Date of this Version
Plans by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to channel the Missouri River from Sioux City to Yankton are of great concern to the ecologists interested in this section of the river. The channelization of the last remaining relatively natural sketch of the Missouri River below the main stem reservoirs could prove to be ecologically disastrous. As the present time too little is known in the form of scientifically proven facts of the likely effects on fish and other organisms inhabitating the river. The populations of certain species of fish far downstream from and in the section to be channelized are very likely dependent on this section of the river for maintenance of their present population levels. Other species could be eliminated from the river. The manner in which these species will be affected is direct reduction or elimination of habitat types necessary in some period of their life cycle. These habitat types are small chutes which are not subjected to the strong current of the main stream, gravel bars, riffles and rapids. In addition, all species listed herin and most others which also inhabit the river will be detrimentally affected by the significant reduction in surface area of the river resulting from channelization.