Adopt-A-Lake Program

Our lakes are the center of our community. We fish, swim, and play in them. They provide water for our town. The wildlife we love are dependent on them. Our lakes are the center of tourism, our local economy, and our way of life.

Unfortunately, we do not know much about our lakes. The agencies responsible for keeping track of the health of our lakes are overwhelmed, but Clearwater Resource Council is helping!

The Adopt-a-Lake program was initiated late in 2008 with the first full season in 2009 on Seeley Lake, Salmon Lake, Placid Lake, Lake Alva, Lake Inez, Rainy Lake, Clearwater Lake and Big Sky Lake. The purpose of the programs is to collect simple, but universally used measures of water clarity. These measures are indicative of the amount of algae production in the lakes. Some algae growth is necessary to provide food at the bottom of the food chain. Too much algae, though, causes undesireable changes in water quality. For those interested, the sampling and analysis plan (SAP) and the yearly reports are available at the links below. The summer of 2016 was our eighth full season of data collection. We could not accomplish programs like this without volunteers.

We'd like to express appreciation to our 2015 volunteers:
•    Patricia Bouta and Guido Niederoest: Lake Alva
•    Sue and Steve Criswell: Lake Inez
•    Jeff and Cathy Harrits: Big Sky Lake
•    Chris Hunter: Salmon Lake
•    Karen and Ted Linford: Seeley Lake
•    Dennis Rolston: Clearwater Lake and Rainy Lake
•    Sherry and Clyde Sterling: Placid Lake
•    Joann Wallenburn: (QC, AIS) Lakes Alva, Inez, Salmon, Placid, and Big Sky
•    Sylvia, Pam, Sam, and Adam Weisenburger: Lake Inez

and welcome our newest volunteer in 2016, Roger Marshall.

More volunteers are always welcome. If you'd like to offer your support in gathering information about our lakes, please contact Joann at (406) 210-8453 or Bruce at (406) 677-3813 or email We collect data May through October each year and would value your help.

Recent reports and the Sampling and Analysis Plan