Clark Fork and Blackfoot to Flow Freely for First Time in a Century

February 23, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

The Milltown reservoir site is the largest superfund project in the nation, but its eventual cleanup will restore natural flows to two valuable fisheries that have suffered for decades from both the physical impediments of a dam and the contamination caused by the Butte and Anaconda mines. Still, guides and environmentalists are bracing for short-term impacts that may reduce fish and insect populations in the rivers. “Releasing the two rivers will generate a wall of water several feet high for a few hours, scouring a projected 300,000 tons of sediment from the Blackfoot River for several months as the rivers return to their natural equilibrium.” John Cramer of the Missoulian.