Welcome to the Third Edition of the Montana Lake Book.

The Montana Lake Book explains how lakes function, how they are threatened and how they can be protected. It also identifies simple actions we can all take to help protect and preserve the lakes of Montana.

Lakes are among our most valued – and most threatened – natural resources. They provide recreational and drinking water for people, and important habitat for fish and other wildlife. Despite these critical roles, few people understand how their daily activities can challenge the health of our lakes. Even those of us who live miles from a lake directly affect the lake’s water quality. Learning to understand how simple changes in our behaviors can protect lake health is an investment in our future and in the legacy we leave for our children. Through these pages, you will learn how to protect our lakes while enjoying all they have to offer.

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”

– Henry David Thoreau