Rivers and Streams Rivers and streams are common, easily identified habitats characterized by channelized, flowing water. Channels can be wide or narrow, deep or shallow, with sandy, muddy, or rocky bottoms depending upon their origin and the rate and volume of water flow in the channel. Rivers and streams can have perennial year round flow or intermittent flow usually during the wettest seasons. Water flow can be swift or slow moving. Rivers and streams provide very important connections between vegetated wetlands for water flow and aquatic wildlife travel. They are also highly valued recreational areas.