Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America with a length of approximately 1,243 miles. It is also the fourth largest river in the United States by volume. It flows from British Columbia Canada to the Pacific Ocean in Oregon and provides drinking water to numerous communities along its course.
The first ever documented European discovery of the river was in 1775 when Bruno de Heceta sighted the river’s mouth. This river was named for Captain Robert Gray’s ship the Columbia Rediviva.
Quick Facts: –
- There are total 14 hydroelectric dams that produce power on the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam is the largest of them.
- This river is responsible for one-third of the hydro potential in the United States.
- There are more than 60 significant tributaries of this river including Snake River, Kootenay River, and Beaver River etc.
- Fishing has been one of the most important activities in the river for as long as the region is inhabited.
- The drainage basin or watershed of the Columbia River encompasses 668,000 square kilometers.
- The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River which is up to 1,200 meters deep and stretching for more than 130 kilometers.
- It holds federally protected status as a National Scenic Area called the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
- Human have inhabited the river basin for more than 15,000 years.
- The river has supported the greatest salmon and steelhead runs on Earth for a long time.