Smith River Algae Study results to be shared at public meetings -

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Smith River Algae Study results to be shared at public meetings

Tuesday, February 26, 2019/Categories: Department of Environmental Quality/Tags:

HELENA -- Scientists will share their findings from an ongoing study of nuisance algae growth on the Smith River at two public meetings scheduled in Helena and White Sulphur Springs in March.


In 2015, DEQ and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks began receiving numerous reports of excessive algae growth interfering with recreational activities along the popular river. After initial observation by the agencies in the 2016 and 2017 field seasons, DEQ launched the Smith River Nuisance Algae Study in 2018.


In the study’s first season, DEQ sampled at multiple locations on the mainstem of the Smith and on two tributaries. Scientists are considering a variety of potential causes for the proliferation of Cladophora, a type of stringy green algae that is native to Montana. Changing air and water temperatures, levels of nutrients that promote algae growth, PH levels and water hardness, are among the variables being studied.


The upcoming meetings are an opportunity for the public to learn about the study’s initial findings and what’s planned for 2019. Meeting dates and times are:


Monday, March 11, DEQ Metcalf Building, 1520 E. 6th Ave., Room 111, 12:30-3 p.m.


White Sulphur Springs
Tuesday, March 12, All Seasons Inn and Suites, 5:30-8 p.m.

For more information on the meeting, or to make special needs accommodations, contact Karen Ogden at 406-444-6469 or by email at:


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