Lower Yellowstone Channel


A new 2.1-mile bypass channel on the lower Yellowstone River is helping to lure the endangered pallid sturgeon upstream to spawn.

Ames Construction built the channel and performed a weir replacement at the Intake Diversion Dam near Glendive, Montana. The dam diverts water into a canal for agricultural irrigation. Built in 1905, the dam is believed to have contributed to a decline in the species’ population because fish were not able to pass over it.

The bypass channel allows fish of all species to get around the new concrete weir after its height was raised two feet above the existing weir. The channel was especially designed to assist the pallid sturgeon in traveling farther upriver to spawn their eggs.

The project opens up 165 river miles of potential spawning and larval drift habitat for the fish, which can live up to a century. The species traces its ancestry to the Cretaceous period 70 million years ago.

Markets: Federal, Water Resources, Dams

Location: Glendive, Montana

Completion: April 2022


  • 2.1-mile bypass channel
  • 700-foot concrete weir