Weekend Rain Causes Bitterroot River to Rise
By the end of Sunday, May 17, the Bitterroot River was creeping over the edges of the Montana FWP Fishing Access Site at the Woodside Bridge.
The recent heavy rain showers throughout the Bitterroot Valley caused the river to run bankful in places, but it was still far below the official flood stage and by Monday the water level had already dropped.
The USGS water gauge at Bell Crossing northeast of Victor showed a top height of 8.08 feet at its highest level Sunday, but flood level is three feet higher at 11 feet. And at the Darby river gauge in the south end of the valley, the highest level was 5.3 feet with flood stage over two feet higher at 7.5 feet.
However, the river is running fast and high, as it always does during the spring. And the muddy runoff hides large chunks of trees and other debris, which cause safety hazards for boaters.
The weather pattern for the next week does not show such a large amount of rain.