DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

Beaverhead River Water Clarity Issue to be Discussed at October 27 Meeting in Dillon

(Helena) — In late summer of 2014, the water of the Upper Beaverhead River became markedly cloudy – or turbid. Biologists took note and monitored the conditions, and the river cleared up in the fall. However, after a stretch of warm weather in late spring of 2015, the Upper Beaverhead began running turbid again and has remained that way ever since.  

To better understand the potential causes of these water clarity issues, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks began sampling in June 2015 in Clark Canyon Reservoir (the headwaters of the Beaverhead) and in the Upper Beaverhead with follow up sampling in July and August. Early analysis of that sampling shows suspended sediment and algae as likely causes for the clarity issue.

To present what is known about these conditions and to describe current investigations and findings on the Upper Beaverhead River and Clark Canyon Reservoir, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and FW&P will hold a public meeting in Dillon the evening of Oct. 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Search and Rescue Building. Representatives from both agencies along with representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the Beaverhead Watershed Committee will be on hand.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this meeting. If you require special accommodation, please contact Alex Smietanka at or (406) 444-6749 by Oct. 16.

For more information, contact Paul Driscoll at 406-444-6421 or by email at:

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