Boise River nutrients give Snake River problems

By on February 6, 2012

Algae blooms and fish kills on the Snake River are likely getting a boost from its tributary the Boise River, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Phosphorous problems in Idaho’s Boise River have been known for years, but the stream’s contribution to the Snake River’s nutrient troubles has been less clear. USGS monitoring found that the Boise River contributes 11 percent of the Snake River’s flow below the confluence of the two rivers while contributing 30 percent of the Snake’s total phosphorous.

The USGS recommends that managers base future algae growth monitoring on dissolved oxygen instead of chlorophyll a because continuous oxygen measurements capture short-term variations.

Read more at USGS Newsroom

Image credit: USGS

About Jeff Gillies

Jeff Brooks-Gillies has written about science, energy and the environment for going on 10 years. He's a native Michigander who, after a stint in Colorado, lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two kids.

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