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10 Facts You Probably Never Knew About Flathead Lake

Montana, United States -
(Photo by Francois LE DIASCORN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

We are lucky to have this lake so close to us, offering many recreation and outdoor opportunities. Here are some interesting facts you may or may not know about our very own Flathead Lake.


It’s the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi




You can tell them it is BIG! That’s right: Flathead Lake measures in at 195 square miles of surface water.


Kerr Dam raised its water level




When they installed the dam it raised the water level by ten feet… a fun fact from NW road trips.


It wasn’t always called Flathead




Originally it was called Salish Lake after the tribe.


There was more water before than there is now




Scientists say that before the melting of glaciers it was 500 feet higher!


‘Mack Days’ has a high fish count




Flathead Lake’s premier fishing tournament brings in over 402,000 lake trout.


Flathead’s bio station is older than you might think




This is one of the oldest active biological stations in the United States. According to the station’s website, it was established in 1899.


There’s a reason for cherries and wine




The Flathead climate is everything. It has a mild climate which allows for cherries to prosper on the east shore and vineyards for wine production on the west shore. Not every lake can produce that.


It’s very good for real estate




Having a home on the shoreline of Flathead is worth it on its own merits, but how much does it actually boost property values? The biological station says that economists estimate that it boosts them by $6-$8 billion.


It’s not really that deep




The deepest area of Flathead only goes down 370.7 feet. You can check lake levels here. By the way, Lake Tahoe is over 1600 feet deep!


There’s a Flathead Lake monster




Much like the Loch Ness monster this creature has been said to roam the lake. It’s said to be a large eel-type creature. Even though it isn’t as deep as other lakes, 330 plus feet is still deep enough for a monster. Could it be a giant sturgeon? We may never know.

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