News

Temporary Boating Closure on Beaver Lake

 

KALISPELL, Mont. – State officials have ordered temporary closure of Beaver Lake north of Kalispell to watercraft until appropriate control work can be implemented to control Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive plant species discovered in the lake in 2011.

 

A temporary quarantine signed July 18, 2012 closes the public boat ramp and prohibits motorized and nonmotorized watercraft throughout the lake, except for personal floatation items such as inner tubes used by swimmers.

 

Dave Burch, weed program manager at the Montana Department of Agriculture, estimated that work to remove the aggressive, non-native water weed using dredge diving and bottom barriers could take up to a month.

 

Boats transported from lake to lake are the primary method by which watermilfoil is spread and likely the way the species arrived in Beaver Lake. Plant fragments entangled in boating equipment readily start new populations. Local officials are worried the weed could be spread to more populated water bodies such as Whitefish and Flathead lakes.

 

About 20 private cabin leases exist on Beaver Lake. The prohibition on boating also applies to them, Burch said. The department is working with the Montana Departments of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Natural Resources and Conservation as well as county weed districts to stop the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, which also has been found on Toston Reservoir, the Lower Clark Fork River and portions of the Upper and Lower Missouri River.

 

The Montana Department of Agriculture will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday July 25, 2012 at 10:00am to inform the public on the temporary quarantine. The meeting will be held at the Flathead County Weed District conference room at 309 FFA Drive in Kalispell.

 

For more information, contact Craig McLane at (406) 444-7819 or by e-mail at cmclane@mt.gov or Dave Burch at (406) 438-2558 or by e-mail at dburch@mt.gov.
 

 
 

Contacts

 

Craig McLane

Aquatic Plant Science Specialist
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-7819
E-mail: CMcLane@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-9466

Dave Burch

Weed Program Manager
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-3140
E-mail: dburch@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-9493

 

Published: July 19, 2012 3:40:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: July 19, 2012 3:42:21 PM MDT