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Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Officials studying Big Hole River's water say their gear has been stolen and tampered

Locals call the Big Hole the "Last Best River". It's undammed, wild and trout heaven for fishing enthusiasts, but it's also vulnerable to warming.
Meera Subramanian

A nonprofit organization studying water quality along the Big Hole River said some of their monitoring equipment has gone missing and that fishing guides have been reporting that their vehicles have been tampered with at put-ins along the river.

Save Wild Trout placed 8 water quality monitoring devices throughout the Jefferson Basin earlier this month to collect data on the river conditions amid a historic fish die off. Only the location of one of the devices, at the Jerry Creek Bridge, was shared with the press. That device is now missing.

Save Wild Trout said guides have come off the river to find lug nuts loosened and trailer hitches with pins removed.

Save Wild Trout said the missing equipment and vehicle tampering have been reported to law enforcement. The Beaverhead County Sheriff could not immediately be reached for comment.

John joined the Montana Public Radio team in August 2022. Born and raised in Helena, he graduated from the University of Montana’s School of Media Arts and created the Montana history podcast Land Grab. John can be contacted at
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