, In 1941, the BPA hired Oklahoma folksinger Woody Guthrie to write songs for a documentary film promoting the benefits of hydropower.  US government intervention, to which the states of Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon objected, included an 11-day closure of an Alaska fishery. The Canadian part of the Okanagan subbasin is also growing rapidly. Book the Best Western Plus Columbia River Hotel and Conference Center near shops, dining, and parks. The Columbia River is the biggest river in the American West. The Yakama, Umatilla, Palus, Spokane, and Coeur d'Alene maintained sizable herds of horses and adopted some of the plains cultural characteristics, but fishing and fish-related economies remained important. Important crops include orchard fruit, potatoes, alfalfa, mint, beans, beets, and wine grapes.  Canada agreed to build dams and provide reservoir storage, and the United States agreed to deliver to Canada one-half of the increase in US downstream power benefits as estimated five years in advance.  The Northwest Power Planning Council approved a plan that provided more water for fish and less for electricity, irrigation, and transportation. Columbia River depth map (nautical chart) The marine chart shows water depth and hydrology on an interactive map.  With the onset of World War II, the focus of dam construction shifted to production of hydroelectricity. Its discharge is roughly a third of the Columbia's at the rivers' confluence but compared to the Columbia upstream of the confluence the Snake is longer (113%) and has a larger drainage basin (104%). Share. To the northeast, mostly along the southern border between British Columbia and Alberta, the Continental Divide separates the Columbia watershed from the Nelson-Lake Winnipeg-Saskatchewan watershed, which empties into Hudson Bay. Projections for the coming decades assume growth throughout the watershed, including the interior. But Businesses Dependent on Cheap Water and Power Fear the Added Expense and Predict Job Losses", "Plan to Save Salmon Roils Northwest; Change Seen Causing Ripples in Economy", "An Overview of Hanford and Radiation Health Effects", "Radiation Flowed 200 Miles to Sea, Study Finds", "Columbia River Basin: A National Priority", "Bush Change to NW Forest Plan Would Ease Logging", "Fate and Transport of Nitrogen | Environmental Assessment Program | Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound", "Natural Sources of Nitrogen | Sources and Pathways | Environmental Assessment Program | Washington State Department of Ecology", "Why Protect Salmon – Wild Salmon Center", "Disrupting biogeochemical cycles – Consequences of damming", "Human Population Impacts on Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife", "Columbia River Water Management Report, Chapter 2", "Continental Divides in North Dakota and North America", "Water-resources data for the United States, Water Year 2007", "USGS Water Resources of the United States: Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units", "Balance of Power: Hydroelectric Development in Southeastern British Columbia", "Pend Oreille, Kettle, and Colville River Basins, and the Columbia River from the International Boundary to the confluence with the Spokane River", "Water-data report 2007: USGS 14243000 Cowlitz River at Castle Rock, WA", "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions", "volume II – Subbasin Plan Chapter G – NF and EF Lewis", "Description: Lewis River Drainage, Mount St. Helens, Washington", "Yakima River and Esquatzel Coulee Basins and the Columbia River from Richland to Kennewick, Water Resources Data-Washington Water Year 2005", "Wenatchee River Basin: 12459000 Wenatchee River at Peshastin, WA", "Water-Data Report 2007: 12404500 Kettle River near Laurier, WA", "Water-Data Report 2007: 14142500 Sandy River Below Bull Run River, near Bull Run, OR", "Salmon and Steelhead Runs and Related Events of the Sandy River Basin – A Historical Perspective", "Water-Data Report 2007: 14048000 John Day River at McDonald Ferry, OR", "John Day River Subbasin Fish Habitat Enhancement Project", "Articles in the Oregon Historical Quarterly Relating to the Columbia River, Settlement of Astoria, Lewis and Clark Expedition", Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, "Timeline of exploration of the Columbia", University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – Tollman and Canaris Photographs, Bonneville Slide/Bridge of the Gods land bridge, Steamboats of the upper Columbia and Kootenay Rivers, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Columbia_River&oldid=999955175, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles containing Wasco-Wishram-language text, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2008, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the New International Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Big River, the River of the West, River Oregon, This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 20:11. Royal Navy commander George Vancouver sailed past the mouth in April 1792 and observed a change in the water's color, but he accepted Meares' report and continued on his journey northward. Populations have also been growing just east of the Cascades in central Washington around the city of Yakima and the Tri-Cities area. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River.  In the 1880s, railroads maintained by companies such as the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company began to supplement steamboat operations as the major transportation links along the river.  The falls were located at the border between Chinookan- and Sahaptian-speaking peoples and served as the center of an extensive trading network across the Pacific Plateau. Carrying sediments from erosion and erupting volcanoes, it built a 2-mile (3.2 km) thick delta that underlies the foothills on the east side of the Coast Range near Vernonia in northwestern Oregon. Entirely within the reservation is Hanford Reach, the only US stretch of the river that is completely free-flowing, unimpeded by dams and not a tidal estuary. In the 1830s, American religious missions were established at several locations in the lower Columbia River region. The Columbia alone possesses one-third of the United States's hydroelectric potential. In many upstream areas cut off from the ocean by dams, sturgeon simply live upstream of the dam. Celilo Falls, located east of the modern city of The Dalles, was a vital hub for trade and the interaction of different cultural groups, being used for fishing and trading for 11,000 years. These include chemical pesticides, bacteria, arsenic, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). For years the Hudson's Bay Company successfully maintained control of the Columbia River and American attempts to gain a foothold were fended off. The Columbia receives more than 60 significant tributaries. HOLIDAY INN RICHLAND ON THE RIVER in Richland WA at 802 George Washington Way 99352 US. www.NauticalCharts.NOAA.gov 888- 990-NOAA. Today the main stem of the Columbia River has 14 dams, of which three are in Canada and 11 in the US. The Columbia River flows through many major cities including Revelstoke, Tri-Cities, Portland [photo below], Vancouver (WA), Longview, and Astoria. Steamships along the river linked communities and facilitated trade; the arrival of railroads in the late 19th century, many running along the river, supplemented these links. There are 35 species of fish, of which four are endemic. By following these safety suggestions your visit to the Monument will be a fun-filled event.  The river turns south after the Okanogan River confluence, then southeasterly near the confluence with the Wenatchee River in central Washington. NOAA Chart 18543 . The city of Richland is the furthest west of the Tri-Cities. , In addition to concerns about nuclear waste, numerous other pollutants are found in the river. The gorge is known for its strong and steady winds, scenic beauty, and its role as an important transportation link. With an average flow at the mouth of about 265,000 cubic feet per second (7,500 m3/s), the Columbia is the largest river by discharge flowing into the Pacific from the Americas and is the fourth-largest by volume in the US.  Native American stories about the bridge differ in their details but agree in general that the bridge permitted increased interaction between tribes on the north and south sides of the river. Over some of the watershed, especially west of the Cascade Mountains, precipitation maximums occur in winter, when Pacific storms come ashore.  In some cases, the Army Corps of Engineers transports juvenile fish downstream by truck or river barge. PROVISIONAL DATA SUBJECT TO REVISION . , Today the main stem of the Columbia River has 14 dams, of which three are in Canada and 11 in the US. This chart display or derived product can be used as a planning or analysis tool and may not be used as a navigational aid. It was originally known as Chemna by Chemnapum Indians who lived at the mouth of the Yakima River (which they called "Tapteal"). , Some historians believe that Japanese or Chinese vessels blown off course reached the Northwest Coast long before Europeans—possibly as early as 219 BCE.  Annual precipitation varies from more than 100 inches (250 cm) a year in the Cascades to less than 8 inches (20 cm) in the interior. Columbia River, largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America. Over the next few years he explored much of the river and its northern tributaries. Columbia River, operations for these purposes should also assure that adequate water is available for other water uses. Rounding the northern end of the Selkirk Mountains, the river turns sharply south through a region known as the Big Bend Country, passing through Revelstoke Lake and the Arrow Lakes. By the turn of the 20th century, the difficulty of navigating the Columbia was seen as an impediment to the economic development of the Inland Empire region east of the Cascades. North Channel Columbia River is displayed on the West of Paterson USGS quad topo map. The Grand Coulee Dam was the project's central component; upon completion, it pumped water up from the Columbia to fill the formerly dry Grand Coulee, forming Banks Lake. , The Columbia supports several species of anadromous fish that migrate between the Pacific Ocean and fresh water tributaries of the river. , In 1957 Celilo Falls was submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam, and the native fishing community was displaced. The four largest that empty directly into the Columbia (measured either by discharge or by size of watershed) are the Snake River (mostly in Idaho), the Willamette River (in northwest Oregon), the Kootenay River (mostly in British Columbia), and the Pend Oreille River (mostly in northern Washington and Idaho, also known as the lower part of the Clark Fork). Available data for this site . Canadian National Parks in the watershed include Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, and Mount Revelstoke National Park. Elevation ranges from sea level at the river mouth to more than 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in the mountains, and temperatures vary with elevation.  In 1938, the construction of Bonneville Dam inundated the rapids as well as the remaining trees that could be used to refine the estimated date of the landslide. No other rivers except for the Klamath and Pit River completely breach the Cascades—the other rivers that flow through the range also originate in or very near the mountains. Four mainstem dams and four lower Snake River dams contain navigation locks to allow ship and barge passage from the ocean as far as Lewiston, Idaho.  The annual catch by natives has been estimated at 42 million pounds (19,000 t). Six such dams have failed in recent years, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to crops and public roads. In the month he spent traveling the region Guthrie wrote 26 songs, which have become an important part of the cultural history of the region. , Power remains relatively inexpensive along the Columbia, and since the mid-2000 several global enterprises have moved server farm operations into the area to avail themselves of cheap power. The highest peak is Mount Rainier, at 14,411 feet (4,392 m). Strong currents and the shifting sandbar remain a threat to ships entering the river and necessitate continuous maintenance of the jetties. The Columbia, Colorado, and Mississippi watersheds meet at Three Waters Mountain in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. By 1957, the eight plutonium production reactors at Hanford dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia. High densities are also found around Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho. The Columbia River (Upper Chinook: Wimahl or Wimal; Sahaptin: Nch’i-Wàna or Nchi wana; Sinixt dialect swah'netk'qhu) is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.  By 2003, the entire United States produced only 15 percent of the world's aluminum, and many smelters along the Columbia had gone dormant or out of business. The Upper Snake ecoregion is defined as the Snake River watershed above Shoshone Falls, which totally blocks fish migration. This point marks the meeting of three of North America's main drainage patterns, to the Pacific Ocean, to Hudson Bay, and to the Atlantic Ocean via the Gulf of Mexico. The Snake is by far the largest tributary. By that time local communities had become wary of federal hydroelectric projects, and sought local control of new developments; a public utility district in Grant County, Washington, ultimately began construction of the dam at Priest Rapids. , The floodwaters rushed across eastern Washington, creating the channeled scablands, which are a complex network of dry canyon-like channels, or coulees that are often braided and sharply gouged into the basalt rock underlying the region's deep topsoil. Portland-based Northwest Environmental Advocates brought a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, but it was rejected by the Ninth U.S. In contrast, the Columbia cuts through the range nearly a thousand miles from its source in the Rocky Mountains. Broughton formally claimed the river, its drainage basin, and the nearby coast for Britain. Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2006. These developments rekindled the issue of "joint occupation" and the boundary dispute. For many the final leg of the journey involved travel down the lower Columbia River to Fort Vancouver. Individual appropriators must apply for rights to use the reserved waters. , In 1994, the salmon catch was smaller than usual in the rivers of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, causing concern among commercial fishermen, government agencies, and tribal leaders. Anyone who is interested in visiting North Channel Columbia River can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. The Marine Navigation App provides advanced features of a Marine Chartplotter including adjusting water level offset and custom depth shading. The contact would prove devastating to the Indian tribes; a large portion of their population was wiped out by a smallpox epidemic.  In the mid-20th century, the construction of dams along the length of the river submerged the rapids beneath a series of reservoirs.  Gray's discovery of the Columbia River was later used by the United States to support its claim to the Oregon Country, which was also claimed by Russia, Great Britain, Spain and other nations. Production of nuclear power has taken place at two sites along the river. A navigation channel reaching to Lewiston, Idaho, along the Columbia and Snake rivers, was completed in 1975. The US Supreme Court upheld fishing rights in landmark cases in 1905 and 1918, as well as the 1974 case United States v. Washington, commonly called the Boldt Decision. The trench is a broad, deep, and long glacial valley between the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia Mountains in BC. , The largest of the 150 hydroelectric projects, the Grand Coulee Dam and the Chief Joseph Dam, are also the largest in the United States. Also expect flooding of parks and lowland areas near the Sandy River confluence above this level. NOTE: Use the official, full scale NOAA nautical chart for real navigation whenever possible. Helpful. Era 1881-1920 (Industrialization and Progressive Reform) Record Type Map. The Nez Perce and Cayuse kept large herds and made annual long-distance trips to the Great Plains for bison hunting, adopted the plains culture to a significant degree, and became the main conduit through which horses and the plains culture diffused into the Columbia River region.  The Columbia is the twelfth-longest river and has the sixth-largest drainage basin in the United States. , Salmon canneries established by white settlers beginning in 1866 had a strong negative impact on the salmon population, and in 1908 US President Theodore Roosevelt observed that the salmon runs were but a fraction of what they had been 25 years prior. ... We took a history tour of the Columbia River that included information on the rock formations along the Wallula Gap, an informative tour of the McNary Dam, lunch at a nice inn in Boardman, Oregon, and an introduction to the SAGE Center in Boardman (well worth the tour). The river system hosts many species of anadromous fish, which migrate between freshwater habitats and the saline waters of the Pacific Ocean. , In 2016, over eight million people lived within the Columbia's drainage basin. , The use of steamboats along the river, beginning with the British Beaver in 1836 and followed by American vessels in 1850, contributed to the rapid settlement and economic development of the region. This chart display or derived product can be used as a planning or analysis tool and may not be used as a navigational aid.  The Canadian portion of the Columbia Basin outlines the traditional homelands of the Canadian Kootenay–Ktunaxa. Less affected groups included the Molala, Klickitat, Wenatchi, Okanagan, and Sinkiuse-Columbia peoples, who owned small numbers of horses and adopted few plains culture features.  The river continues west, bending sharply to the north-northwest near Portland and Vancouver, Washington, at the Willamette River confluence.  By 1908, there was widespread concern about the decline of salmon and sturgeon. Screen captures of the on-line viewable charts available here do NOT fulfill chart carriage requirements for regulated commercial vessels under Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Date 1892. , On May 12, 1792, Gray returned south and crossed the Columbia Bar, becoming the first known explorer of European descent to enter the river.  The project includes measures to mitigate environmental damage; for instance, the US Army Corps of Engineers must restore 12 times the area of wetland damaged by the project. Columbi river and snake river … The Columbia begins its 1,243-mile (2,000 km) journey in the southern Rocky Mountain Trench in British Columbia (BC). The headwaters and upper course of the Pit River are on the Modoc Plateau; downstream the Pit cuts a canyon through the southern reaches of the Cascades. Plutonium for nuclear weapons was produced for decades at the Hanford Site, which is now the most contaminated nuclear site in the US. It is used for all kinds of activities, including barge shipping, producing major quantities of electricity, boating and fishing. Gray's fur trading mission had been financed by Boston merchants, who outfitted him with a private vessel named Columbia Rediviva; he named the river after the ship on May 18. In the United States and Canada the term watershed is often used to mean drainage basin. , The Cascades Rapids of the Columbia River Gorge, and Kettle Falls and Priest Rapids in eastern Washington, were also major fishing and trading sites. For nearly 30 years, The U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Energy produced tons of plutonium for use in the atomic weapon program. In comparison, the Mississippi drops less than 0.65 feet per mile (12.3 cm/km).  Constrictions at several places caused the floodwaters to pool into large temporary lakes, such as Lake Lewis, in which sediments were deposited. Vegetation varies widely, ranging from western hemlock and western redcedar in the moist regions to sagebrush in the arid regions. Activities at Hanford produced significant quantities of waste containing hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials. Funding for this site is provided by the cooperators / programs below: US Army Corps of Engineers; Station Notes. The National Ocean Service observes water levels at six tide gauges and issues tide forecasts for twenty-two additional locations along the river between the entrance at the North Jetty and the base of Bonneville Dam, the head of tide.  Previously active fishing sites, such as Celilo Falls in the eastern Columbia River Gorge, have exhibited a sharp decline in fishing along the Columbia in the last century, and salmon populations have been dramatically reduced. This prompted agencies to conduct the first formal financial analysis of hydroelectric development; the reports produced by various agencies were presented in House Document 308. Columbia River Pasco to Richland .  Downriver of Grand Coulee, each dam's reservoir is closely regulated by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and various Washington public utility districts to ensure flow, flood control, and power generation objectives are met. Glorious Temple of the Information Age! , The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens caused mudslides in the area, which reduced the Columbia's depth by 25 feet (7.6 m) for a 4-mile (6.4 km) stretch, disrupting Portland's economy.  Natives drew fish from the Columbia at several major sites, which also served as trading posts. , Further north along the Continental Divide, a short portion of the combined Continental and Laurentian divides separate the Columbia watershed from the MacKenzie-Slave-Athabasca watershed, which empties into the Arctic Ocean. , In southeastern Washington, a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the river passes through the Hanford Site, established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project.  Later that month, Vancouver encountered the American captain Robert Gray at the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Of this total about 3.5 million people lived in Oregon, 2.1 million in Washington, 1.7 million in Idaho, half a million in British Columbia, and 0.4 million in Montana. The Willamette River channel is 43 feet deep up to approximately river mile 2, from that point the controlling Since the late 19th century, public and private sectors have heavily developed the river. Free wi-fi and breakfast. , The nuclear reactors were decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, and the Hanford site is the focus of one of the world's largest environmental cleanup, managed by the Department of Energy under the oversight of the Washington Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal government is paying 65 percent, Oregon and Washington are paying $27 million each, and six local ports are also contributing to the cost.. Historian Derek Hayes claims that "It is a near certainty that Japanese or Chinese people arrived on the northwest coast long before any European.  Sediments were also deposited when the floodwaters slowed in the broad flats of the Quincy, Othello, and Pasco Basins. , In the 1960s, the United States and Canada signed the Columbia River Treaty, which focused on flood control and the maximization of downstream power generation. Water quality is also an important factor in the survival of other wildlife and plants that grow in the Columbia River drainage basin.  Much of the landslide's debris remained, forcing the river about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of its previous channel and forming the Cascade Rapids. The Columbia shares its name with nearby places, such as British Columbia, as well as with landforms and bodies of water. , In 1948 floods swept through the Columbia watershed, destroying Vanport, then the second largest city in Oregon, and impacting cities as far north as Trail, British Columbia. The central Oregon county of Deschutes is the fastest-growing in the state.  Steamboats operated in several distinct stretches of the river: on its lower reaches, from the Pacific Ocean to Cascades Rapids; from the Cascades to Celilo Falls; from Celilo to the confluence with the Snake River; on the Wenatchee Reach of eastern Washington; on British Columbia's Arrow Lakes; and on tributaries like the Willamette, the Snake and Kootenay Lake. , Several major North American drainage basins and many minor ones share a common border with the Columbia River's drainage basin. Click here to use the NOAA Pacific Coast Chart On Line Viewer , which gives you the ability to zoom in and out on individual charts of the Pacific Coast, listed by chart number.  The most important and productive native fishing site was located at Celilo Falls, which was perhaps the most productive inland fishing site in North America.  Gray spent nine days trading near the mouth of the Columbia, then left without having gone beyond 13 miles (21 km) upstream. It is not known how long it took the river to break through the barrier; estimates range from several months to several years.  The lowest flow recorded at The Dalles was 12,100 cubic feet per second (340 m3/s) on April 16, 1968, and was caused by the initial closure of the John Day Dam, 28 miles (45 km) upstream.  This amounts to about 15 percent of the entire Columbia watershed. In contrast, Gray had not made any formal claims on behalf of the United States. Many ships in the area, especially those under Spanish and British command, searched the northwest coast for a large river that might connect to Hudson Bay or the Missouri River.  The flooding prompted the United States Congress to pass the Flood Control Act of 1950, authorizing the federal development of additional dams and other flood control mechanisms. Check reviews and discounted rates for AAA/AARP members, seniors, extended stays & government. After crossing the Rocky Mountains, Lewis and Clark built dugout canoes and paddled down the Snake River, reaching the Columbia near the present-day Tri-Cities, Washington. , Not all fish have suffered from the modifications to the river; the northern pikeminnow (formerly known as the squawfish) thrives in the warmer, slower water created by the dams. To the west and southwest the Columbia watershed borders a number of smaller watersheds that drain to the Pacific Ocean, such as the Klamath River in Oregon and California and the Puget Sound Basin in Washington.. The term Columbia Basin is used to refer not only to the entire drainage basin but also to subsets of the river's full watershed, such as the relatively flat and unforested area in eastern Washington bounded by the Cascades, the Rocky Mountains, and the Blue Mountains. The river defines that border for the final 309 miles (497 km) of its journey. On his return to the north, Thompson explored the one remaining part of the river he had not yet seen, becoming the first Euro-descended person to travel the entire length of the river.  In early 2006, the Corps spilled 50 US gallons (190 L) of hydraulic oil into the Columbia, drawing further criticism from environmental organizations. , Most of the Columbia's drainage basin (which, at 258,000 square miles or 670,000 square kilometres, is about the size of France) lies roughly between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Cascade Mountains on the west. Each of these four averages more than 20,000 cubic feet per second (570 m3/s) and drains an area of more than 20,000 square miles (52,000 km2). , The Columbia enters eastern Washington flowing south and turning to the west at the Spokane River confluence.  The project provides water to more than 670 thousand acres (2,700 km2) of fertile but arid land in central Washington, transforming the region into a major agricultural center. The Columbia empties into the Pacific Ocean just west of Astoria, Oregon, over the Columbia Bar, a shifting sandbar that makes the river's mouth one of the most hazardous stretches of water to navigate in the world. The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, flowing a total of 1,243 miles from British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Accumulation of toxins in fish threatens the survival of fish species, and human consumption of these fish can lead to health problems. , Because the Columbia was at the same latitude as the headwaters of the Missouri River, there was some speculation that Gray and Vancouver had discovered the long-sought Northwest Passage. Posted on Sep 12, 2020.  Along with horses came aspects of the emerging plains culture, such as equestrian and horse training skills, greatly increased mobility, hunting efficiency, trade over long distances, intensified warfare, the linking of wealth and prestige to horses and war, and the rise of large and powerful tribal confederacies. Until 2000, the Northwestern United States produced up to 17 percent of the world's aluminum and 40 percent of the aluminum produced in the United States.  This divide meets the Continental Divide at Snow Dome (also known as Dome), near the northernmost bend of the Columbia River.