Water, bed sediment, and biota were sampled in streams from Butte to near Missoula, Montana, as part of a long-term monitoring program in the upper Clark Fork basin; additional water samples were collected in the Clark Fork basin from sites near Missoula downstream to near the confluence of the Clark Fork and Flathead River as part of a supplemental sampling program. The sampling programs were conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to characterize aquatic resources in the Clark Fork basin of western Montana, with emphasis on trace elements associated with historic mining and smelting activities. Sampling sites were located on the Clark Fork and selected tributaries. Water samples were collected periodically at 24 sites from October 2008 through September 2009. Bed-sediment and biota samples were collected once at 13 sites during August 2009.
This report presents the analytical results and quality-assurance data for water-quality, bed-sediment, and biota samples collected at all long-term and supplemental monitoring sites from October 2008 through September 2009. Water-quality data include concentrations of selected major ions, trace elements, and suspended sediment. Turbidity was analyzed for water samples collected at the four sites where seasonal daily values of turbidity were being determined as well as at Clark Fork above Missoula. Nutrients also were analyzed at all the supplemental water-quality sites, except for Clark Fork Bypass, near Bonner. Daily values of suspended-sediment concentration and suspended-sediment discharge were determined for four sites. Bed-sediment data include trace-element concentrations in the fine-grained fraction. Biological data include trace-element concentrations in whole-body tissue of aquatic benthic insects. Statistical summaries of long-term water-quality, bed-sediment, and biological data for sites in the upper Clark Fork basin are provided for the period of record since 1985.