Max Lentz was a Hellgate High School student who died in a kayaking accident in 2007 on the Gauley River in West Virginia. He was a popular kid who embodied many of the values shared by Missoulians. He was a friend to virtually anyone he met and could always be counted on for a good laugh. Max was a good friend to have and certainly won’t be forgotten by anyone who knew him.
A memorial fund was set up in Max’s name to create something that would honor Max. As tragic as the accident was, many of us have found peace in the fact that he died doing what he loved. Therefore, we feel that his memorial should take the form of a river enhancement project that will allow more people to enjoy our river as Max did.
It was unanimously decided that it should be a river enhancement project focusing on river recreation, river safety and river access along the Clark Fork River through downtown Missoula. Our specific potential sites for the project included the Missoula Irrigation District weir (MID), located at the mouth of Hellgate Canyon adjacent to the U of M, and the Flynn-Lowney Diversion weir, located across from the Osprey Stadium. Both sites are hazardous to river floaters, non-beneficial for aquatic life and serve no other function besides diverting water for irrigation purposes. Also included was the desire to increase river access sites throughout the downtown stretch of river.
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The Max Wave is proudly supported by Make It Missoula blogger, Jason Shreder of Zootown Surfers. Check out Go with the Flow.