Calispell Lake is very productive and supports rich populations of wetland vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. The lake's primary value to birds is as a migration staging area for waterfowl, Sandhill Cranes, shorebirds, and particularly Tundra Swans. The Washington Breeding Bird Atlas identifies this as one of only 19 sites in the state with a breeding population of Bobolinks.
The lake and some of the surrounding uplands are managed for waterfowl habitat by a private duck-hunting club, so land uses are fairly compatible with bird conservation objectives. In summer, water is pumped from the lake for irrigation and livestock. Draw down may make the lake more vulnerable to invasions by non-native plants.