River Levels Streamgages Weather

Total streamflow across the Bitterroot River was last observed at 973 cfs, and is expected to yield approximately 1,930 acre-ft of water today; about 32% of normal. River levels are low and may signify a drought. Average streamflow for this time of year is 3,007 cfs, with recent peaks last observed on 2018-05-11 when daily discharge volume was observed at 42,770 cfs.

Maximum discharge along the river is currently at the Bitterroot River Near Missoula Mt reporting a streamflow rate of 616 cfs. However, the streamgauge with the highest stage along the river is the Bitterroot River At Bell Crossing Nr Victor Mt with a gauge stage of 4.29 ft. This river is monitored from 3 different streamgauging stations along the Bitterroot River, the highest being situated at an altitude of 3,955 ft, the Bitterroot River Near Darby Mt.

The Bitterroot River is a 84-mile-long river in western Montana, USA. It was named by the Salish tribe and was used extensively by the Native Americans for fishing and hunting. The river originates from the Bitterroot Mountains and merges with the Clark Fork River in Missoula. The river is primarily fed by snowmelt, and its hydrology is influenced by irrigation and dam operation. There are several reservoirs and dams along the river, including Painted Rocks Reservoir and Lake Como Dam. The Bitterroot River is popular for recreational activities such as fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Agriculture is a significant user of the river, with irrigation canals diverting water for crop production. The Bitterroot River is a vital resource for the state of Montana, providing irrigation water, hydroelectric power, and recreation opportunities.

July 19, 2024







Last Updated 2024-07-19
Discharge Volume 1,930 ACRE-FT
Streamflow 973.0 cfs
-54.0 cfs (-5.26%)
Percent of Normal 32.36%
Maximum 42,770.0 cfs
Seasonal Avg 3,007 cfs
Streamgauge Streamflow Gauge Stage 24hr Change (%) % Normal Minimum (cfs) Maximum (cfs) Air Temp Elevation
Bitterroot River Near Darby Mt
USGS 12344000
357 cfs 1.87 ft -4.55
Bitterroot River At Bell Crossing Nr Victor Mt
USGS 12350250
292 cfs 4.29 ft -8.18
Bitterroot River Near Missoula Mt
USGS 12352500
616 cfs 2.93 ft -5.67

Regional Streamflow


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second

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Historical River Levels

The Bitterroot River is a northward flowing 84-mile (135 km) river running through the Bitterroot Valley, from the confluence of its West and East forks near Conner in southern Ravalli County to its confluence with the Clark Fork River near Missoula in Missoula County, in western Montana. The Clark Fork River is tributary to the Columbia River and ultimately, the Pacific Ocean. The Bitterroot River is a Blue Ribbon trout fishery with a healthy population of native westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. It is the third most fly fished river in Montana behind the Madison and Big Horn Rivers.

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16-Day Weather Forecast