Blue lakes, clean reservoirs, and native trout streams dot Montana’s landscape. Montanans embrace them, visitors enjoy them, and folks are moving here to live next to them. The Montana Lakes Conference, held every four years, will assemble scientists, policy makers, citizens, and business leaders to offer solutions to challenges facing Montana Lakes today. This 2.5 day conference is open to everybody and will be held at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, October 18 through 20, 2023.
Over 40 Montana lake and aquatic ecology experts, as well as guest speakers from outside of the state, will present cutting edge science and infuse Montana with new ideas. Andrew Sansom, a highly awarded water conservationist, will open the conference with stories that have sparked communities to come together around water for 50 years. Jim Elser, Director of the Flathead Biological Station and a nationally renowned lake ecologist, will discuss “Phosphorus, food, and our future.” In a special fisheries session, the energetic Clint Muhlfeld will deliver “Char Wars: Glacier's Bull Trout Strike Back.” Aquatic Invasive Species and onsite wastewater treatment will be part of panel discussions with time for dialog between the audience and experts. Other session topics include nutrients affecting Montana lakes, best management practices for living on lakes, water quality at Flathead Lake beaches, using biology to address septic issues, selenium contamination in Lake Koocanusa, changing water quality in northwest Montana lakes, managing native fish, protecting Montana waters from aquatic invasive species, and becoming drought resilient in the face of changing climate.
A standalone preconference workshop “Water Conflict Management and Transformation,” will be presented by collaborative water resolution experts from Four Worlds Consulting. While we all agree that water is a precious resource, disagreements sometimes arise when we talk about how to care for lakes, streams, and reservoirs. Scientific research may reveal challenges facing our lakes and streams whether it be water shortages, septic leachate, dirty stormwater, or nutrients overloading our lakes. Policy makers ask how to protect water resources. In this workshop, participants will learn how to find agreement then start discussion leading to resolution of disagreements. This workshop is open to the public and tickets can be purchased separately on the Montana Lakes Conference 2023 web page.
The Montana Lakes Conference is sponsored by The Barn Group, the Western Montana Conservation Commission, MT DNRC, MT DEQ, MT FWP, Whitefish CVB, Whitefish County Water & Sewer District, Flathead Conservation District, Flathead Lake Bio Station, River Design Group, Flathead Lakers, Swan Lakers, Glacier Bank, MT Trout Unlimited, Forestation, Little Bitterroot Lake Association, and the Montana Watershed Coordination Council, and Whitefish Marine.