Registration open for lake conference

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A pair of kayakers paddle on Whitefish Lake. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

The Montana Lakes Conference is expected to gather a diverse resource professionals to exchange information, scientific advancements and management strategies regarding healthy lake and reservoir ecosystems.

The conference, hosted by the Whitefish Lake Institute, is set for March 13-15 at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Registration is open now for the conference by clicking on the Montana Lakes Conference link at http://www.whitefishlake.org/.

Mike Koopal, WLI executive director, said the desire to host the event focusing on lakes came after noticing that conferences typically revolve around streams and rivers rather than talking about lakes.

The conference is expected to allow for an exchange of knowledge and introducing new approaches to help manage and protect lakes.

A common thread throughout the conference is the issue of climate change, Koopal notes.

The keynote speaker is Edward Cameron, a global climate strategist, who is set to talk about building low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive economies. Geoffery Schladow, from University of California, Davis and the Tahoe Research Center, will discuss lake restoration in a changing climate on Lake Tahoe during a lunch session.

Other presenters will focus on how native trout respond to climate variability, and the effects of climate change in Glacier National Park.

A free community presentation on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center is expected to focus on impacts on life in mountain regions as a result of a changing climate. Speakers are Erich Pietzsch, physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Service Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center and Jim Elser, director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station.

Koopal notes that discounted pricing is available for community members and that some parts of the conference are free to the public.

More information on the conference is at www.whitefishlake.org, including the full agenda.

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