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County could move to regulate houseboats

YELLOW BAY – What to do about year-round houseboats on Flathead Lake rose to the surface at last week’s Flathead Basin Commission meeting.

The idea of regulating houseboats is a new topic locally, Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker said.

The issue arose after it was noted that two houseboats are kept year-round in Somers Bay.

The biggest concern that may spark state legislation is the potential impact of waste from the houseboats, Decker said.

“We don’t have a lot of dumps for sailboats and houseboats” on Flathead Lake, he said. I

n fact, Decker only knows of two: Dayton and Bigfork. Finley Point has one that is operated by Montana State Parks, according to Rob McDonald, communications director for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Some houseboats have a waste tank that could be punctured by rocks or logs, Decker said. The commission is going to give some suggestions to the Legislature for regulating houseboats, he said.

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