HELENA – If you are one of the lucky ones to be allowed to float the Smith River this year, the Department of Environmental Quality will ask you to gather information about the descent.
Last week, DEA hosted an information meeting to inform the public about the efforts to investigate a troublesome alga along the river that has surfaced in recent years. Now DEQ, in partnership with Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Environmental Protection Agency, has released a smartphone app designed to crowdsource algae data.
The Montana Smith River Algae app allows users to take pictures while they float and give two basic answers questions: "How extensive are the algae?" and "What is the condition of the algae?"
This information is sent to DEQ along with a picture, time, date and location for analysis. DEQ hopes to get more detailed data on where the algae grow and where not.
DEQ Water Quality Specialist Katie Makarowski has limited access to the Smith, so it's important to help the public.
"We really encourage people to join in. If you're on the Smith River, we'd really appreciate it if you take a few minutes of your time and feel excited about it and make a name for yourself," Makarowski said ,
The app is available now Both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store
More information about the app and downloading it can be found here.