Early Spring low water level on Flathead Lake

Here is a little-known fact about Flathead Lake Boat Rentals in early Spring:  Flathead Lake’s water level is low.  During the Winter each year approximately 10′ (ten feet) of water is let off of the lake by the dam which is located at the Southern end of Flathead Lake, near the town of Polson.  That means Flathead Lake’s level is currently around 7′ (seven feet) lower than normal in mid-April.  The water is let off of the top of Flathead Lake for several reasons,  to ensure there is room for the snow and ice melt runoff coming from Glacier National Park, streams, and area mountains and to ensure boat docks are not torn up by winter ice, among other reasons.

With the lake level so low it boaters must use a deep water ramp in order to get a boat into the water.  We use a deep water ramp for our renters this time of year, and the deep water ramp has a floating dock for guests to use.

The dam previously was named “Kerr Dam” and currently is named the Seli’š Ksanka Quispe’ dam, for the tribes of the area.  The new native american name represents the names as follows: Selis representing the Salish or Flathead Tribe, Ksanka for the Kootenai tribe and Quispe’ for the Kalispell tribe.  The dam, currently owned and operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes of the Flathead Reservation, is open to guests in the Summer season.  It’s truly a remarkable place to visit.