Rising summer temps likely culprit in ‘nuisance’ algae in Smith RiverNews Type: State, Regional Source: Ravalli Republic
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State officials suspect rising temperatures in Montana’s iconic Smith River have contributed to blooms of algae deemed a nuisance to recreation and potentially unsettling to aquatic life.
The Smith, known for stunning scenery across a multiday float, is Montana’s only permitted river where launches are awarded through lottery. Thousands of floaters apply each year for a chance to launch down the canyon during the relatively short floating season.
In 2015, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks began receiving reports of large algae blooms on the Smith. Last year, DEQ sampled water to determine the type of algae becoming more abundant and what factors may be causing high growth.