Current Gallatin Streamflow: 1720 cfsVIEW MORE

Resources

 

Reports

Macroinvertebrate Metrics Report 2005
Macroinvertebrate Taxa Listing 2005
Assessment of macroinvertebrate communities and historical comparison 2005
Assessment of macroinvertebrate communities 2007
Assessment of macroinvertebrate Communities March 2008
Assessment of macroinvertebrate communities September 2008
Assessment of macroinvertebrate communities – April 2009
West Fork Hydrologic Station/Streamflow Report
Upper West Fork Nitrate Monitoring Project
Gallatin Canyon Wastewater Feasibility Study – Summary – To see the full report contact BWTF
West Fork Nitrogen Monitoring Project Sampling Analysis Plan
Assessment of Macroinvertebrate Communities 2011-2012
Big Sky Golf Course Nutrient Management Plan
Wastewater Disposal Through Snowmaking – Pilot Study Final Report
West Fork Nitrogen Monitoring Project – Final Data Report
WFNitrogenStudyExecutiveSummary
BWTF Community Water Quality Monitoring Program Sampling Analysis Plan
BWTF Community Water Quality Monitoring Program Standard Operating Procedures
WestForkNitrogenReductionSamplingAnalysisPlan
Macroinvertebrate Report 2013-2013
2013 Macroinvertebrate Report South Fork
2014 Gallatin Macroinvetebrate Report
2013WestForkSouthForkNitrogenSourceStudy
2014 Upper Gallatin River Water Quality Report
West Fork Nitrogen Reduction Plan
2015 Annual Upper Gallatin River Watershed Water Quality Report
Yellowstone Club Spill Phase 1 GRTF Report
GRTF 2016 Macroinvertebrate Report
FWP Fisheries Investigation South Fork West Fork Gallatin River Update – 12/16/16
Biological Assessment of Sites in the Gallatin River Watershed, Gallatin County, Montana 2008 – 2016
2016 Annual Upper Gallatin River Watershed Water Quality Report

 

 

2006

11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -TMDL introduction 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House – Westfork Flow 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -West Fork flow 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -West Fork Pathogen
11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -agenda 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -watershed map 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House -timeline 11-8-06 – TMDL Open House – who’s doing what

2007

1-22-07 – Groundwater Seminar -agenda 1-22-07 – Groundwater Seminar -panelists 1-22-07 – Groundwater Seminar -panelists questions 1-22-07 – Groundwater Seminar -groundwater basics
1-22-07 – Groundwater Seminar -neighborhood groundwater 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House -agenda 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House -who’s doing what 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House -MBMG groundwater assessment
12-5-07 – TMDL Open House – TMDL 101 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House -Ophir School 4th grade 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House – high school 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House -pathogens assessment
12-5-07 – TMDL Open House – nutrients assessment 12-5-07 – TMDL Open House – canyon wastewater

2008

7-22-08 – TMDL WAG TAG Presentation 7-22-08 – TMDL WAG TAG Meeting Minutes

2009

2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Sediment TMDL Update” – Montana Department of Environmental Quality 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Big Sky Groundwater Assessment” – Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Gallatin River Study” – Ophir 4th Grade 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “BWTF Update”
2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Wastewater Solutions Forum Update” 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Gallatin Local Water Quality District Expansion” 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Didymosphenia geminata in the West Fork watershed” – Ophir 6th Grade

2010

5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – E.coli/Nutrients Presentation 5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – Sediment Presentation 5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – MINUTES 5-11-10

2009

2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Sediment TMDL Update” – Montana Department of Environmental Quality 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Big Sky Groundwater Assessment” – Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Gallatin River Study” – Ophir 4th Grade 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “BWTF Update”
2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Wastewater Solutions Forum Update” 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Gallatin Local Water Quality District Expansion” 2-19-09 – BWTF ANNUAL MEETING “Didymosphenia geminata in the West Fork watershed” – Ophir 6th Grade

2010

5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – E.coli/Nutrients Presentation 5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – Sediment Presentation 5-11-10 – May 11, 2010 – Upper Gallatin WAG/TAG Meeting – MINUTES 5-11-10

2016

12-6-16 – December 6, 2016 – Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum Community Town Hall

Glossary

 

Algae and Algal Growth: a general term for simple aquatic plants that range in size from barely visible to large seaweeds. The decay of excess algae depletes the amount of oxygen dissolved in water that fish and other aquatic organisms need to survive. In addition, algal overgrowth can negatively impact recreational use and destroy fish and aquatic insect habitat.

Algal Biomass: or ash free dry mass (AFDM), is a measure of the amount of organic material in a waterbody. AFDM can indicate excess algae growing in a waterbody. Excess algae is unsightly, and can result in decreased levels of dissolved oxygen. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality uses a threshold of 35 g AFDM/m2 for July 1 to September 30 (Supplee and Watson, 2013; Administrative Rule of Montana 17.30.637(1)(e)).

Ammonia: one of the forms of nitrogen common in aquatic ecosystems. Unlike other forms of nitrogen, which cause nutrient over-enrichment, excess ammonia can be toxic to aquatic life. Natural sources of ammonia include decomposing organic waste, gas exchange with the atmosphere, forest fires, animal and human waste, and nitrogen fixation processes. Ammonia is used as a building block for fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, and commercial cleaning products. Human sources of ammonia include municipal effluent discharge and runoff from agricultural lands. Environmental factors, such as pH and temperature, can affect ammonia toxicity for aquatic animals. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality computes the standard for ammonia by using a formula that takes into account the pH of the water (Montana Department of Environmental Quality Circular DEQ-7, 2012; Administrative Rule of Montana 17.30.637(1)(d)).

Baseflow: the portion of streamflow that does not come from runoff, but instead results from water slowly seeping from the ground into the river. Baseflow is the primary source of running water in a stream during periods of dry weather.

Baseline: either 1) a minimum or 2) initial data point(s) used to make comparisons before or after a change.

Biology: the study of life and of living matter in all its forms. Biology includes the structure, function, evolution, and commonalities with other living matter. There are many subcategories of biology.

CFS: “cubic feet per second”, which is the unit of measurement for streamflow.

cfu/100 mL: “colony forming units per 100 milliliters”, which is the unit of measurement for E. coli concentration.

Chloride: water-soluble salts that can be toxic to aquatic life at very high concentrations (> 230 mg/L). Man-made sources of chloride include discharge from hot tubs and pools, wastewater, and road salt.

Chlorophyll-a: chlorophyll is a green pigment that allows cyanobacteria, algae, and plants to produce energy through photosynthesis. Chlorophyll-a is the most common type of chlorophyll found in green plants and algae. Scientists measure chlorophyll-a to quantify the amount of algae growing in a waterbody. Excess algae is unsightly, and can result in decreased levels of dissolved oxygen. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality uses a threshold of 125 mg Chla/m2 for July 1 to September 30 (Supplee and Watson, 2013; Administrative Rule of Montana 17.30.637(1)(e)).

Channel Morphology: the shape of a riverbed.

Conductivity and Specific Conductance: a measure of the ability of water to carry an electrical current. Pure water is not an effective conductor of electricity. The conductivity of water increases with the amount of inorganic dissolved ions (charged particles) such as chloride, nitrate, sulfate, and phosphate anions (negatively charged particles) or sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and aluminum cations (positively charged particles). Most rivers have a fairly constant range of conductivity under normal circumstances. Conductivity naturally varies with precipitation, geology, temperature, and proximity to the ocean. For example, rain or snowmelt reduces conductivity by adding more freshwater and lowering the concentration of dissolved ions. Human activity can affect conductivity as well. Leaking wastewater, rich in chloride, phosphate, and nitrate, raises the conductivity of water while oil spills lower the conductivity.

Dissolved Oxygen (DO): the amount of oxygen dissolved in water. Trout and aquatic insects depend on high oxygen levels. Montana Department of Environmental Quality standards vary depending on whether fish found within the water body are in an “early life stage.” During every month of the year, some species of fish found in the Gallatin are in an “early life stage”; therefore, we chose to compare our results to the 7-day mean standard of 9.5 mg/L (MTDEQ Department Circular DEQ-7, 2012, Administrative Rule of Montana 17.30.637(1)(d)).

Ecology: the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment.

Escherichia coli (E. coli): a bacterium commonly found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some can cause severe illnesses, especially in young children and the elderly. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality set the primary standard for E. coli as 126 cfu/100mL during the warm months from April 1st through October 31st and 630 cfu/100 mL for the rest of the year (Administrative Rule of Montana 17.30.620 (2)(ii)).

Fine Sediment: rock or other naturally occurring material that is broken down by weathering and erosion and is less than 4 millimeters in diameter. Excess fine sediment negatively impacts channel morphology, aquatic life, and recreational use. Sources of fine sediment include: natural land disturbance, erosion from construction areas and unpaved roads, disturbance of riparian (stream side) areas, and road traction sand. Studies suggest that impacts to fish spawning habitat and macroinvertebrates begin to occur above 20% percent fines [Hunter, 1973; Tappel and Bjornn, 1983; Burton and Harvey 1990].

Geology: the study of the solid earth, the rocks of which it is composed of, and the physical, chemical, and biological processes that the earth has undergone or is undergoing. Geology provides insight into the history of Earth.

Groundwater: water that is stored within layers of rock beneath the surface of the Earth. Groundwater is supplied by infiltration of rainwater, snowmelt and other surface water. Water in the ground generally and slowly flows from high areas to low areas, just like surface water tends to flow. Groundwater is used to supply springs and wells. Groundwater can be considered part of a watershed.

Habitat Analysis: a series of field analyses that assess channel morphology, pool depth and frequency, fine sediment, large woody debris, and riparian zones. Together, these analyses suggest whether or not instream habitat, riparian areas, and fine sediment levels support aquatic life.

Hydrology: the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources, and environmental watershed sustainability.

Macroinvertebrates or Stream Insects: aquatic organisms that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and lack a backbone. Benthic macroinvertebrates live among the rocks on the streambed. Macroinvertebrates are a useful indicator of water quality, as some are very sensitive to different types of pollution. The presence of sensitive species such as mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies suggests clean water.

mg/L: “milligrams per liter” or one part per million, a unit of measurement for the concentration of a substance in a liquid.

Nitrate and Total Nitrogen (TN): nitrate, a form of nitrogen readily usable by plants and animals, is a subset of total nitrogen, which is the total of all forms of nitrogen. Excess nitrogen increases algal growth, which can have negative impacts including reduced dissolved oxygen levels, unsightly conditions, and poor habitat conditions for fish and other aquatic organisms. Sources of nitrogen in rivers and streams include organic matter, the atmosphere, geology, human and animal waste, and fertilizer. For the TMDL study, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MTDEQ) used a nitrate water quality criterion of 0.1 mg/L to indicate impairment during the growing season, July 15th to September 30th. As of 2014, the MTDEQ assesses nitrogen impairment by the level of total nitrogen concentration believed to prevent growth of undesirable algae. This standard is 0.3 mg/L (MTDEQ Department Circular DEQ-12A, 2014; ARM 17.30.637(1)(e)).

Nonpoint Source Pollution: pollution from a diffuse source. Water from rain and snowmelt flows across and through the landscape on its way to a waterbody. This runoff picks up and carries natural and human made pollutants, including excess sediment, nutrients, or bacteria.

Parameter: a physical, chemical, or biological characteristic that is measureable and helps define a system.

pH: a measurement of how acidic or basic a substance. pH is measured on a scale from 0-14, from most acidic to most basic. Acidic values are from 0-7. Basic numbers range from 7-14. Natural factors (e.g. photosynthesis, limestone, needle/leaf decomposition) and human factors (e.g. industrial pollutants, acid rain) can affect pH. Fish require pH levels between 6.5 and 9.

Point Source Pollution: water pollution that comes from a specific location or single point; examples include a sewer system-outflow pipe or storm runoff drainage pipe.

Pool: an area of the stream that has greater depths and slower currents than riffles and runs.

Pool Frequency: the number of pools occurring in a length of stream.

Pool Tail: the downstream end of a pool and contains ideal habitat for trout spawning.

Riffle: an area of the stream where the water breaks over cobbles, boulders and gravel or where the water surface is visibly broken. You can typically cross riffles to get to the other side without getting too wet.

Riparian: the transition zones between land and water; of or relating to wet areas adjacent to rivers and streams.

Run: runs refer to an area where the water is flowing rapidly, generally located downstream from riffles. Runs are deeper than riffles.

Stream Stage: the water level above some arbitrary point in the river. A relationship between stream stage and measured streamflow (volume of water in a river at a specific point in time) is used to determine streamflow at times when stage is measured but streamflow is not measured.

Streamflow: volume of water flowing in a river at a specific point in time commonly measured in cubic feet per second (cfs).

Temperature: can affect fish, aquatic insects, and algal growth. Westslope Cutthroat trout prefer a habitat where temperature ranges from 10.3 – 17 degrees Celsius (50-63 degrees Fahrenheit) [Bear et al., 2005]. For this reason, we chose a critical value of 17 degrees Celsius to compare our results.

Total Coliform: a group of closely related bacteria that are (with a few exceptions) not harmful to humans.

Total Phosphorus (TP): Although phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and animals, a small excess of phosphorus has negative water quality effects, similar to those of nitrogen. These effects include algal blooms, undesirable plant growth, and low dissolved oxygen. Sources of phosphorus include runoff from fertilized landscapes, animal waste and manure, commercial cleaning preparations, soil, and rocks. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has set the water quality standard at a level believed to prevent the growth of undesirable algae or 0.03 mg/L [MTDEQ Department Circular DEQ-12A, 2014; ARM 17.30.637(1)(e)].

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): a regulatory term describing the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting state water quality standards. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is required to develop TMDLs for all water bodies in Montana that are deemed impaired. The Task Force was the local liaison for the Upper Gallatin TMDL study in the West Fork Watershed that occurred between 2005 and 2010. TMDLs were developed for the South Fork, Middle Fork, and West Fork. The Upper Gallatin TMDL report is available on the Task Force website.

Turbidity: a measurement of water clarity.

Water quality: the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water in relationship to a set of standards.
Watershed: an area of land defined by high elevation ridges and peaks, where water drains downwards to the same body of water (river, lake, bay) in the low-lying areas of the landscape.