Contact Info
Missouri River Institute
The University of
South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street
Science Center
Vermillion, SD 57069

Financial support for website development provided by the
Living River Group
of the
Sierra Club




Site Description:

Gunderson Backwater is a reconstructed backwater habitat that occupies a former Missouri River side channel. A side channel flowed through this area as recently as the early 1960s. After construction of Gavins Point Dam, bed degradation caused this former river channel to dry up. The Corps of Engineers dredged the area and the reconstructed backwater was complete in April of 2008. The backwater is about ½ mile long and 6 to 10 feet deep. It provides an environment that is ideal for many Missouri River aquatic species of fish, plankton and invertebrates.