The Stillwater River is being monitored for two years by a group of volunteers. Tom Osborne, a retired hydrologist, approached the Stillwater Valley Watershed Council to help out with the work, which began in October. Together, they are checking for things like dissolved oxygen, nutrients, water temperature and sediment levels. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is providing lab services and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation funded a grant to help pay for the expenses. The Billings chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Magic City Fly Fishers, is also a source of volunteers. The work will provide a baseline for the river that’s important as it undergoes changes. The tests can also flag problems as they happen. To learn more about the program, and other places undertaking similar testing, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors/volunteer-water-monitoring-of-stillwater-river-tributaries-will-provide-baseline-information/article_f9f26241-0f82-5289-ade5-b4b1aca4a7f0.html.
Written by Brett French | Outdoor Editor for the Billings Gazette