In 1930, construction began on the dam by Rocky Mountain Power. A year later in 1931, a lack of funding from the Great Depression caused construction to halt for five years. In 1936, the Montana Power Company restarted the project and completed it in 1938. The dam only raised Flathead Lake by 10 feet so it is not completely responsible for the reservoir. The dam's hydro powerplant consists of three units that receive water from three different penstocks 1700 feet downstream.