Reports & Publications


WLI staff have authored, co-authored, edited and published several publications. The most recent—Voices of Our Lake—is a beautiful journal, thoughtfully assembled from community stories and staff research and is available at no cost to the community. The Third Edition of the Montana Lake Book is a collaborative effort that brings Montana’s lakes to life while explaining how they function, how they are threatened and how they can be protected. The book is available at no charge thanks to our funders. The photo-filled pages of the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook: A Guide to An Extraordinary Place details the geography, cultures, natural history and economics of the Flathead Valley of northwestern Montana from a watershed perspective. It is available for free to educators and citizens. Its complimentary Flathead Watershed Sourcebook Educator Guide is a companion middle school curriculum to be used with the Sourcebook. Visit WLI Store to purchase copies of any WLI publications, maps or a bumper sticker.

Data Requests

WLI has collected and analyzed field data on Whitefish Lake and local streams since 2007. WLI’s data is free to the public.

  • – WLI data can be downloaded from Hydroshare. This dataset contains data from 63 lake sites and 17 stream sites from 2007-2021.
  •  –The Whitefish Area Water Resources Report: A Status of the Whitefish Lake Watershed and Surrounding Area (WLI, 2015), provides a synthesis of our monitoring results and that of our partners. 
  • -In 2021, WLI uploaded all current and historic data for the Whitefish area and for the Northwest Montana Lake’s Network into DEQ’s WQX Water Quality Exchange Database. The database is a publicly accessible and sponsored by the United States Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. 
  • -Contact the WLI office at 406.862.4327 or for more specific data requests


Our reports are available here for downloading. As they tend to be quite large, they are organized in sections that are more manageable to download. They include: The Whitefish Area Water Resources Report: A Status of the Whitefish Lake Watershed (2015) is the first ever complete water quality status report and peer-reviewed, scientifically comprehensive discussion of long-term water quality management in the Whitefish Lake Watershed & Surrounding Area. The Investigation of Septic Leachate to the Shoreline Area of Whitefish Lake, MT (2012) is a detailed report covering the history, prior research, and current information regarding Septic Leachate pollution of Whitefish Lake. WLI has led the charge to better understand and work to remedy this issue that effects not only Whitefish, but all lakeside towns in the country. The Flathead Lake Biological Station and Whitefish Lake Institute teamed up to estimate the benefits that two northwest Montana lakes – Whitefish and Flathead – impart to home values in the form of price premiums for lakefront and nearby real estate. This report, Estimating the Real Estate Price Premium of Two Northwest Montana Lakes – Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake, estimates of the aesthetic benefit residential land owners derive from living on or nearby Flathead Lake and Whitefish Lake, which both exhibit exceptional water clarity. The results reveal the far-reaching economic importance of maintaining lake water quality. The Northwest Montana Lakes  Network publishes an annual report summarizing the efforts of our extensive volunteer monitoring network and staff on 41 lakes throughout Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, and Missoula counties.​