Waterfowl are starting their migration north. Freezeout Lake is a spectacular stop-over but there are many smaller important resting places,200 acre Church Slough in the Flathead Valley is one.
10 years ago a developer petitioned Flathead County to move a county road along Church Slough to develop waterfront property. Flathead Wildlife intervened, arguing the county road was the best place to watch wildlife and the only option for the public to launch a boat. After negotiations, a 1.75 acre parcel was donated to the county to develop a public boat access and viewing spot. Flathead Wildlife then successfully petitioned FWP to close Church Slough to boating from March 1 to April 10 so resting waterfowl would not be disturbed.
A group of 7th graders from Evergreen School are viewing waterfowl aided by Denny Olson from Flathead Audubon and Laura Katzman from the Flathead Land Trust. Waterfowl included tundra swans, Canada geese, redheads, pintails, mallards and widgeon along with bald eagles with the Swan Mountains as a backdrop. Watch for waterfowl numbers to increase soon, the peak at Freezeout is usually around March 25th.