Montana’s Smith River is one of the most prized brown trout fisheries in the state, and certainly a top-tier river in the West. Only 900 or so permits are awarded each year for anglers to float the 59-mile stretch of water that’s home to some of the fastest fishing for wild brown trout that see relatively few humans.
All that is at risk thanks to a new copper mine that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality has approved. The mine poses a serious and real risk to the Smith River fishery, as well as the fragile ecosystem the river supports.
You can read more about the mine, and the potential impacts of its construction, here.