On May 17th 2020, a catastrophic failure of the St. Mary Canal occurred in the state of Montana, USA, upstream of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Normally, this canal diverts water into the Milk River in spring and summer and provides higher flows through Alberta. Due to this failure, the Milk River will solely be reliant on natural flows resulting in greatly reduced water volume compared to other years. At this time, the duration of the canal shutdown is unknown.
River levels are now insufficient for canoeing and kayaking. For up-to-date information on conditions, please visit: https://rivers.alberta.ca.
Also due to the reduced flows, the concentration of thermo-tolerant fecal coliforms are expected to increase within the river, especially as summer temperatures rise. Beach water sampling will not be occurring this year due to Alberta Health Services reduced testing capacity related to COVID-19. All use of the river for swimming or tubing is at an individual’s own risk.
Visitors who choose to swim or recreate on the river should note the following:
If you have questions please call: 403-647-2364 ext 0