Scientific Studies & Monitoring

Our Commitment to Monitoring Water Quality

The Upper Missouri Watershed Alliance has undertaken water quality studies in the main stem of the upper Missouri river since 2015. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MT DEQ) has supported these studies through a grant each year. We are definitely concerned about the significant increase in two important nutrients in 2017; nitrogen and phosphorous when compared to the 2016 study. We intend to expand our studies and determine the trend of this increase as well as the potential impact on the river.


Macroinvertebrate Studies

We have completed three consecutive years of scientific studies to determine the health and presence of the macroinvertebrate population of the upper Missouri river from Holter dam to Cascade as well as selected sites on the Smith river. David Stagliano has conducted these studies in a scientifically professional manner. This has enabled UMOWA to use these studies for presentations to state and federal agencies in order to impress upon them the state of this bug life and its impact on the fishery.


Concern About Excessive Aquatic Plant Growth in The Missouri River

There has long been concern regarding the excessive, heavy aquatic plant growth in the Missouri river, especially in the late summer and fall. UMOWA is planning to initiate an extensive, scientifically sound analysis of this phenomenon by hiring a professional plant researcher to design and implement the study. Water quality studies in 2017 revealed an increase in levels of nitrogen and phosphorous compared to 2016. We suspect that these elevated nutrient levels may be contributing to plant growth. As many of you have experienced, the plant growth can be so profuse in sections of the river so as to prohibit fishing in those area. UMOWA is committed to working on this issue and we will keep you posted as the project develops.

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Coming Soon

Aquatic plant studies are in the works. Check back for results.