CFR - in Fall

UCFWG Topic Discussion Meetings

The UCFWG is meeting the second Thursday of every month from 12pm – 1pm MST to discuss ongoing and new projects on the Upper Clark Fork River. Topics and meeting invitations are sent to interested participants via our email list. If you are interested in joining these discussions or learning more about the Upper Clark Fork Working Group please sign up for communications using the following form. 

Join the UCFWG email list to be informed about upcoming UCFWG meetings, events, and opportunities.

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UCFWG Habitat Workshop

June 11, 2021 10 AM - 3 PM

Goal: Identify key component measures of habitat diversity and coordinate field assessment efforts on the UCFR for the Summer 2021 field season.

Presented By:

Taylor Gold Quiros
Taylor Gold Quiros, UM PhD Candidate

Workshop Lead: taylor.goldquiros@umontana.edu

Taylor Gold Quiros received her B.S. in Biology from Trinity University in 2016 and a M.S. in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University in 2019. She is currently a CREWS PhD student under Dr. Valett at the University of Montana, researching the influence of nutrient, metal, and habitat stressors on the fish communities of the Upper Clark Fork River.

Dr. H. Maurice Valett
Dr. H. Maurice Valett

Executive Chair: maury.valett@umontana.edu

Maury Valett is a Professor of Systems Ecology at the University of Montana. Maury’s work on streams and rivers has combined hydrology, chemistry, and biology to investigate how groundwater-surface water interaction, nutrient limitation, and biological interactions influences ecosystem structure and function. His recent research on the Upper Clark Fork River, MT, integrates work on food webs, heavy metals, and nitrogen enrichment.

Workshop Description:     

Floodplain development and water withdrawals in the Upper Clark Fork River have led to decreased floodplain connectivity as well as riparian habitat loss, creating a lack of cover and reducing allochthonous input. State agencies, academic institutions, and restoration managers have vested interest in assessing the current habitat composition of the UCFR. As such, multiple research thrusts have been proposed to address habitat in the UCFR during the Summer 2021 field season. The purpose of this workshop is to identify key habitat metrics to be measured at the mesoscale-level, coordinate UCFR habitat field efforts for the Summer 2021 season and determine constructive and feasible goals for morphological habitat assessment. 

Register for this Workshop or contact Taylor if you are interested in attending this workshop.

If you are looking for materials or videos related to this Workshop please contact Taylor

UCFWG June 2021 Meeting

June 10, 2021 Topic Discussion Online Zoom Meeting

Historic and contemporary assessment of algal blooms in the Upper Clark Fork River

Presented By:

Dr. H. Maurice Valett
Dr. H. Maurice Valett

Dr. Valett is an aquatic ecosystem ecologist who has focused on nutrient influences and responses in running water ecosystems. For the past 10 years, his work has focused on collaborative efforts with the State and other organizations to understand nutrient influences on the Upper Clark Fork River (UCFR) including the potential influences of riverine algal blooms.

Presentation:

UCFWG May 2021 Meeting

May 13, 2021 Topic Discussion Online Zoom Meeting

Habitat from an Aquatic Perspective

Presented By:

Taylor Gold Quiros
Taylor Gold Quiros, UM PhD Candidate

Taylor Gold Quiros received her B.S. in Biology from Trinity University in 2016 and a M.S. in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University in 2019. She is currently a CREWS PhD student under Dr. Valett at the University of Montana, researching the influence of nutrient, metal, and habitat stressors on the fish communities of the Upper Clark Fork River.

Alex Leone, Clark Fork Coalition
Alex Leone, Clark Fork Coalition - Restoration Policy Manager

Alex is a stream restoration scientist and policy analyst based out of Anaconda, Montana, and joined CFC in 2016. He works with public resource managers, landowners, universities and the general public to design and implement restoration projects and studies that improve rivers and streams in western Montana. He spent several years working for the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter and researcher and has traveled extensively throughout the American West.

Presentation

UCFWG April 2021 Meeting

April 8, 2021 Topic Discussion Online Zoom Meeting

Functional responses of riverine food webs to multiple stressors:

mapping trophic interactions in the Upper Clark Fork across space and time.

Organized by: Rafael Feijo de Lima

Dr. Rafael Feijo de Lima
Dr. Rafael Feijo de Lima

Rafael Feijo de Lima is a biologist who obtained his Ph.D. in Brazil focusing on land use impacts on structural and functional parameters in freshwater ecosystems. He is a postdoctoral researcher in the CREWS project. His current research focuses on the linkages between ecosystem metabolism, benthic algae, and nutrient transport in the Upper Clark Fork River.

Dr. Marc Peipoch
Dr. Marc Peipoch

Marc Peipoch is a Research Scientist at the Stroud Water Center, PA interested in fine- and large-scale controls on ecosystem structure and function, mostly in streams, rivers and floodplains. His word addresses aggregation of ecological, physical, and biogeochemical processes within ecosystems while addressing basic and applied research.

Taylor Gold Quiros
Taylor Gold Quiros, UM PhD Candidate

Taylor Gold Quiros received her B.S. in Biology from Trinity University in 2016 and a M.S. in Aquatic Resources from Texas State University in 2019. She is currently a CREWS PhD student under Dr. Valett at the University of Montana, researching the influence of stressors on the fish communities of the Upper Clark Fork River.

Jose A Sanchez-Ruiz
Jose A Sanchez-Ruiz , MSU PhD Candidate

Jose A Sanchez-Ruiz received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras in 2016 and a M.S. in Biology at Georgia Southern University in 2019. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the CREWS project under Dr. Wyatt Cross at the Montana State University. His research is focused on understanding the mining legacy on the food web structure and function in the Clark Fork River.

Presentation

UCFWG March 2021 Meeting

March 11, 2021 Topic Discussion Online Zoom Meeting

The significance of a barroom napkin in establishing the restoration of Montana’s waters and rivers

Speaker: Larry Peterman, MT FWP retired

Larry Peterman, MT FWP retired
Larry Peterman, MT FWP retired

Larry Peterman began working for the Montana Fish and Game Department in 1972 and initiated work on the scientific basis for in-stream flow requirements on the Yellowstone River. His work broadened over time to include hydropower reservoir operations, small hydro evaluation, electrofishing safety, native species recovery, and fishery management plans. He became the Chief of the Fisheries Division, was promoted to Deputy Director in charge of field operations and received the Career Achievement Award before retiring in 2009. However, he remained active as an independent contractor addressing the Exxon and Bridger pipeline oil spills in 2011 and 2015. He retired again in 2016 and considers this presentation to be a monetary relapse that will be countered by a focus on Perch fishing in the future.

Presentation

UCFWG February 2021 Meeting

February 11, 2021 Topic Discussion Online Zoom Meeting

UCFR Fisheries: past and future?

Organized by Nathan Cook, MT FWP

A great deal of effort has been directed towards remediation and restoration of the Upper Clark Fork River (UCFR) with the aim to re-establish the ‘resource’. In association with these efforts, personnel from the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks have been tackling the issues associated with the UCFR’s fisheries for decades.  Recent support to Montana University System has enabled collaboration among interested parties that may lead to a better understanding of limitations and potentials.  This month’s UCFR presentations provide perspectives on the UCFR fish communities and the active merging of research and management.

Meeting Presenters:

Nathan Cook
Nathan Cook, MTFWP

Nathan Cook: Montana FWP – Fisheries Biologist

Nathan.Cook@mt.gov

Nathan is a fisheries mitigation biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Since 2014, his work has focused on understanding trout population dynamics and impacts of mining contamination on fish populations in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin. Nathan’s position is funded through the NRDP, an agency that works closely with FWP to prioritize and evaluate fisheries restoration actions in both the mainstem and tributaries.

 

Taylor Gold Quiros
Taylor Gold Quiros, UM PhD Candidate

Taylor Gold Quiros: PhD Student – Valett Aquatic Ecology Laboratory

taylor.goldquiros@umontana.edu

Taylor Gold Quiros is an aquatic ecology PhD student at the University of Montana. She got her B.S. from Trinity University and a M.S. from Texas State University in Aquatic Toxicology in 2018. She joined the CREWS project and Valett lab in 2019 and her dissertation work focuses on the influence of stressors on the UCFR fish community.

 

Presentation

UCFWG January Meeting

January 14, 2021 Online Zoom Meeting

Hydrologic complexities associated with multiple use, remediation, and restoration

Organized by Brian Bartkowiak, MT NRDP

Meeting Presenters:

Brian Bartkowiak, MT NRDP
Brian Bartkowiak, MT NRDP

Brian Bartkowiak: Montana NRDP – Environmental Science Specialist

Brian has been involved in the remediation and restoration of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin since 1997.  Brian worked for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for 10 years, leading the remediation/restoration cleanup on the Upper Clark Fork among other projects. Brian has been with the NRDP since spring of 2018 and is responsible for the aquatic flow projects as well as restoration work on numerous watershed in the Upper Basin.

Alex Leone, Clark Fork Coalition
Alex Leone, Clark Fork Coalition - Restoration Policy Manager

Alex Leone:  Clark Fork Coalition – Restoration Policy Manager

Alex is a stream restoration scientist and policy analyst based out of Anaconda, Montana, and joined CFC in 2016. He works with public resource managers, landowners, universities and the general public to design and implement restoration projects and studies that improve rivers and streams in western Montana. He spent several years working for the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter and researcher and has traveled extensively throughout the American West.

Stephen Begley, MT FWP
Stephen Begley, MT FWP

Stephen Begley, Montana FWP – Water Conservation Specialist

Stephen Begley, is a Water Conservation/Instream Flow Specialist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Since 2012, his work has been focused on administering a number of Department owned instream flow water rights that are managed on behalf of the Public Trust. Stephen is a member of the technical committee that is focused on the implementation and administration of a set of instream flow water rights including in the Blackfoot and Clark Fork Rivers.

Ethan Mace, MT DNRC
Ethan Mace, MT DNRC

Ethan Mace: Montana DNRC – Surface Water Hydrologist

Ethan serves as the DNRC technical lead to the CSKT-MT Water Right Compact and as the State representative to the Compact Implementation Technical Team (CITT).  He is also the lead for the US Forest Service Compact and work on wetland and instream water rights.    

Presentations

Contact Ethan Mace, emace@mt.gov, if you are interested in the DNRC’s new web tool.

UCFWG December Meeting

December 10, 2020 Online Zoom Meeting

Metals and Biota

Organized by U of M’s Ben Colman

Meeting Presenters:

Dr. Rafael Feijo de Lima
Dr. Rafael Feijo de Lima

Rafael Feijo de Lima is a biologist who obtained his Ph.D. in Brazil focusing on land use impacts on structural and functional parameters in freshwater ecosystems. He is a postdoctoral researcher in the CREWS project. His current research focuses on the linkages between ecosystem metabolism, benthic algae, and nutrient transport in the Upper Clark Fork River.

Dr. Ben Colman
Dr. Ben Colman

Ben Colman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecosystem ad Conservations Sciences at the University of Montana. Ben is interested broadly in how chemical and physical changes alter the structure and function of ecosystems, and his work in the Upper Clark Fork River focuses on the forms of metal contaminants and how that alters their interaction with the biota and their impacts.

Megan Fylling
Megan Fylling

Megan Fylling has been an Avian Ecologist at the UM’s Bird Ecology Lab since 2004. Shortly after receiving her MS in 2013 at UM she became the director of several programs including a multi-partner “Bird’s-eye View Education Program” which collects scientific data and provides outreach to the public; a research project on heavy metals in riparian obligate birds; and research on migratory connectivity of songbirds using tiny tracking technology.

Dr. Erick Greene
Dr. Erick Greene

Erick Greene is a Professor of Biology and Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana.  He is the director of UM’s Bird Ecology Lab and helps run the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program.  With colleagues, he has monitored the levels of heavy metals in Osprey chicks in Montana for over a decade.  

Presentations

Mercury in Osprey chicks in the Upper Clark Fork River – Interactive map (created by Trish Rodriguez)

UCFWG November Meeting

November 12, 2020 Online Zoom Meeting

Metal and nutrients: The Lost Creek Dutchman Complex Upper Clark Fork River, MT

The Lost Creek Dutchman Complex (LCDC) is a stream-wetland landscape that flows into the UCFR near the river’s origin. Soils across the complex are listed as moderately impacted by heavy metals as a result of historical mining activities. The LCDC contains two streams (Lost Creek and Dutchman Creek) within an extensive wetland (Dutchman wetland) comprising a mosaic of patches interacting via surface and groundwater flow. Recent research has documented that output from the LCDC can increase the nitrogen load in the UCFR from 2- to 100-fold at the point of confluence. With support from the NRDP, researchers from UM are collaborating with personnel from Geum, Inc. and other institutions to address the potential sources of nitrogen and implications of nutrient-metal interactions for the LCDC and the UCFR.

The Nov 12th UCFWG meeting will include presentations focusing on contemporary and historical conditions at the LCDC provided by Geum personnel, Tom Parker and Marisa Sowles, and an overview of ongoing biogeochemical research from UM personnel, Maury Valett, and Colton Kyro.

University of Montana

Colton Kyro
Colton Kyro

Colton Kyro is a graduate student at the University of Montana working on nitrogen dynamics in the Lost Creek Dutchman Complex (LCDC) in the Upper Clark Fork River, MT. Colton is using a combination of hydrogeologic and biogeochemical approaches to discern the origins of the nitrogen that make the LCDC a source of nutrients to the river.

Maury Valett
Maury Valett

Maury Valett is a Professor of Systems Ecology at the University of Montana. Maury’s work on streams and rivers has combined hydrology, chemistry, and biology to investigate how groundwater-surface water interaction, nutrient limitation, and biological interactions influences ecosystem structure and function. His recent research on the Upper Clark Fork River, MT, integrates work on food webs, heavy metals, and nitrogen enrichment.

Geum, Inc

Marisa Sowles
Marisa Sowles

Marisa Sowels is a Water Resource Specialist at Geum Environmental Consulting, Inc. with a background in water management and wetland design. She focuses on creating or enhancing wetlands to improve water quality and habitat diversity. Marisa has worked on wetland projects in urban environments, where wetlands provide a recreational and educational component, and also in natural floodplain environments.

Tom Parker
Tom Parker

Tom Parker is the President and Principal Ecologist of Geum Environmental Consulting, Inc., founded in 2003.  Since the mid-1990’s, Tom’s professional work has emphasized ecological restoration design, planning, and project implementation in river and wetland ecosystems. His projects have included large-scale river restoration, site remediation of mining impacts, wetland design, environmental compliance and permitting, and riparian restoration and management. 

Presentations

UCFWG Summer Field Research Planning Meeting

March 31, 2020 Online Zoom Meeting

Hosts:

University of Montana: Maury Valett, Division of Biological Sciences
Geum Environmental Consulting: Tom Parker, Principal Ecologist.

Meeting Objectives

The purpose of this meeting is to allow representatives from each organization share upcoming activities related to the Strategic Plan.

UCFWG March 2020 Workshop

March 18, 2020 University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), this meeting was moved to a video conference workshop hosted by Tom Parker at Geum Environmental Engineering.

Hosts:

University of Montana: Maury Valett, Division of Biological Sciences Montana Water Consortium, Montana Institute on Ecosystems
Geum, Inc.: Tom Parker, Marisa Sowles

Meeting Objectives

Review new UCFWG.org web site and associated resources to support information sharing

  • Review mental models/ working hypotheses that underlie our shared understanding of the Strategic Plan elements
  • Identify purpose, roles and leadership of sub-groups
  • Identify specific actions being implemented by each core UCFWG member organization in 2020
  • Identify next UCFWG meeting date, location and focus

 

Maury Valett (UM) provided a reminder that the Strategic Plan is a living document and that modifications can and should occur as the group learns more about the Clark Fork and participates in the process of identifying goals for the Clark Fork and how we can collaboratively move towards those goals.

Doug Martin (NRDP) discussed the long-term timeframe and value of the work proposed by the Upper Clark Fork Working Group. This collaborative effort can set the groundwork for the next generation.

UCFWG October 2019 Workshop

October 18, 2019 Delta Hotel, Helena, MT

Hosts:

University of Montana: Maury Valett, Division of Biological Sciences Montana Water Consortium, Montana Institute on Ecosystems
Montana DOJ, Natural Resource Damage Program: Brian Bartkowiak
Geum, Inc.: Tom Parker, Marisa Sowles

Workshop intent and participating personnel

The Upper Clark Fork Working Group (UCFWG) is a collaborative with the mission to ‘…facilitate, produce, analyze, and share science-based knowledge among key participants involved in the remediation, restoration, research, and monitoring of the Upper Clark Fork River and its tributaries’ (UCFRWG Strategic Plan 2019).

The UCFWG is currently composed of eleven participants representing eight institutions including educational, regulatory, private business, and non-governmental organizations. The UCFWG October 2019 Workshop in Helena introduced the UCFWG to a larger audience of participating individuals and programs with 30 individuals attending the meeting. A roster of associated personnel (attending or affiliated) is provided in Appendix A of the Workshop Minutes PDF.

As part of the Oct. 2019 Workshop attendees used a large map to organize the meeting specially. On the provided map attendees posted notes which showed existing data, gaps in data, on going places being monitored, data gaps currently being researched, and action items for future research. The research group at Geum Environmental Consulting digitized the notes into GIS layers for feedback from the community.