Press Release: Range of Forecast on Web via Energy Keepers (Flathead Lake Levels)
By angelamontana

Posted: April 26, 2024

Polson, Montana – Energy Keepers Inc began posting a new graphic today that shows the  possible lake level ranges this summer. The Range of Forecast Graphic will be updated every  Monday afternoon through the spring and summer on the Energy Keepers web site and Facebook  page. The website is located at and a simple search on Facebook  will bring up the Energy Keepers page. 

“What will happen with lake levels is a question on the minds of everyone in the Flathead Lake  Community. There’s an ample amount of incorrect information going around so in an effort to  keep the public apprised of the ever-changing conditions we are posting what our forecasters  see,” said Brian Lipscomb, CEO of Energy Keepers. “In one graphic, everyone will understand  what the range of possibilities are for the lake as we move through the spring.” 

Staff forecasters deal with large amounts of uncertainty and imperfect information tied to  snowpack, temperatures, weather, snowpack density, streamflows and more. By seeing the ever changing variables, it’s a way to better understand what it takes to operate a hydroelectric  facility. 

Energy Keepers, the owner and operator of Salish Ksanka Qlispe (SKQ) Dam operates under a  license issued by FERC, or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As part of operations,  SKQ regularly coordinates with the United States Army Corp of Engineers and the Bureau of  Reclamation. The 2023 low-water year was a challenge for everyone in the Flathead Basin. To  keep communications as clear as possible, Energy Keepers needs to correct some information  that came from an entity that’s not involved with the project. 

A statement recently appeared in a press release reprinted by the April 18th Valley Journal that  quoted a non-profit C4 organization that made some incorrect claims. First, they claim “They  [Energy Keepers] plan to limit the drawdown to ensure the Lake’s level is maintained at or near  full pool for the summer.” This is incorrect. 

In recent routine filings by Energy Keepers with FERC, it was stated that full pool will likely be  reached by late June. Based on detailed reviews of snowpack levels, projected weather, and potential dry conditions again this year, the possibility of the lake levels sagging later in the  summer is a possibility.  

In addition, the non-profit organization claims to be “an intervener on behalf of Flathead Lake.” There is no proceeding at FERC for any entity to intervene in. This  entity has filed complaints with FERC and FERC has investigated those complaints and responded to the appropriateness of EKI’s adherence to the license in its operations.  

EKI is currently developing a Drought Management Plan, or DMP, which will, as the license  requires, include provision for re-evaluation and adjustment of Flathead Lake flood control requirements  and other provisions necessary to facilitate compliance with lower Flathead River minimum instream  flow requirements designated by the Secretary of the Interior. 

While Energy Keepers appreciates enthusiasts, all efforts will be made to ensure confusing untruths will be addressed to help keep everyone informed of actual conditions, challenges, and operations. 


(Dated April 18, 2024)
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