Since 2000, the Task Force and partners have gathered water-quality data to evaluate the health of the Upper Gallatin River Watershed. We use this to identify spatial and temporal trends and assess episodic events, such as 2018’s wide-spread nuisance algae bloom. Our intrepid volunteers have braved cold, high water, and blazing sun to build a record of chemical and physical indicators of watershed health.
This data guides project planning and evaluates successes and failures of our restoration efforts.
Science in Action
Upper Gallatin TMDL
The Gallatin River Task Force partnered with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana State University to complete an extensive study of the health of the Upper Gallatin River Watershed in 2010. Through this process, six streams in the Upper Gallatin River Watershed were flagged for failing to meet state water quality targets.
Upper Gallatin Restoration
Restoration will focus on our most pressing water-quality concerns, improving the health of the West Fork by reducing inputs of nitrogen, working with the Department of Transportation to address the impacts of winter road maintenance, and prioritizing culvert replacement projects to minimize sediment inputs and improve fish passage.
Yellowstone Club Spill
In 2016, a retention pond at the Yellowstone Club released 35 millions gallons of treated water into the surrounding streams, requiring a quick response from the community. The Task Force played an important role during this crisis by lending scientific consulting, leading community outreach, and working with all public and private parties involved.