Kalispell, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has received numerous reports of frequent violations near protected wildlife habitat along the north shore of Flathead Lake. The public is reminded to respect private property and seasonal closures along the lakeshore between Bigfork and Somers. The most frequent violations have involved illegal motorized use on the beach and along the shoreline during low water. Game wardens are investigating.
The north shore of Flathead Lake provides important fisheries and wildlife habitat managed by state and federal agencies. These areas are managed in large part to protect upland, migratory and resident bird populations.
The Osprey View Fisheries Conservation Area, located near Bigfork and managed by FWP, is the only FWP land that provides access along the north shore of the lake during spring. Osprey View FCA allows foot traffic but is closed to motorized use.
The adjacent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Area, spanning west on the beach and along the shoreline from Osprey View FCA to the Somers area, is closed to all public access from March 1 through July 15 to limit disturbance to migratory and nesting birds. The closure includes the beach that exists at low water.
The North Shore Wildlife Management Area, managed by FWP and bordered by the federal WPA to the south and Montana Highway 82 to the north, is also closed to all public access from March 1 through July 15.
Year-round restrictions at FWP-managed property along the north shore, through Administrative Rules of Montana 12.8.209 (1) and 12.8.204, include:
- Dogs must be on a leash except when hunting
- No motor vehicles
- No shooting except during hunting season
- No fires, camping or overnight use
- No littering
- No commercial use without a permit
(via MT FWP)