Believe it or not, historically it was not uncommon for Flathead Lake to completely freeze over. This event was documented by the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station at Yellow bay every five to seven years. However, the last time this event occurred was 30 years ago, during the winter of 1989-90.
Although this freeze-over event was very close to occurring this winter, with our record-breaking below-average artic temperatures and extreme weather events, the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi may have narrowly escaped again this winter.
Due to the current ice buildup along the Flathead Lake boat ramp areas, 2019 Spring Mack Days has been delayed for one week, with an optimistic start date of March 22. This delayed start date depends on how long it takes the ice to recede. If the ramp areas remain inaccessible, the delay will occur for a second week. Check the Mack Days website at www.mackdays.com for updates.
If you have questions, call Cindy Bras-Benson, Confederated Salish and Kooteni Tribal Fisheries Program Fisheries Specialist at 406-883-2888, ext. 7294 or 406-675-2700, ext. 7294.