HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials will ask those who receive a permit to float the Smith River to help record algae blooms on the water next year.

The Independent Record reported (http://bit.ly/2fkFY55 ) on Thursday that the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department are launching a project to collect data that's difficult for researchers to obtain from the remote river.

Recipients of the roughly 1,500 peak season permits that are granted will be sent instructions to download an app where they can upload photos of the blooms.

While algae is natural to the river, it can have negative effects on the water quality and wildlife. Officials from the agencies hope the data will help them to better understand the algae's scope.

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Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com