Montana's rivers are known for a lot of things. Without them the western parts of the U.S. wouldn't be what they are today. Our state wouldn't be what it is today without our rivers too. There wouldn't be drinking water, fishing, recreation, or lakes, the list goes on and on.

Montana's 'Largest' River

One river in particular in Montana is in need of some help. It also happens to be the "largest river" in Montana. I am not talking about the Missouri River, aka the "Mighty Mo". The Missouri River is the longest river in Montana, but it isn't the "largest river" in volume, at least according to the National Park Service. That would be the Clark Fork River.

The Clark Fork Needs Help

The Clark Fork isn't nearly as long as the Missouri. The Clark Fork is 300 miles long while the Missouri is 2,340 miles long. The Clark Fork isn't even the second longest river in the state, but it is considered the "largest by volume".  It's also is one of the most "endangered rivers" in America. There was a recent study that shows there are high levels of pollution in the Clark Fork. By the way the one of the shortest rivers in the world is also in Montana.

Read More: New Study Reveals High Pollution Levels In This Montana River

In 2023 the Clark Fork was named as one of the most "endangered rivers" in the country. The city of Missoula has approved funding for river restoration. If you are an angler and happen to catch a fish from the Clark Fork, it is recommended that you don't consume the fish.

Read More: Are Montana Trout Addicted To Meth and Almost Too Toxic To Eat? 

With the pollution of the now defunct Smurfit-Stone pulp mill still an issue with the river, it may be some time before we see Montana's "largest" river removed from the "most endangered rivers" list.

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

Montana Northern Lights Pictures