The Virgin River in southwestern Utah and adjacent Arizona and Nevada is habitat for a number of endangered and threatened species of fish. The river also has significant loads of sediment that change the characteristic of the stream channel with time. The Virgin River transports large quantities of sand. Some sections of the river store the sand in the stream bed following a high stream flow event; the sediment is then removed by lower streamflows that can cause a wave of sand to pass through river channels in other sections of the river. The Hurricane Bridge on the Virgin River had a sand wave that passed through the channel during a low flow event that followed a high flow event. This paper demonstrates that antecedent conditions are important in the analysis of physical habitat in sand-bed rivers because the relation between the streamflows and habitat will change depending on these antecedent conditions.