Wetlands & Ponds

Did You Know?

Riparian Areas

  • are the land that occurs along streams and rivers
  • cool stream temperatures are critical for aquatic life to thrive
  • provide erosion control and shoreline stabilization during flooding
  • provide important habitat for most of Montana’s wildlife and many endangered and threatened species
  • protect water quality by intercepting sediment and pollutants before they reach the river.


  • provide recreational opportunities, open space and scenic landscapes
  • are not necessarily wet all year
  • provide flood and erosion control
  • help to replenish ground water supplies
  • filter out sediment and break down pollutants
  • consist of only 1% of Montana’s landscape, yet provide critical habitat to 2/3 of our wildlife
  • in Gallatin County, less than 38% of wetlands remain


  • that have been poorly constructed can be a source of surface water and/or groundwater contamination
  • require a water right to construct if they utilize a surface water source

A Guidebook for Montana Ponds
A Landowners’ Guide to Montana Wetlands
Montana’s Wetlands and You- A Natural Partnership
Preventing Recreational Impacts to Wetlands

Representing Property with Wetlands and Riparian Areas
West Nile Virus- Wetlands & Waterways
Wetland Laws, Permits and Regulations
Wetland Inventory Project Fact Sheet
Where are the Wetlands – Wetland Inventory Project
Working with Montana’s Wetlands


This educational video was produced as a cooperative effort between the Gallatin Local Water Quality District, Lewis and Clark County Water Quality Protection District, and Missoula Valley Water Quality District.