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Stream Gage Oversight Work Group

Stream Gage Oversight Work Group Meeting

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Report to the 2022 Montana Policy Interim Committee on Stream Gaging in Montana

Report Body - 3MB

Report Appendices - 2MB



The Stream Gage Oversight Work Group was created in 2019 by the 66th Montana Legislature in response to stakeholders’ concerns over the shutdown of 10 U.S. Geological Services (USGS) stream gages due to a lack of funding to support operation and maintenance. The loss of these gages came with little warning to the water user communities who depended on them for monitoring and cooperatively managing local water resource plans. The event revealed that as demand for water continues to grow, the continuity of Montana’s stream gaging network is threatened by declining funding support. It also highlighted the disconnect between those entities that operate and/or fund the system and those entities or individuals who rely on it daily for real-time stream information, local planning and response. 


The Work Group is to:

  1. Review the locations, uses, and funding arrangements for the stream gage network of the USGS;
  2. Review priorities, needs, and expectations of those funding the maintenance and operations of these stream gages and those using data measured by these stream gages; and
  3. Create annually a stream gage infrastructure work plan.



Working Group members represent the seven agencies on the Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee 



Dept of Natural Resources & Conservation Paul Azevedo, Co-Chair
Dept of Fish Wildlife & Parks Stephen Begley, Co-Chair
Dept of Military Affairs/DES Andrew Long
Dept of Agriculture John Peterson
Dept of Livestock Mike Honeycutt
Dept of Commerce Cody Fergeson
Dept of Environmental Quality Darrin Kron



#1 - August 27, 2019  Agenda Meeting Summary

#2 - December 18, 2019  Agenda | Meeting Summary

#3 - February 21, 2020  Agenda | Meeting Summary

#4 - June 16, 2020  Agenda | Meeting Summary

#5 - August 12, 2020 Agenda | Presentations | Meeting Summary

#6 - November 4, 2020 Agenda | Presentations | Meeting Summary

#7 - February 17, 2021 Agenda | Presentations | Meeting Summary

#8 - May 19, 2022 Agenda | Presentations | Meeting Summary


Stream Gage Notification Plan 

The Stream Gage Notification Plan lays out the steps and processes the U.S. Geological Survey Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center (USGS) and the state of Montana will take to ensure the timely exchange of information regarding program changes with the potential to impact the ongoing operation of the USGS stream gage network in Montana. The end goal is minimizing network disruptions by exchanging information far enough in advance that it can be acted on.


Measuring Montana's Streams StoryMap

Stream Gages in MT


Video - Inside a Real-Time Stream Gage

Inside the box cover photo 2020-6 (4).jpg