Montana Public Radio

Yellowstone River

A Montana based environmental research group released a report last week that shows evidence of plastic in more than half of Montana's waterways.

The results of a plastic contamination survey of 50 waterways in Montana is expected in October.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has approved an agreement for Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay $1.05 million to settle federal pollution violations over a 2011 pipeline break that sent oil into Montana's Yellowstone River.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters accepted the deal Monday.

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

A federal judge in Great Falls Thursday night blocked the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline until the U.S. government further studies its impact on the environment and climate.

The controversial pipeline would carry crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. The 36-inch-wide Keystone XL would pass through six eastern Montana counties and near the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The Clark Fork River above flood stage in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

Flood waters remain a concern across Montana today and into next week.

Senate Approves East Rosebud Creek Protections

Dec 20, 2017
Wild and Scenic River Act
(PD)

A bill to give Wild and Scenic River Act protection to a section of East Rosebud Creek has passed the Senate.

The bi-partisan bill, co-sponsored by Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, would protect 20 miles of the creek west of Columbus.

'Field Notes:' What's Wrong With Whitefish?

Dec 10, 2017
Mountain whitefish.
(PD)

I dipped my woven landing net into the frigid creek water and drew the fish towards my legs. It was winter and I was standing mid-calf deep in a favorite fishing spot outside Missoula. I knew the fish wasn’t a trout before I scooped it into my net.

An icy bank embraced the creek, and my breath rose before me, rhythmically billowing out my mouth and nostrils. The fish nonchalantly took one of the nymphs I had been sinking near the creek bottom, diving into the depths and pulling its weight into my fly line. I could feel its tail in the handle of my fly-rod, palpitating like an irregular heartbeat.

Scott Opitz, fisheries biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, stands near the Yellowstone River south of Livingston, MT August 25, 2017.
Nate Hegyi - Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana officials say they recently discovered dead fish in the Yellowstone River and are waiting on test results to know if they were killed by the same parasite that killed thousands of fish last year.

Yellowstone River Dam And Sturgeon Passage Lacks Funding

May 2, 2017
Pallid sturgeon.
USFWS Midwest (CC-BY-2.0)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal agency targeted by President Donald Trump for budget cuts next year has only about half the money needed to build a new Yellowstone River dam and bypass channel meant to save an endangered fish, but it plans to begin construction anyway.

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

There’s a new plan to restore the Yellowstone River following a 2011 Exxon-Mobil pipeline rupture. The spill leaked 1,500 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone, harming fish and wildlife, and their habitat.

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