Riffles are places where the current picks up speed as it runs a relatively straight course over a gravelly or rocky bed. In freestone streams this rocky bed provides the most habitats for aquatic food production. The surface area created by the irregular contoured bottom provides many places for aquatic plants to
grow. It is the basketball and smaller sized rocks that provide the optimal number of places for plants. In turn, these plants generate the food chain for aquatic insects and other animals. The rocks cushion the current flow and makes places where fish can hold without fighting the current. Since the bulk of the food supply is in a riffle, fish like to hold as close to it as possible without having to expend excessive energy staying there. As a result fish seek the cushioned areas inside or adjacent to riffles.
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