The Ruby River in Southwest Montana originates in a high mountain valley that lies between the Snowcrest Mountains and the Gravelly Range. Approximately 76 miles long, it meanders through more than 30 miles of relatively remote and pristine narrow valley before entering the Ruby River Reservoir which was formed after the completion of Ruby Dam in 1938. Downstream from the dam the river flows through the broad, agricultural Ruby Valley, eventually reaching its confluence with the Beaverhead River near Twin Bridges. The upper Ruby River, upstream from Ruby Dam, is renowned for excellent fly-fishing and beautiful scenery, but not many people know that it is also an important stopover site and breeding area for dozens of bird species.
This spring, Montana Audubon conducted bird surveys to promote and support partners’ and landowners’ interested in a permanent conservation solution for this important area.