"Clark Fork River Begins To Settle After Milltown Dam Removal"

"People along the Clark Fork River are still getting used to the removal of Milltown Dam. But as far as the fish are concerned, it's history.

"Over the last few years, almost 3 million cubic yards of sediment has gone, and remediation is almost complete," Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Dave Schmetterling told a crowd of fishing guides at the Clark Fork Coalition's third annual state-of-the-fishery gathering Wednesday evening. "And it's almost immediately had an effect on the watershed. The impacts of the dam removal are now behind us by a couple years."

Drawing down the reservoir in 2007, followed by breeching Milltown Dam in 2008, sent a lot of sediment down the river. And while another big load got released in 2009, Schmetterling said the river is settling into a healthy state."

Rob Chaney reports for the Missoulian March 10, 2010.

Thursday, March 11, 2010