It’s been a while since I did a “time and again” post, but the idea continues to interest me (I find the concept of time and its passage fascinating). Here are two shots taken on Slough Creek—the first from 1978, the second from 2023. I shot the 2023 version from memory of the first, so while the vantage point isn’t identical, it’s reasonably close.
Slough itself has changed a lot over the years, especially last year when June floods tore through the northern part of Yellowstone. Tremendous amounts of rock and silt have been moved around, and last year’s flood in particular resulted in a major loss of trout habitat.
For some time I’ve also been struck by the gradual but persistent loss of almost all the mature cottonwoods that once dotted much of the length of lower Slough. Click on the 2023 image to enlarge it, and you can see that the cottonwoods on the left side, middle ground, in the 1978 picture are now completely gone. Many conifers along Slough have perished too, a number of which can be seen missing from the right middle ground of the 2023 image.
As for the fishing, it too has changed. In the 1970s, Slough was very lightly fished and held great populations of large cutthroat and very large rainbow trout. Fishing pressure increased dramatically over the years, and today populations of both trout species are much reduced in number and size.