April 2021 - 44

A group of pronghorn swim across the
Green River as they migrate to their
summer range north of Pinedale.

I watched him for a moment, glistening tan coat,
powerful shoulders, smooth antlers, before he smelled
me. In another moment he was gone, darting urgently
through the trees. Just like that beautiful cutthroat
trout, he slipped to safety away from the open water.
Creatures are drawn to the rivers, whether for the
entirety of their lives or just for a series of moments.
They are the places where wildlife gather to receive
water, the resource essential to all life. Because rivers
are few but their necessity great, they are the intersection where humans and wildlife can glimpse each
other. Prey may cross in the same spot where a predator stops to drink a few hours later. An otter can
stay warm and dry in a den in the bank, and easily
slip into the underwater realm to hunt for fish. In
winter, the river provides open water free of ice for
ducks, swans and geese seeking sanctuary. Beavers
transform river flows to create marshy ponds where
cattails thrive and herons are spotted, motionless in
their stealthy search for an unsuspecting fish. You may
hear the sharp chirping of a bald eagle perched above
44 | April 2021	

the flowing water or the mournful call of a loon on a
slow-moving oxbow. Trumpeter swans and sandhill
cranes hide their young in the tall grass on meandering
banks. The occasional elk or deer carcass arrives on
their shores where grizzlies and wolves may be seen
wrestling with the meat.
River currents are constantly changing as the snow
deposits in the high country and melts as the weather
warms. In the spring, rivers are a raging mass of muddy
brown berating their banks. In the fall, they are clear,
calm and frequently steeped in fog. Rivers weave the
entire ecosystem together. They are a place for every
creature to gather for a drink, cross quietly to another
patch of forest, or hunt for fish darting below the
surface. And we too are drawn to these blue ribbons
teeming with life, if only to sit quietly and watch
the show.
- Emmie Gocke is a Wyoming native who continues to enjoy
Wyoming's outdoor activities, many of which are on rivers.
- Mark Gocke is the Game and Fish information and education
specialist in the Jackson and Pinedale Regions.



April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/January2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/December2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/wyominggame/WyomingWildlife/September2020
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