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Bitterroot River

Bitterroot River

Roaring Lion Creek
Roaring Lion Creek was living up to its name last week. (Fullerton Photo)
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Snow Levels and Lack of Rain May Lead to Dry Season

The snowfall was a little below normal and rainfall was much lower than expected in Southwest Montana this spring.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has released its streamflow forecast for the Bitterroot River drainage, which is Ravalli County's major river

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Bitterroot River
The Bitterroot River near Hamilton. (KLYQ Photo)
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Bitterroot Streams are Rolling High and Fast – Keep Off!

Each year, officials warn recreationists to stay off the Bitterroot River.

It's high water time in the Rockies and that means all rivers and streams are running near the top of their banks, and occasionally cresting over the edge

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Bitterroot River
A spring float on the Bitterroot River. (KLYQ Photo)
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Diminishing Bitterroot Snowpack May Lower Summer Streamflow

With another month of less than expected snowfall, the Bitterroot River drainage is now the lowest percentage in Montana, with 85 percent of average.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reported weather patterns in March favored the northern part of Montana with more snow in the St Mary-Milk River Basin with 108 of average at the beginning of April, a gain of about 5 percent

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bitterroot river
Ice along the Bitterroot River. (KLYQ Photo)
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Bitterroot River Snowpack and Streamflow are Now Below Average

Now, recreationists and farmers and ranchers are looking at the streamflow forecasts for the valley.

The most recent figures from the USDA Natural Resources and conservation Service (NRCS) show the levels are below average and much below levels last year

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Lost Horse
Looking up Lost Horse Canyon of the Bitterroot Mountains. (KLYQ Photo)
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Snowpack Drifts Lower in the Bitterroot Mountains

The latest snow survey shows only 86 percent of average snowpack in the Bitterroot River drainage.

The monthly survey by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) showed the Bitterroot and the rest of Western Montana snowfields below average

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Bitterroot Mountains
Snow in the Bitterroot Mountain Range. (KLYQ File Photo)
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Bitterroot Snowpack is Lower Than Last Year

The first snow survey of 2013 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Montana showed over normal snowpack for the Missouri River Headwaters, but below normal for the Columbia River Headwaters, which includes the Clark Fork and the Bitterroot Rivers

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bitterroot river
The Bitterroot River. (KLYQ Photo)
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Bitterroot River Included in Statewide Fisheries Plan

A long-term plan is being developed.

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st marys peak
Snow on St Mary's Peak. (KLYQ File Photo)
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Montana Snow Levels Vary Widely

Bitterroot River drainage is a little below average.

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br river 523
The Bitterroot River, creeping into the Corvallis Fishing Access Wednesday. (KLYQ Photo)
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Bitterroot is a Fast, Full River

Here's a warning about high water season.

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woodside bridge
The fishing access site this week at the Corvallis cutoff bridge. (KLYQ Photo)
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Bitterroot River Level Backs Off Slowly

The drop is already happening.

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