I finally made it out to the point where the river is now completely plugged with sediment and is trying to establish a new channel somewhere else. It was a pretty amazing sight. Being schooled in geomorphology, I know that a river constantly tries to establish an equilibrium between the slope/width/depth/velocity/and sediment content. A river will make adjustments to its channel to accommodate changes in any parameter. Obviously the river did not like its position and is trying to establish a new and better flowpath. Of course we will go in there with excavators and put the river back into its old path. *facepaws*
I managed to do a good deed. At one site the water was only a few inches deep. I saw a fish flopping in the shallow water. It appeared to be near death. I picked it up and flung it into a deeper pool. I expected it to be floating belly up, but it soon started swimming happily away. I was pleased with myself! Someone then mentioned I probably denied dinner to a raccoon or coyote. Ooops. No good deed goes unpunished.