When the town of Sheridan, Wyoming was founded at the confluence of Big Goose and Little Goose creeks, the two creeks were meandering streams with gravel beds and active floodplains. As Sheridan grew, damage from natural flooding increased, and in 1963 the US Army Corps of Engineers completed a flood control project to protect properties along the creeks, thereby changing the nature of the creeks. While the channel provides flood control, the creeks no longer adequately transport sediment, nor can they self-maintain the riffles, pools and other features that provide fishing habitat and pleasing aesthetics.
In the 1960s, minimizing flood damage was the only goal for such river projects. Today, river projects are expected to take into consideration other goals such as fisheries, self-maintenance, aesthetics, and recreational uses. Rehabilitation of the Goose Creeks through Sheridan will accomplish several objectives:
- Maintain current flood capacity.
- Decrease annual maintenance.
- Aid in water quality improvement efforts.
- Improve sediment transport.
- Increase fisheries habitat components including runs, riffles, glides, feeding lanes, cover, etc..
- Enhance aesthetics.
- Tie to downtown and existing pathways.
- Provide public access to streams.
- Provide a public gathering place to enhance commerce and recreation, featuring historical signs, decorative lighting, benches, bike racks, and seasonal access.