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Smith River

HELENA — Montana environmental officials say a reported increase in aquatic algae on the Smith River is interfering with recreational activities on the popular waterway northwest of White Sulphur Spings.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is planning two public meetings to talk about potential causes and solutions to the problem.

The first is in Helena on February 28 and the second will take place in White Sulphur Springs on March 1.

The Smith River is so popular among fishers and rafters that visitor numbers are capped and an annual lottery is held for permits for multiday trips.

The growth of aquatic algae is determined by a variety of conditions including how warm a river gets and how much light it receives. Too much algae can harm fish and foul irrigation systems.

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