Presentation to discuss health of Kootenai River

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The Kootenai Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a presentation on the health of the Kootenai River, how trout rivers function and river ecology in the Ponderosa Room at Libby City Hall on March 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The panel presentation will include University of Montana professor Dr. Ric Hauer and senior scientist Erin Sexton, according to a news release from chapter president Mike Rooney.

The press release draws attention to concern over pollution from coal mining on the Canadian side of the border and how that impacts the Kootenai and Lake Koocanusa.

The press release alleges that snowmelt and rainwater drains through waste rock piles from coal mining in British Columbia and contaminates the Elk River, which is a tributary of the Kootenai.

According to the press release, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks data has shown contamination related to coal mining both in the water and in fish. The data indicates the contamination levels are rising steadily and occasionally exceed the U.S. standards.

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