When rivers are full of runoff in spring, it’s nice for fish to have a place to hide out. Side channels can provide those places. Just how important these backwaters are to fish isn’t well known because many big rivers have been so modified that side channels have disappeared. That’s not the case on the Yellowstone River, though. A four-year study by Ann Marie Reinhold documented the importance of the Yellowstone River’s side channels from Laurel to Sidney. Her study will provide important baseline data for future fish studies and could be especially important if fish passage is ever established at Intake or Cartersville dams.
To read more about her study, and the fun of camping on the Yellowstone River for four years, check out my story on The Billings Gazette’s website at: http://bgz.tt/plo8v
(Written by Brett French – Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette)