Vespucci mainly explored South America. [47] The river is known as swah'netk'qhu by the Sinixt people, who live in the area of the Arrow Lakes in the river's upper reaches in Canada. Roughly 745 miles (1,200 km) of the river's length and 85 percent of its drainage basin are in the US. 7. At the time, the region had over 100,000 Indigenous inhabitants. "[75] It is unknown whether they landed near the Columbia. In comparison, the largest run since 1938 was in 1986, with 3.2 million fish entering the Columbia. ", "This is what happens when bitcoin miners take over your town", "The Northern Pikeminnow Management Program", "As Wild Salmon Fade, Northwest Losing a Symbol", "Mystery of Vanishing Salmon Puzzles Canadians; Commercial Fishermen, Indian Groups and Officials Dispute Who's to Blame for Drop in Harvest", "Lawsuit Targets Fishery Closure: Alaska Seeks to Reverse Policy on Snake River King Salmon Run", "Strict Fishing Limits Are Passed to Protect Salmon in Northwest", "Massive Coho Return Surprises Fisheries", "Are West's Dams Set in Stone? [117], 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. Thompson acted as an astronomer and surveyor for the commission that charted the border between Canada and the United States from 1818 to 1826. [114] With the onset of World War II, the focus of dam construction shifted to production of hydroelectricity. Many of the challenges associated with that feat remain today; even with modern engineering alterations to the mouth of the river, the strong currents and shifting sandbar make it dangerous to pass between the river and the Pacific Ocean. By 1800, maritime traders were visiting the Columbia estuary and trading with Native groups, but it was not until the Lewis and Clark Expedition explored the Columbia in 1805-1806 that EuroAmericans spent months on the river. 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). [33], Over the last several thousand years a series of large landslides have occurred on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge, sending massive amounts of debris south from Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak into the gorge near the present site of Bonneville Dam. The first documented European discovery of the Columbia River was that of Bruno de Heceta, who in 1775 sighted the river's mouth. The Columbia River was explored by Lewis and Clark. [76], In 1825, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) established Fort Vancouver on the bank of the Columbia, in what is now Vancouver, Washington, as the headquarters of the company's Columbia District, which encompassed everything west of the Rocky Mountains. [39][40], In 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens deposited large amounts of sediment in the lower Columbia, temporarily reducing the depth of the shipping channel by 26 feet (7.9 m). [59] Natives drew fish from the Columbia at several major sites, which also served as trading posts. Pacific Graveyard, a 1964 book by James A. Gibbs, describes the many shipwrecks near the mouth of the Columbia. The … Chief Factor John McLoughlin, a physician who had been in the fur trade since 1804, was appointed superintendent of the Columbia District. Six such dams have failed in recent years, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to crops and public roads. Robert Gray explored the mouth of the Columbia River in 1792, the area was further explored by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and was soon the site of fur-trading posts. [129] In 1992–1993, a lesser drought affected farmers, hydroelectric power producers, shippers, and wildlife managers. Hydrology and Hydraulics Committee, Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission, Revised July 1972. 2 (April 1992), 58. While some British interests, especially the Hudson's Bay Company, fought for a boundary along the Columbia River, the Oregon Treaty of 1846 set the boundary at the 49th parallel. 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. The Snake is by far the largest tributary. 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. The river defines that border for the final 309 miles (497 km) of its journey. [122], The larger US dams are owned and operated by the federal government (some by the Army Corps of Engineers and some by the Bureau of Reclamation), while the smaller dams are operated by public utility districts, and private power companies. Revelstoke, the Big Bend, and the Columbia Valley combined are referred to in BC parlance as the Columbia Country. [60] The site drew traders from as far away as the Great Plains. Rises in Upper Columbia Lake, lat. Captain Robert Gray explored it in 1792 for the United States and Broughton navigated it 119 statute miles upriver from its mouth the same year. 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. American captain Robert Gray and British captain George Vancouver, who explored the river in 1792, proved that it was possible to cross the Columbia Bar (system of bars and shoals at the mouth of the Columbia River). [22] Flow rates on the Columbia are affected by many large upstream reservoirs, many diversions for irrigation, and, on the lower stretches, reverse flow from the tides of the Pacific Ocean. 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. Oral histories describe the formation and destruction of the Bridge of the Gods, a land bridge that connected the Oregon and Washington sides of the river in the Columbia River Gorge. What do you think of the answers? Before being released back into the river, the used water was held in large tanks known as retention basins for up to six hours. In 1879 it was reported that 545,450 salmon, with an average weight of 22 pounds (10.0 kg) were caught (in a recent season) and mainly canned for export to England. For its first 200 miles (320 km), the Columbia flows northwest along the trench through Windermere Lake and the town of Invermere, a region known in British Columbia as the Columbia Valley, then northwest to Golden and into Kinbasket Lake. Below the Arrow Lakes, the Columbia passes the cities of Castlegar, located at the Columbia's confluence with the Kootenay River, and Trail, two major population centers of the West Kootenay region. [199], River in the Pacific Northwest of North America, Columbia River from Rowena Crest Viewpoint with. [102], 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. In 1775, Bruno de Heceta became the first European to sight the mouth of the Columbia River, naming it Bahía de la Asunción. [35][36] Various studies have placed the date of the Bonneville Slide anywhere between 1060 and 1760 AD; the idea that the landslide debris present today was formed by more than one slide is relatively recent and may explain the large range of estimates. 4 years ago. Columbia River, largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America. Salmon and steelhead return to the streams in which they were born to spawn; where dams prevent their return, entire populations of salmon die. Given its popularity, I had to combine a few shots to remove some swimmers. 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. [136] The commoditization of power in the early 21st century, coupled with drought that reduced the generation capacity of the river, damaged the industry and by 2001, Columbia River aluminum producers had idled 80 percent of its production capacity. Scientists have expressed concern that a similar drought would have grave consequences in a region so dependent on the Columbia. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a coalition of various tribes, adopted a constitution and incorporated after the 1938 completion of the Bonneville Dam flooded Cascades Rapids;[71] Still, in the 1930s, there were natives who lived along the river and fished year round, moving along with the fish's migration patterns throughout the seasons. For many the final leg of the journey involved travel down the lower Columbia River to Fort Vancouver. Compared to the Columbia River above the two rivers' confluence, the Pend Oreille-Clark-Flathead is nearly as long (about 86%), its basin about three-fourths as large (76%), and its discharge over a third (37%). [132], The largest of the 150 hydroelectric projects, the Grand Coulee Dam and the Chief Joseph Dam, are also the largest in the United States. [69] The affected tribes received a $26.8 million settlement for the loss of Celilo and other fishing sites submerged by The Dalles Dam. Claimed by the United States after Capt. [98], Cascade Locks and Canal were first constructed in 1896 around the Cascades Rapids,[99] enabling boats to travel safely through the Columbia River Gorge. [106] The project has met opposition because of concerns about stirring up toxic sediment on the riverbed. The Sinixt or Lakes people lived on the lower stretch of the Canadian portion,[44] while above that the Shuswap people (Secwepemc in their own language) reckon the whole of the upper Columbia east to the Rockies as part of their territory. It was admitted as the 33rd state in 1859. [6] The average flow where the river crosses the international border between Canada and the United States is 99,000 cubic feet per second (2,790 m3/s) from a drainage basin of 39,700 square miles (102,800 km2). [76], In the 18th century, there was strong interest in discovering a Northwest Passage that would permit navigation between the Atlantic (or inland North America) and the Pacific Ocean. These developments have greatly altered river environments in the watershed, mainly through industrial pollution and barriers to fish migration. [173][176][177], Both natural and anthropogenic processes are involved in the cycling of nutrients in the Columbia River basin. [147], Salmon populations declined dramatically after the establishment of canneries in 1867. Who Explored The Columbia River. [195], To the southeast, in western Wyoming, another divide separates the Columbia watershed from the Colorado–Green watershed, which empties into the Gulf of California. [151] In some cases, the Army Corps of Engineers transports juvenile fish downstream by truck or river barge. 0 0. landrigan. [50][51], Horses, originally acquired from Spanish New Mexico, spread widely via native trade networks, reaching the Shoshone of the Snake River Plain by 1700. Many different Native Americans and First Nations peoples have a historical and continuing presence on the Columbia. Celilo Falls, located east of the modern city of The Dalles, was a vital hub for trade and the interaction of different cultural groups,[55] being used for fishing and trading for 11,000 years. [186], The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) divides the waters of the Columbia and its tributaries into three freshwater ecoregions, naming them Columbia Glaciated, Columbia Unglaciated, and Upper Snake. Vancouver visited the river, and his lieutenant, Broughton, explored it by the aid of Captain Gray's chart; ascending it upwards of one hundred miles, until within view of a … Research in the mid-1980s found that juvenile salmon were suffering substantially from the predatory pikeminnow,[153] and in 1990, in the interest of protecting salmon, a "bounty" program was established to reward anglers for catching pikeminnow. 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. [29] Cutting through the uplifting mountains, the Columbia River significantly deepened the Columbia River Gorge. The construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the mid-20th century impounded the river, forming Lake Roosevelt, from which water was pumped into the dry coulee, forming the reservoir of Banks Lake. For years the Hudson's Bay Company successfully maintained control of the Columbia River and American attempts to gain a foothold were fended off. [86] This part of the Oregon Trail, the treacherous stretch from The Dalles to below the Cascades, could not be traversed by horses or wagons (only watercraft, at great risk). 2114 Public Utility District No. [76][80] Gray spent nine days trading near the mouth of the Columbia, then left without having gone beyond 13 miles (21 km) upstream. All indications are it was not a long conversation. On May 12, 1792, the American Captain Robert Gray, became the first explorer to enter the Columbia River by crossing over the sandbar that blocked its mouth. Surviving on modest supplied of dried foods and low on provisions. •Was explored by Lewis and Clark???? David Thompson reached the source of the Columbia at Columbia Lake in present day British Columbia in 1807 and navigated the entire river in 1811. [127], The Bureau of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project focused on the generally dry region of central Washington known as the Columbia Basin, which features rich loess soil. What body of water….. •Was the highway for explorers, early settlers, and later immigrants? Areas of Alaska and British Columbia Explored by Spain. [66] 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. The Columbia rises and falls, not by the dictates of tide or rainfall, but by a computer-activated, legally arbitrated, federally allocated schedule that changes only when significant litigation is concluded, or a United States Senator nears election time. Of the three ecoregions it is the richest in terms of freshwater species diversity. [168] Radiation was measured downstream as far west as the Washington and Oregon coasts. The Columbia drains an area of about 258,000 square miles (670,000 km2). 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.[106][110]. [180][181], Nutrients dynamics vary in the river basin from the headwaters to the main river and dams, to finally reaching the Columbia River estuary and ocean. The first stop today was at a place named Vista House, which is located 800 feet above the Columbia River Gorge. [169], 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. Accumulation of toxins in fish threatens the survival of fish species, and human consumption of these fish can lead to health problems. The ecoregion includes the mainstem Columbia north of the Snake River and tributaries such as the Yakima, Okanagan, Pend Oreille, Clark Fork, and Kootenay rivers. The tunnel option was explored, most recently, in the early days of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing project. By 1828, when the so-called "joint occupation" was renewed for an indefinite period, it seemed probable that the lower Columbia River would in time become the border between the two nations. Total length about 1150 miles. Its mouth was discovered by Robert Gray, of Boston, May, 1792, and named by him after his vessel. [49] 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. 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. In 1996 the skeletal remains of a 9,000-year-old prehistoric man (dubbed Kennewick Man) were found near Kennewick, Washington. [78], What happened next would form the basis for decades of both cooperation and dispute between British and American exploration of, and ownership claim to, the region. [71], Some historians believe that Japanese or Chinese vessels blown off course reached the Northwest Coast long before Europeans—possibly as early as 219 BCE. These developments rekindled the issue of "joint occupation" and the boundary dispute. [183] The dams are also a barrier to salmon migration, and can increase the amount of methane locally produced. The Columbia is one of the world’s greatest sources of hydroelectric power and, with its tributaries, represents a third of the potential hydropower of the United States. [101] In the mid-20th century, the construction of dams along the length of the river submerged the rapids beneath a series of reservoirs. Along the way, Lt. Broughton named a point of land after his commanding officer, Captain George Vancouver. Between the Pacific and the great bend near the confluence with the Snake River, the Columbia has represented the dividing line between Oregon and Washington since before Oregon became a state in 1859. Captain Robert Gray explored it in 1792 for the United States and Broughton navigated it 119 … Dave aka Spider Monkey. of the "river discovered By Mr. The contact would prove devastating to the Indian tribes; a large portion of their population was wiped out by a smallpox epidemic. [188] In some of the eastern parts of the watershed, especially shrub-steppe regions with Continental climate patterns, precipitation maximums occur in early summer. Lv 7. [185], Most of the Columbia's drainage basin (which, at 258,000 square miles or 670,000 square kilometres, is about the size of France)[186] lies roughly between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Cascade Mountains on the west. Population in the watershed has been rising for many decades and is projected to rise to about 10 million by 2030. Having explored what is now northwest Montana, Thompson descended the length of the Columbia River in 1811. [152], 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. In the late 18th century, a private American ship became the first non-indigenous vessel to enter the river; it was followed by a British explorer, who navigated past the Oregon Coast Range into the Willamette Valley. Play this game to review American History. He documented numerous settlements and vast quantities of salmon. 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%). Populations have also been growing just east of the Cascades in central Washington around the city of Yakima and the Tri-Cities area. [71][158] In the winter of 1994, the return of coho salmon far exceeded expectations, which was attributed in part to the fishing ban. [88] Oregon became a U.S. state in 1859, while Washington later entered into the Union in 1889. As an officer of the Royal Navy and an explorer, George Vancouver is best known for his exploration of North America, including the Pacific coast along what would become Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. On May 11, 1792, Captain Robert Gray entered the mouth of the Columbia River. The farthest point reached was Grays Bay at the mouth of Grays River. By 1980, the summer proportion had been lowered to about 50 percent, essentially eliminating the seasonal pattern. The Chief Joseph Dam and several dams on the Columbia's tributaries entirely block migration, and there are no migrating fish on the river above these dams. [12] The river turns south after the Okanogan River confluence, then southeasterly near the confluence with the Wenatchee River in central Washington. These fish—especially the salmon species—provided the core subsistence for native peoples. He then settled in Terrebonne, near Montreal, and drew up maps of the newly explored territory. Heritage River, and is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, and the fourth largest river by volume in North America. Many of the challenges associated with that feat remain today; even with modern engineering alterations to the mouth of the river, the strong currents and shifting sandbar make it dangerous to pass between the river and the Pacific Ocean. [192] The associated triple divide points are Commissary Ridge North, Wyoming,[197] and Sproats Meadow Northwest, Oregon. The Clearwater River & Lochsa River: Flows along US highway 12. Columbia River, largest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean from North America. [54] From the earliest contact with westerners, the natives of the mid- and lower Columbia were not tribal, but instead congregated in social units no larger than a village, and more often at a family level; these units would shift with the season as people moved about, following the salmon catch up and down the river's tributaries.[55]. [165] Other Columbia Basin dams that have been removed include Condit Dam on Washington's White Salmon River, and the Milltown Dam on the Clark Fork in Montana. [192] Great Basin watersheds that share a border with the Columbia watershed include Harney Basin, Humboldt River, and Great Salt Lake. Lewis and Clark. Answer to: Who first explored the Columbia River? In the Treaty of 1818 the United States and Britain agreed that both nations were to enjoy equal rights in Oregon Country for 10 years. In the following decades, fur trading companies used the Columbia as a key transportation route. The Northwest Forest Plan, a piece of federal legislation from 1994, mandated that timber companies consider the environmental impacts of their practices on rivers like the Columbia. The Columbia makes a sharp bend to the west at the Washington–Oregon border. [46] Later that month, Vancouver encountered the American captain Robert Gray at the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Which river was explored by the Spanish? [22] 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. 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. The Upper Snake ecoregion is defined as the Snake River watershed above Shoshone Falls, which totally blocks fish migration. This river may have been shaped by God, or glaciers, or the remnants of the inland sea, or gravity or a combination of all, but the Army Corps of Engineers controls it now. The Columbian called for the channel to be deepened to 40 feet (12 m) as early as 1905, but that depth was not attained until 1976. [155][156] US government intervention, to which the states of Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon objected, included an 11-day closure of an Alaska fishery. Some groups remained essentially unaffected, such as the Sanpoil and Nespelem people, whose culture remained centered on fishing. [36] It has been suggested that if the later dates are accurate there may be a link with the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. The legislation was attributed to the efforts of Oregon Senator Charles McNary, Washington Senator Clarence Dill, and Oregon Congressman Charles Martin, among others. Irrigation began in 1951. Later Spanish maps, based on his sighting, showed a river, labeled Río de San Roque (The Saint Roch River),[46] or an entrance, called Entrada de Hezeta, named for Bruno de Hezeta, who sailed the region. The geographic coordinates at the head of the lake are 50°13’ north latitude, 115°51 west longitude. It wasn’t until 1792 that the first non-native American, Robert Gray, sailed the Columbia River. The Pend Oreille River joins the Columbia about 2 miles (3 km) north of the US–Canada border. Water depths have been estimated at 1,000 feet (300 m) at Wallula Gap[33] and 400 feet (120 m) over modern Portland, Oregon. [57] As years progressed, the right of natives to fish along the Columbia became the central issue of contention with the states, commercial fishers, and private property owners. [10] The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. 82, No. In contrast, Gray had not made any formal claims on behalf of the United States. The Columbia is one of the world’s greatest sources of hydroelectric power and, with its tributaries, represents a third of the potential hydropower of the United States. Sturgeon have different migration habits and can survive without ever visiting the ocean. 50° 10 , long. Hydrology and Hydraulics Committee, Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission, Revised July 1972. Much of its territory overlapped with the disputed Oregon Country.It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810. The Columbia has been harnessed for hydroelectric power and irritation through the construction of many dams, some of which such as Bonneville Dam were built during The Great Depression. [23], When the rifting of Pangaea, due to the process of plate tectonics, pushed North America away from Europe and Africa and into the Panthalassic Ocean (ancestor to the modern Pacific Ocean), the Pacific Northwest was not part of the continent. In the United States and Canada the term watershed is often used to mean drainage basin. Skamania Lodge is nestled in the trees overlooking the Columbia River from the northern, Washington side of the river. [79], On May 12, 1792, Gray returned south and crossed the Columbia Bar, becoming the first known explorer of European descent to enter the river. River Mile Index, Main Stem, Columbia River. [69], 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. The Rio Grande forms the border with Mexico. The Columbia River was explored by Lewis and Clark. Morning on the Columbia River [Explored] by Duane Moore Via Flickr: Explored July 20, 2020 # 77 There are also high levels of mollusk endemism. Which body of water was used by French and Spanish explorers as a route to Mexico and other parts of America? A can weighing 1 pound (0.45 kg) could be sold for 8d or 9d. [196] To the south, in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, the Columbia watershed is divided from the Great Basin, whose several watersheds are endorheic, not emptying into any ocean but rather drying up or sinking into sumps. 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