Officials with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department say the Clark Fork River has trash levels too high to be managed by current staff numbers, according to the Missoulian. The agency manages 75 fishing access sites across the area.
On any given day, 30 to 100 beverage cans are found floating in the Clark Fork, in addition to other refuse. In response, the agency has installed free mesh trash bags at nearby stores in hopes they’ll be used and started an awareness campaign to keep river-goers from littering.
Other major rivers have had similar issues, which sometimes have resulted in open container bans or other restrictions on visitors. State officials watching over the Clark Fork are hesitant to enact similar restrictions, but are exploring all beneficial options.
Image: Clark Fork River (Credit: U.S. Bureau of Land Management, via Wikimedia Commons)