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USGS Water-Quality Data for Montana

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Questions or concerns about USGS streamflow data in Montana and Wyoming can be directed to Kirk Miller (kmiller@usgs.gov; 307-775-9168).

Updated February 6, 2018 - USGS water-resources monitoring will be discontinued effective October 1, 2018:
  • 06024540 Big Hole R bel Mudd Cr nr Wisdom, MT (seasonal water temperature)
  • 06040000 Madison R nr Cameron, MT (seasonal streamflow and water temperature)
  • 06114700 Judith R nr mouth nr Winifred, MT (seasonal streamflow)
  • 06308400 Pumpkin Cr nr Miles City, MT (annual streamflow, water temperature, and sampling)
USGS monitoring activities at these sites were funded by partner agencies. Lack of partner funding for these sites resulted in discontinuation of all streamgaging activities. Questions or concerns can be directed to Kirk Miller (kmiller@usgs.gov; 307-775-9168).

USGS streamflow monitoring was reactivated with partner funding at the following sites effective December 24, 2017:
  • 12365700 Stillwater R at Lawrence Park at Kalispell, MT
  • 12366080 Whitefish R nr mouth at Kalispell, MT

(58 sites)

Current conditions at selected sites based on the most recent data from on-site automated recording equipment. Measurements are commonly recorded at a fixed interval of 15- to 60-minutes and transmitted to the USGS every hour. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision). Most current data are provisional.

(58 sites)

The same data accessed by the Current Conditions link above but including both active and discontinued sites with data for any part of the period October 1, 2007, through the present. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision).

(158 sites)

Summary of all data for each day for the period of record and may represent the daily mean, median, maximum, minimum, and/or other derived value. Values may include "Approved" (quality-assured data that may be published) and/or more recent "Provisional" data (of unverified accuracy and subject to revision). Example.

(150 sites)

Statistics are computed from approved daily mean data at each site. These links provide summaries of approved historical daily values for daily, monthly, and annual (water year or calendar year) time periods.

(9,311 sites)

Data from field and/or laboratory analyses of water samples, biological tissue, sediments, or other environmental samples. Data include approved, quality-assured data that may be published, and more recent provisional data, whose accuracy has not been verified.


The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) is a comprehensive and distributed application that supports the acquisition, processing, and long-term storage of water data. Water Data for the Nation serves as the publicly available portal to a geographically seamless set of much of the water data maintained within NWIS (additional background).

The USGS collects and analyzes chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment and tissue samples from across the Nation. The Water Data for the Nation discrete sample data base is a compilation of over 4.4 million historical water quality analyses in the USGS district data bases through September 2005. The discrete sample data is a large and complex set of data that has been collected by a variety of projects ranging from national programs to studies in small watersheds. Users should review the help notes and particularly the data retrieval precautions before beginning any retrieval or analysis of data from this data set. Additions of more current data, modifications to ancillary information, and enhanced retrieval options to help users find and appropriately use the data they need are planned for a future release of Water Data for the Nation.

At selected surface-water and groundwater sites, the USGS maintains instruments that continuously record physical and chemical characteristics of the water including pH, specific conductance, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and percent dissolved-oxygen saturation. Supporting data such as air temperature and barometric pressure are also available at some sites. At sites where this information is transmitted automatically, data are available from the current data system.

Once a complete day of readings are received from a site, daily summary data are generated and made available online. USGS finalizes data at individual sites on a continuous basis as environmental conditions and hydrologic characteristics permit.

You may find additional water-quality data of interest in EPA STORET.

Tutorials explaining how to perform water quality retrievals and understand the results of current data and discrete water-quality measurements.