Historical Changes in Large River Fish Assemblages of the Americas

Spatiotemporal Patterns and Changes in Missouri River Fishes

David L. Galat, Charles R. Berry, William M. Gardner, Jeff C. Hendrickson, Gerald E. Mestl, Greg J. Power, Clifton Stone, and Matthew R. Winston

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569728.ch15

Abstract.—The longest river in North America, the Missouri, trends southeast from Montana across the mid continent of the United States, 3,768 km to its confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. Frequent flooding, a shifting, braided channel, and high turbidity characterized the precontrol “Big Muddy.” Major alterations occurred over the past century primarily for flood protection, navigation, irrigation, and power production. Today, the middle one-third of its length is impounded into the largest volume reservoir complex in the United States and the lower one-third is channelized, leveed, and its banks stabilized.