Lion Lake Dam repairs move forward

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Packrafters enjoy the South Fork of the Flathead River in this June 2018 photo. The Flathead National Forest has approved a project to conduct repairs on the Lion Lake Dam this summer. 

BRETT FRENCH, Billings Gazette file photo Flathead National Forest

KALISPELL — The Flathead National Forest has approved a project to conduct repairs on the Lion Lake Dam this summer.

Recent surveys and evaluation of the dam resulted in discovery of leakage occurring through the structure and declining integrity of the primary dam on the south side of Lion Lake. These leaks could lead to dam failure and have impacts to Whelp Creek, a tributary to the South Fork of the Flathead River. A request for public comment was sent out on March 8, 2021; one comment was received on the proposal.

In order to fix the dam, the following repairs have been approved: draining the reservoir to the level of the outlet pipe on the primary dam at the south side of the reservoir; slip-line the existing outlet pipe on

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