Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Columbia NFWCO Completes Annual Missouri River Mitigation Report
Midwest Region, June 30, 2007
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Biologists Nick Utrup, Jeff Finley, and Tracy Hill recently completed the annual progress report on the Missouri River Mitigation Project.  This report evaluated fish use of three side-channel chutes in the Lower Missouri River.  This is the first of a three year study that will evaluate how fish use mitigated chute habitat on the Missouri River. 


Dam building and river bank stabilization since the early 20th century on the Missouri River has resulted in loss of natural habitat.  Because of this, the USFWS and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) are working together to mitigate for habitat loss. 

Over the last decade, the ACOE has been building shallow side-channels (called chutes) on the Missouri River to increase habitat diversity.  Studies have shown that these shallow and slow water side-channels act as good nursery habitat for native river fishes. 

The goal of building these chutes is to increase the nursery habitat for native river fishes, including the federally endangered pallid sturgeon.  Results have shown that many juvenile fishes, including pallid sturgeon, are using the chutes, which may indicate they are working as designed. 

Future results, however, will determine if these chutes are indeed successfully mitigating for lost habitat.  These results will also help guide future construction of chutes by evaluating which chute designs are most successful in terms of fish production.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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