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Clark Canyon Dam

Beaverhead River Water Clarity Meeting

A joint presentation about water clarity in the Beaverhead River will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.at the USDA Service Center Conference Room, 420 Barrett St, Dillon. Please enter through the east door.

The past three summers have seen turbidity problems in the upper reaches of the Beaverhead River. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) deployed a monitoring program that included measurements in the reservoir, the Beaverhead River, and tributary streams. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has conducted a bathymetric survey to measure the reservoir bed elevation. The Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FW&P) performed routine monitoring of fish populations and conditions in the reservoir and streams.

Montana DEQ, FW&P, and the Bureau of Reclamation will jointly present on:

  • Our current understanding of the chronology of the turbidity in the Beaverhead River and the reservoir.
  • Review of data collected during the past two years and how it compares to historic information, including identification of the turbidity material and minerology.
  • Analysis and interpretation of potential mechanisms causing the turbidity. A review the importance of factors like water movement and reservoir mixing, whether fish and other biota contribute to the turbidity, and geochemistry that could further exacerbate such events.
  • Potential effects on fish and other aquatic life.
  • Finally, the agencies will discuss potential next steps.
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