Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Confluentus, Lake
Flathead County, Montana

Status = Denied

Description lake, 15 acres, in Glacier National Park, 1 km (0.6 mi) NE of Battlement Mountain, 1.1 km (0.7 mi) W of Lake Isabel; the name is Latin meaning “flowing together” and also is the genus name for the bull trout that are found in the lake
Location 48°25’16”N, 113°30’26”W
PLSS Location Sec 28, T31N, R15W
Proposal new name for an unnamed feature
Proponent Wade Fredenburg; Kalispell, MT
Not Upper Isabel Lake
Administrative area Glacier National Park
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 2071912
Local Usage None found
Published Upper Isabel Lake (USGS fish population listing)
This proposal was originally submitted as a request to apply the new name Lake Confluentus to an unnamed lake. The lake is located within the wilderness area of Glacier National Park. The proposal was submitted by an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who reports that the 15-acre alpine lake needs a name “for identification purposes and for [the] presentation of scientific information.” He claims it is “quite possibly the only lake within the Columbia River drainage that sustains bull trout that has not been previously named.” The proposed name is of Latin origin, with confluentus meaning “flowing together.” Salvelinus confluentus is also the Latin name for the bull trout, a threatened species of fish that are found in this “remote and pristine” lake and which are likely to have existed for 10,000 years.

At the time the proposal was submitted, there was no listing for the lake in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). When asked to comment on the name Lake Confluentus, the National Park Service (NPS) indicated it did not recommend approval of the name, citing the restrictions of the Wilderness Naming Policy and an apparent lack of evidence that the lake needed an official name. The NPS also indicated that the “informal” name Upper Isabel Lake was “sufficient for its administration purposes” (the lake is just upstream from Lake Isabel), but the agency did not wish to submit a formal proposal for that name. The proponent attempted to solicit support from the Park’s management but was told the wilderness policy precluded approval of the name. There are no other geographic features in Montana known to be named “Confluentus.”

Subsequent research by the Geographic Names Office has determined that the name Upper Isabel Lake should be considered official for Federal use, and that name has been entered into GNIS. The name appears in both a U.S. Geological Survey listing of fish populations and in a conservation bulletin published in 1941 by the Department of the Interior.

The Montana State Board on Geographic Names contacted the Flathead County Commissioners regarding the proposal for Lake Confluentus and was advised the county supported the proposal. However, citing the NPS opposition and the restrictions of the Wilderness Policy, the State Board does not recommend approval. The State Board has been informed of the addition of Upper Isabel Lake to GNIS. A copy of the proposal was forwarded to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation and to the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana, both of which are Federally-recognized, but no response was received, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion on the issue.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Oppose (Monday, May 9, 2005)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, September 8, 2005
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded not to approve the name change.

Vote: 6 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

A motion was made and seconded to defer a decision on this name, pending a determination as to whether the locally-used name Upper Isabel Lake is in fact official already for Federal use.

Vote: 8 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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