Save the Date! Announcing Our 20th Anniversary Celebration

The Big Hole Watershed Committee is Celebrating a 20th Anniversary!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Details to follow.

Please plan to join us!

Celebrate 20 years of Conservation Through Consensus on the Big Hole River.

Posted in Big Hole River

BHWC Special Pages

Big Hole River Floodplain Maps State Adoption

floodplainBig Hole River Floodplain Maps undergo public comment in preparation for state adoption. This page provides information and public comment details.

Big Hole River Stream Flow & Drought Management Plan 2015

DMP MapFind the 2015 Big Hole River Drought Management Plan, as well as information about Big Hole River flows, temperatures and latest status and reports here.

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BHWC Meeting 6/17 – Butte Silver Bow Water Department Improvements for the Big Hole River

The next meeting of the Big Hole Watershed Committee will be:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

7pm at the Divide Grange

Topic: Butte-Silver Bow Water Department Improvements and Changes for Big Hole River

Presented by Doug Finnicum, Butte-Silver Bow Water Department

Background: Butte-Silver Bow’s Water Utility Department is currently planning the development of a new water treatment facility for Butte-Silver Bow County. The facility could have major impacts on the Big Hole River as it will require BSB Water to pump less water out of the Big Hole for municipal use. BSB Water’s Superintendent, Doug Finnicum, sits on BHWC’s Governing Board, and BSB Water has long been a valued partner to BHWC. Finnicum will also discuss the history and effort of Butte-Silver Bow to upgrade its water system, resulting in cleaner water and much less consumption.

To include streamflow update, committee reports and more.

June 2015 Meeting Agenda

May 2015 Meeting Minutes

Click Here to learn more about our Monthly Meetings

Posted in Big Hole River

Big Hole Area Volunteer Weed Spray Days

Each year counties sponsor volunteer weed spray days. The county arranges the spray day, provides chemical and supplies for volunteers, and coordinates weed treatment in the area for the day. The more volunteers, the more effective the spray day is. The following are spray days scheduled in the Big Hole River area for this summer:

  1. Glen – June 9, 2015 — Meet 8am at the Glen Post Office
  2. Maiden Rock – June 10, 2015 — Meet 8am at the Fishing Access Site
  3. Burma Road — June 11, 2015
  4. Wise River – June 13, 2015 — Meet 8am at the Wise River Fire Hall
  5. Melrose – June 17, 2015 — Meet 8am at Melrose Bar
  6. Dewey Cemetery – June 26, 2015 — Meet 8am at Quartz Hill Road
  7. Wisdom – June 30, 2015 — Meet 8am at Wisdom Road Shop
  8. Wise River Pull – June 18, 2015 — Meet 8am at Stanchfield Ranch
  9. Ray Tillman/Deep Creek – July 24, 2015 — Meet 8am at Ralston Ranch
  10. Wisdom – August 11 — Meet 8am at Wisdom Road Shop
  11. Wise River – September 9, 2015 — Meet 8am at Wise River Fire Hall

For more information about volunteer weed spray days, meeting locations, and other weed information, please contact your county representative:

Butte-Silver Bow County

Beaverhead County

Anaconda Deer-Lodge County

Madison County

Posted in Big Hole River

2015 Wildlife Speaker Series – Family-Oriented Wildlife Programs

2015_Wildlife Speaker Series Poster ALL

For more information, visit Wildlife Conservation Society Community Patnerships

Posted in Big Hole River

Beaverhead County Requests Public Comment on New Floodplain Development Standards

Beaverhead County proposes Draft “Floodplain Hazard Management Regulations” for the Big Hole River.

The Big Hole River Floodplain maps were updated in 2014 through a partnership between Big Hole Watershed Committee, FutureWest, Montana DNRC, Montana FWP and four counties (Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Madison and Butte-Silver Bow). The maps provide floodplain hazard areas on 162 miles of Big Hole River, documenting floodzones during times of high water (often referred to as the 100 year flood stage)

Click Here to read more about the Big Hole River Floodplain Maps.

Big Hole Watershed Committee and partners strongly support Beaverhead County adoption of the Big Hole River floodplain maps and new floodplain management regulations, and ask everyone to provide comment, feedback, or send your support to the Beaverhead County Commission.

Opportunities for comment:

Beaverhead County proposes to adopt the Big Hole River Floodplain maps and new development standards. The first step is to propose draft standards for public review. Beaverhead County has drafted “Draft Floodplain Hazard Management Regulations” for public review and comment.

Opportunities for comment are provided below. The Beaverhead County Commissioners are interested in hearing comment on the proposed regulations and support for adoption.

Click Here to view the Public Notice

Public Hearings Scheduled:

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 7pm – Melrose Elementary School, 377 Hecla Street, Melrose, MT 59743
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 7pm – Wisdom Community Center, Corner of North Park Street & Highway 43, Wisdom, MT 59761
  • Monday, June 15, 2015, 7pm – Beaverhead County Commissioners’ Room, 2 South Pacific Street, Dillon, MT 59725
  • Monday, June 29, 2015, 7pm – Lima Town Hall, W. Section Corner Street, Lima, MT 59739

Written Comments: Send to Beaverhead County Floodplain Administrator, 2 South Pacific Street, Ste # 12,  Dillon, Montana 59725. Deadline: July 17, 2015 at 5pm.

For more information: Beaverhead County Floodplain Administrator, 406-683-3724

Posted in Big Hole River

Lawsuit Filed 12/4/14 Against USFWS Arctic Grayling Decision

Lawsuit announced 12/4/2014 against the USFS Arctic grayling listing decision to not list the fish under the Endangered species act:

The following is from an EarthJustice press release 12/4/2014:

“The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Butte resident Pat Munday and former Montana fishing guide George Wuerthner today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s latest decision to deny protection to a unique population of Arctic grayling in Montana. The Service first determined the grayling warranted endangered status in 1994 and reaffirmed that conclusion in 2010, but reversed course in August, withholding protection from the rare and beautiful relative of trout and salmon. The groups are represented by Earthjustice in Bozeman.”

Click Here to see entire the EarthJustice press release

Click Here to view the entire Intent to Sue document

Posted in Big Hole River

BHWC Fall 2014 Newsletter

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Big Hole Watershed Committee Fall 2014 Newsletter Click Here to view the BHWC Fall 2014 Newsletter. Inside: The Year of Bliss Organization News, Recent Growth & Governing Board Changes BHWC News from our Focus Areas Project Updates on Mount Haggin … Continue reading


Grayling Not Listed Under ESA!

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Today USFWS release their decision to not list the Arctic Grayling under the Endangered Species Act due to the efforts of collaborative partnerships. The Arctic grayling was the genesis of the Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC) in 1995. Since that time … Continue reading


Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plans

BHWC Announces Completion of Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plans:

Upper and North Fork Big Hole Watershed Restoration Plan, 2012

Middle-Lower Big Hole River Watershed Restoration Plan, 2013

The Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP) is a plan for improving water quality based on recommendations and findings of the Big Hole River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and impaired waters listings. The WRP is a living document reviewed as needed. This is the first version of the WRP. The primary concern for water quality in the Big Hole River is high water temperature and sediment loading as a result of physical channel impairments (i.e. lack of riparian vegetation, channel disruption, etc.). High levels of nutrients and metals are also water quality concerns in some drainages.

The Big Hole River WRP’s are created and managed by the Big Hole Watershed Committee. Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sponsored development and provides oversight. Montana DEQ manages TMDL’s statewide and impaired waters listings statewide. Montana DEQ works with local watershed groups to voluntarily improve water quality in order to remove the waters from impaired listings.
The WRP is required by Montana DEQ and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) to meet EPA guidelines and approval from Montana DEQ in order for watershed groups to work to improve non-point source water quality. To date 11 WRP’s have been approved statewide and many WRP’s are in-process or slated for completion by local watershed groups.

Learn more about non-point sources water pollutions in Montana from Montana DEQ

Posted in Big Hole River