River Levels Streamgages Weather

Total streamflow across the Marias River was last observed at 928 cfs, and is expected to yield approximately 1,841 acre-ft of water today; about 40% of normal. River levels are low and may signify a drought. Average streamflow for this time of year is 2,348 cfs, with recent peaks last observed on 2011-06-10 when daily discharge volume was observed at 18,600 cfs.

Maximum discharge along the river is currently at the Marias River Near Chester Mt reporting a streamflow rate of 412 cfs. This is also the highest stage along the Marias River, with a gauge stage of 3.2 ft at this location. This river is monitored from 3 different streamgauging stations along the Marias River, the highest being situated at an altitude of 3,099 ft, the Marias River Near Shelby Mt.

The Marias River is a tributary of the Missouri River, spanning a length of approximately 210 miles in Montana. The river is named after the French explorer, Marias, who first discovered it in 1806. The hydrology of the Marias River includes a snowmelt-dominated flow with high seasonal variability. There are several reservoirs and dams along the river, including Tiber Dam and Lake Elwell, which are primarily used for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. Recreational activities such as fishing and boating are popular among tourists and locals. Agriculture is also a significant industry along the Marias River, with crops such as wheat, barley, and hay being grown in the area. Despite being a relatively small river, the Marias River has played an essential role in the history and economy of Montana.

July 20, 2024







Last Updated 2024-07-20
Discharge Volume 1,841 ACRE-FT
Streamflow 928.0 cfs
-10.0 cfs (-1.07%)
Percent of Normal 39.53%
Maximum 18,600.0 cfs
Seasonal Avg 2,348 cfs
Streamgauge Streamflow Gauge Stage 24hr Change (%) % Normal Minimum (cfs) Maximum (cfs) Air Temp Elevation
Marias River Near Shelby Mt
USGS 06099500
199 cfs 2.68 ft -4.78
Marias River Near Chester Mt
USGS 06101500
412 cfs 3.2 ft 0
Marias River Near Loma Mt
USGS 06102050
317 cfs 0.99 ft 0

Regional Streamflow


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second


Cubic Feet Per Second

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The Marias River is a tributary of the Missouri River, approximately 210 mi (338 km) long, in the U.S. state of Montana. It is formed in Glacier County, in northwestern Montana, by the confluence of the Cut Bank Creek and the Two Medicine River. It flows east, through Lake Elwell, formed by the Tiber Dam, then southeast, receiving the Teton River at Loma, 2 mi. (3.2 km) above its confluence with the Missouri.
The river was explored in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Some of the men on the expedition mistook it for the main branch of the Missouri until their subsequent discovery of the Great Falls of the Missouri near Great Falls, Montana. The river was named by Meriwether Lewis after his cousin, Maria Wood. Lewis led a small detachment of men to further explore the Marias River on the Expedition's return trip in 1806 to determine if the river ventured north above the Canada border, and he killed a young Blackfeet warrior trying to steal horses and a gun from the small detachment.
The river was the scene of the 1870 Marias Massacre.The Marias is a Class I river from Tiber Dam to its confluence with the Missouri River for public access for recreational purposes.The Montana Watershed Coordination Council is an advocate for the river.The Marias River Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

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