33 Facts About Columbia River


Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

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The fourth-largest river in the United States by volume, the Columbia has the greatest flow of any North American river entering the Pacific.

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The Columbia has the 36th greatest discharge of any river in the world.

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Columbia River begins its 1, 243-mile journey in the southern Rocky Mountain Trench in British Columbia River (BC).

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Revelstoke, the Big Bend, and the Columbia River Valley combined are referred to in BC parlance as the Columbia River Country.

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The Columbia River makes a sharp bend to the west at the Washington–Oregon border.

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The headwaters and upper course of the Pit Columbia River are on the Modoc Plateau; downstream, the Pit cuts a canyon through the southern reaches of the Cascades.

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The Columbia is the twelfth-longest river and has the sixth-largest drainage basin in the United States.

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Flow rates on the Columbia River 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.

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The floods' periodic inundation of the lower Columbia River Plateau deposited rich sediments; 21st-century farmers in the Willamette Valley "plow fields of fertile Montana soil and clays from Washington's Palouse".

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Chinook tribe, which is not federally recognized, who live near the lower Columbia River, call it or in the Upper Chinook language, and it is Nch'i-Wana or Nchi wana to the Sahaptin (Ichishkiin S?nwit)-speaking peoples of its middle course in present-day Washington.

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Columbia River'storian Derek Hayes claims that "It is a near certainty that Japanese or Chinese people arrived on the northwest coast long before any European.

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The first documented European discovery of the Columbia River was that of Bruno de Heceta, who in 1775 sighted the river's mouth.

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Columbia River considered it a bay, and called it Ensenada de Asuncion.

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Columbia River named Cape Disappointment for the non-existent river, not realizing the cape marks the northern edge of the river's mouth.

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Gray reported that he had seen the entrance to the Columbia River and had spent nine days trying but failing to enter.

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Gray spent nine days trading near the mouth of the Columbia River, then left without having gone beyond 13 miles upstream.

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Gray's discovery of the Columbia River was later used by the United States to support its claim to the Oregon Country, which was claimed by Russia, Great Britain, Spain and other nations.

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The Columbia River became much of the border between the U S territories of Oregon and Washington.

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Shifting Columbia Bar makes passage between the river and the Pacific Ocean difficult and dangerous, and numerous rapids along the river hinder navigation.

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In early 2006, the Corps spilled 50 US gallons of hydraulic oil into the Columbia River, drawing further criticism from environmental organizations.

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Columbia River development occurred within the structure of the 1909 International Boundary Waters Treaty between the US and Canada.

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In 1948, floods swept through the Columbia River watershed, destroying Vanport, then the second largest city in Oregon, and impacting cities as far north as Trail, British Columbia River.

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Four mainstem dams and four lower Snake Columbia River dams contain navigation locks to allow ship and barge passage from the ocean as far as Lewiston, Idaho.

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At one time, the Columbia was one of the top salmon-producing river systems in the world.

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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.

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The Columbia River alone possesses one-third of the United States's hydroelectric potential.

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Natural sources of nutrients in the Columbia River include weathering, leaf litter, salmon carcasses, runoff from its tributaries, and ocean estuary exchange.

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The term Columbia Basin is used to refer not only to the entire drainage basin but 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.

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The Upper Snake ecoregion is defined as the Snake Columbia River watershed above Shoshone Falls, which totally blocks fish migration.

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The Columbia River Unglaciated ecoregion makes up the rest of the watershed.

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Great Basin watersheds that share a border with the Columbia watershed include Harney Basin, Humboldt River, and Great Salt Lake.

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The four largest that empty directly into the Columbia 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, known as the lower part of the Clark Fork).

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