Dam complicated: State seeks removal of historic weir

ELBOW LAKE — A plan to remove a wall of rocks is roiling the waters at this small lake on the Clearwater River.

People who own or lease land around Elbow Lake, including a non-denominational church camp that hosts about 600 area youth each summer, are upset with plans by two state agencies to tear down the short wall of native stones that backs up the river to create the lake. The plan is expected to lower the shallow lake’s water level by up to 4 feet.

“I just recently found out about it by reading the legal notices in the Seeley Lake newspaper. I’m a little surprised we hadn’t been notified,” said Lloyd Dailey, director of Camp Utmost, which has leased land at the south end of the lake from the state since 1960. “Our lease specifies we can boat and swim. We have canoes down there and a swimming area with a dock. That’s definitely a big part of our program and this will certainly impact us.”

Officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks as well as the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation state the makeshift dam, or

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