On March 13 and 14, 2014, the Flathead Lake research buoys off Woods Bay and Yellow Bay Points were successfully retrieved and returned to FLBS for repairs and maintenance. Instruments and hardware will be inspected and cleaned, sensors calibrated, batteries replaced, and repairs conducted.
Since initial deployment in the summer of 2011, the buoys have resulted in extensive amounts of data about the water and weather of Flathead Lake which have yielded an enhanced understanding of our wonderfully complex water body. However, exposure to the elements on the open water of Flathead Lake has taken a toll, and particularly moisture in all of its forms (rain, snow and ice) has damaged various components of the buoys.
The cost and feasibility of redeployment will be assessed by FLBS scientists, as the research grant that initially funded the buoys has ended. Due to the utility of the data from the buoys and their popularity with the recreational and general public, every effort will be made to put them back out, hopefully sometime this summer.