is the Dodd Fish, another name for yellow perch (Perca flavescens). The introduction of lake trout has placed increased pressure on the ecologically similar threatened native bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). On the west side is U.S. Route 93, and on the east, is Route 35. During the last ice age this trench was filled by an enormous glacier. Not only is this lake gigantic being 191.5 square miles in size and a maximum depth of 371 feet, but it … The lake is inhabited by the native bull trout and cutthroat trout, as well as the non-native lake trout, yellow perch, and lake whitefish. The lake is bordered on its eastern shore by the Mission Mountains and on the west by the Salish Mountains. It is larger in surface area than Lake Tahoe, but it is much smaller in volume due to Tahoe's depth. The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi is 28 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, providing 188 square miles of pure pleasure! The bottom-dwelling mysids eliminated a recruitment bottleneck for lake trout by providing a deep water source of food where little was available previously. These natural treasures, originated by glaciers, are named for the unique geological formation of a broad flat valley surrounded by mountains at the head of a deep glacial lake. This lake is 122,251 acres in size. The Flathead valley was formed by the glacial damming of the Flathead River and sustains a remarkably mild climate for a region located this far north and inland; the Pacific Ocean is almost 400 miles (640 km) to the west. The lake trout in Flathead Lake can reach monstrous sizes, frequently exceeding twenty-pounds. [https://web.archive.org/web/20080512143940/http://www.melitaisland.org/aboutmelita.htm Archived, "Paul Fugleberg: Flathead Lake sturgeon catch still controversial", "How Non-Native Shrimp Transformed The Ecosystem at Montana's Flathead Lake", "Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Fall Mack Days starts this weekend at Flathead Lake", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flathead_Lake&oldid=990034949, Articles containing Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille-language text, Articles using infobox body of water without alt, Articles using infobox body of water without image bathymetry, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2012, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Alt, David. Get the full experience and book a tour. [15], The large size of the Polson Moraine indicates that the glacier stalled here for many years before retreating. Flathead County was founded in 1893. These islands cover 5.5 square miles (14 km2). Bayesian change point analysis of primary productivity (27-y time series) showed a significant step increase of 55 mg C m−2 d−1 (i.e., 21% rise) concurrent with the mysid invasion, but little trend before or after despite increasing nutrient loading. The southern half of the lake is part of the Flathead Indian Reservation, home of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Located in the northwest corner of the state of Montana, 7 miles (11 km) south of Kalispell, it is approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 16 miles (26 km) wide, covering 197 square miles (510 km ). Flathead Lake was first described by explorer David Thompson as “A fine sheet of water”. Flathead Lake is a remnant of Glacial Lake Missoula, which covered much of Western Montana until roughly 15,000 years ago. Early European Americans called them the Flathead Indians because of a misinterpretation of early Native American sign language. When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Black Bullhead, Lake Trout, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, Pumpkinseed and. The closest access is from Walstad Landing (one and a half miles), a state-maintained landing off Highway 93, approximately 15 minutes north of Polson. Quick View. The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi is 28 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, providing 188 square miles of pure pleasure! The deeper channel and traces of the dry riverbed are still visible from Route 28. 363 Reviews #1 of 11 things to do in Polson. We have experienced great spring fishing for Lakers, transitioned to Lake Whitefish in mid-summer, and in between, Kokanee, and Cutthroat, big Yellow Perch and even a Bull Trout or two.

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