Kettle River (Columbia River tributary)

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Kettle River
Kettle River from Railway Trestle.jpg
Kettle River from railway trestle
Kettle River Map.png
Map of the Kettle River and its two main tributaries
Country United States, Canada
State Washington
Province British Columbia
City Grand Forks, BC, Kettle Falls, WA
Physical characteristics
SourceHolmes Lake
 - location British Columbia, Canada 50°06′55″N118°18′43″W / 50.11528°N 118.31194°W / 50.11528; -118.31194
 - coordinates 50°06′55″N118°18′43″W / 50.11528°N 118.31194°W / 50.11528; -118.31194
Mouth Columbia River
 - location
Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, Washington (state)
 - coordinates
48°40′22″N118°6′50″W / 48.67278°N 118.11389°W / 48.67278; -118.11389 Coordinates: 48°40′22″N118°6′50″W / 48.67278°N 118.11389°W / 48.67278; -118.11389 [1]
 - elevation
1,500 ft (460 m) [2]
Length175 mi (282 km) [3]
Basin size4,200 sq mi (11,000 km2) [4]
 - location Laurier, WA
 - average2,906 cu ft/s (82.3 m3/s)
 - minimum70 cu ft/s (2.0 m3/s)
 - maximum35,000 cu ft/s (990 m3/s)
Basin features
 - left Granby River
 - right West Kettle River, Rock Creek

The Kettle River is a 281-kilometre (175 mi) tributary of the Columbia River in southeastern British Columbia in Canada and northeastern Washington in the United States. Its drainage basin is 10,877 square kilometres (4,200 sq mi) large, of which 8,228 square kilometres (3,177 sq mi) are in Canada and 2,649 square kilometres (1,023 sq mi) in the United States. [4] The indigenous name of the river in the Okanagan language is nxʷyaʔłpítkʷ (Ne-hoi-al-pit-kwu. [1] )

Columbia River River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into the US state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven US states and a Canadian province. The fourth-largest river in the United States by volume, the Columbia has the greatest flow of any North American river entering the Pacific.

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.016 million as of 2018, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

Washington (state) State of the United States of America

Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.



From its source at the outlet of Holmes Lake [5] in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia, the Kettle River flows south to Midway, British Columbia. Along the way it is joined by many tributaries, most notably the West Kettle River. Below Midway, the river loops south, crossing the Canada–US border into the United States, through Ferry County, Washington, before flowing north back into Canada, passing by Grand Forks, British Columbia, where the Granby River joins. After flowing east for about 10 miles (16 km), the river turns south again, just south of Christina Lake, [6] entering the United States again. It then flows south, forming part of the Ferry-Stevens County line, before joining the Columbia River near Kettle Falls, Washington. The Columbia River at this point is a large reservoir impounded behind Grand Coulee Dam, called Lake Roosevelt. The Kettle enters the lake at the Columbia's river mile 706. [4] The Kettle River is undammed, making it one of the extremely few rivers with constant flow in the Pacific Northwest.[ citation needed ]

Monashee Mountains

The Monashee Mountains are a mountain range lying mostly in British Columbia, Canada, extending into the U.S. state of Washington. They stretch 530 km (329 mi) from north to south and 150 km (93 mi) from east to west. They are a sub-range of the Columbia Mountains. The highest summit is Mount Monashee, which reaches 3,274 m (10,741 ft). The name is from the Gaelic monadh and sith, meaning "mountain" and "peace".

Midway, British Columbia Village in British Columbia, Canada

Midway is a village located in southern British Columbia in the West Kootenay region. It is located 13 km west of Greenwood and 51 km east of Osoyoos along Highway 3.

West Kettle River river in Canada

The West Kettle River is a tributary of the Kettle River in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is part of the Columbia River basin, as the Kettle River is a tributary of the Columbia River.

Natural history

The Kettle River in its course between the Monashee Mountains and Okanagan Highland Kettle River (Columbia River).jpg
The Kettle River in its course between the Monashee Mountains and Okanagan Highland

The Kettle River once supported salmon and other anadromous fish. The construction of Grand Coulee Dam, along with Chief Joseph Dam, blocked fish migration up the Columbia and its upper tributaries, including the Kettle River. In addition, Grand Coulee Dam's reservoir, Lake Roosevelt, flooded traditional fishery sites, including Kettle Falls near the mouth of the Kettle River. [4]

Salmon Family of fish related to trout

Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family include trout, char, grayling and whitefish. Salmon are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Many species of salmon have been introduced into non-native environments such as the Great Lakes of North America and Patagonia in South America. Salmon are intensively farmed in many parts of the world.

Chief Joseph Dam gravity dam

The Chief Joseph Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River, 2.4 km (1.5 mi) upriver from Bridgeport, Washington. The dam is 877 km (545 mi) upriver from the mouth of the Columbia at Astoria, Oregon. It is operated by the USACE Chief Joseph Dam Project Office, and the electricity is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration.

See also

Kettle River Range

The Kettle River Range, often called the Kettle Range, is the southernmost range of the Monashee Mountains, located in far southeastern British Columbia, Canada and Ferry County, Washington, in the United States. Most of the northern half of the range is protected by the Colville National Forest and the southern half of the range is located on the Colville Indian Reservation. The highest peak is Copper Butte, which reaches 2,177 metres (7,142 ft). The range is crossed by Washington State Route 20 at Sherman Pass.

Related Research Articles

South Saskatchewan River river in Alberta and Saskatchewan

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Grand Coulee Dam gravity dam

Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation water. Constructed between 1933 and 1942, Grand Coulee originally had only two powerhouses. The third powerhouse, completed in 1974 to increase energy production, makes Grand Coulee the largest power station in the United States by nameplate-capacity at 6,809 MW.

Columbia River drainage basin drainage basin

The Columbia River drainage basin is the drainage basin of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It covers 668,000 km2 or 258,000 sq mi. In common usage, the term often refers to a smaller area, generally the portion of the drainage basin that lies within eastern Washington.

Kootenay River river in North America. Tributary of the Columbia River

The Kootenay is a major river in southeastern British Columbia, Canada, and northern Montana and Idaho in the United States. It is one of the uppermost major tributaries of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Kootenay River runs 781 kilometres (485 mi) from its headwaters in the Kootenay Ranges of the Canadian Rockies, flowing from British Columbia's East Kootenay region into northwestern Montana, then west into the northernmost Idaho Panhandle and returning to British Columbia in the West Kootenay region, where it joins the Columbia at Castlegar.

Columbia Basin Project

The Columbia Basin Project in Central Washington, United States, is the irrigation network that the Grand Coulee Dam makes possible. It is the largest water reclamation project in the United States, supplying irrigation water to over 670,000 acres (2,700 km2) of the 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km2) large project area, all of which was originally intended to be supplied and is still classified as irrigable and open for the possible enlargement of the system. Water pumped from the Columbia River is carried over 331 miles (533 km) of main canals, stored in a number of reservoirs, then fed into 1,339 miles (2,155 km) of lateral irrigation canals, and out into 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of drains and wasteways. The Grand Coulee Dam, powerplant, and various other parts of the CBP are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. There are three irrigation districts in the project area, which operate additional local facilities.

Grand Coulee An ancient river bed in the U.S. state of Washington

The Grand Coulee is an ancient river bed in the U.S. state of Washington. This National Natural Landmark stretches for about 60 miles southwest from Grand Coulee Dam to Soap Lake, being bisected by Dry Falls into the Upper and Lower Grand Coulee.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake is the reservoir created in 1941 by the impoundment of the Columbia River by the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. It is named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was President during the construction of the dam. Covering 125 square miles, it stretches about 150 miles (240 km) from the Canada–US border to Grand Coulee Dam, with over 600 miles (970 km) of shoreline; by surface area it is the largest lake and reservoir in Washington. It is the home of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

Kettle Falls waterfall

Kettle Falls was an ancient and important salmon fishing site on the upper reaches of the Columbia River, in what is today the U.S. state of Washington, near the Canada–US border. The falls consisted of a series of rapids and cascades where the river passed through quartzite rocks deposited by prehistoric floods on a substrate of Columbia River basalt. The river dropped nearly 50 feet (15 m), and the sound of the falls could be heard for miles away. Kettle Falls was inundated in 1940, as the waters of the reservoir Lake Roosevelt rose behind Grand Coulee Dam, permanently flooding the site.

Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River

The Hanford Reach is a free-flowing section of the Columbia River, around 51 miles (82 km) long, in eastern Washington state. It is named after a large northward bend in the river's otherwise southbound course.

Nechako River river in Canada

The Nechako River arises on the Nechako Plateau east of the Kitimat Ranges of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, and flows north toward Fort Fraser, then east to Prince George where it enters the Fraser River. "Nechako" is an anglicization of netʃa koh, its name in the indigenous Carrier language which means "big river".

Washington State Route 25 highway in Washington

State Route 25 (SR 25), named the Coulee Reservoir Highway, is a 121.17-mile-long (195.00 km) state highway serving communities in Lincoln and Stevens counties in the U.S. state of Washington. The highway begins at an intersection with U.S. Route 2 (US 2) east of Davenport and continues northwest to cross the Spokane River on the Spokane River Bridge. From the bridge, SR 25 parallels the Columbia River and Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake upstream through several small communities, passing the Gifford–Inchelium Ferry, to Kettle Falls. In Kettle Falls, the roadway intersects US 395, co-signed with SR 20 and continues north to Northport, where former SR 251 is intersected and SR 25 crosses the Columbia River on the Northport Bridge. The highway travels northwest to the Canadian border, where it becomes British Columbia Highway 22 (BC 22).

Moses Coulee A canyon in the Waterville plateau region of Douglas County, Washington

Moses Coulee is a canyon in the Waterville plateau region of Douglas County, Washington. Moses Coulee is the second-largest and westernmost canyon of the Channeled Scablands, located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west of the larger Grand Coulee. This water channel is now dry, but during glacial periods, large outburst floods with discharges greater than 600,000 m3/s (21,000,000 cu ft/s) carved the channel. While it's clear that megafloods from Glacial Lake Missoula passed through and contributed to the erosion of Moses Coulee, the origins of the coulee are less clear. Some researchers propose that floods from glacial Lake Missoula formed Moses Coulee, while others suggest that subglacial floods from the Okanogan Lobe incised the canyon. The mouth of Moses Coulee discharges into the Columbia River.

Crab Creek

Crab Creek is a stream in the U.S. state of Washington. Named for the presence of crayfish, it is one of the few perennial streams in the Columbia Basin of central Washington, flowing from the northeastern Columbia River Plateau, roughly 5 km (3.1 mi) east of Reardan, west-southwest to empty into the Columbia River near the small town of Beverly. Its course exhibits many examples of the erosive powers of extremely large glacial Missoula Floods of the late Pleistocene, which scoured the region. In addition, Crab Creek and its region have been transformed by the large-scale irrigation of the Bureau of Reclamation's Columbia Basin Project (CBP), which has raised water table levels, significantly extending the length of Crab Creek and created new lakes and streams.

Banks Lake

Banks Lake is a 27-mile (43 km) long reservoir in central Washington in the United States.

Sanpoil River river in the United States of America

The Sanpoil River is a tributary of the Columbia River, in the U.S. state of Washington. The term Sanpoil is from the Okanagan term [snpʕʷílx], meaning "people of the gray country", or "gray as far as one can see".

The Duncan River is a 128-mile (206 km) long river in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Its drainage basin is 2,443 square kilometres (943 sq mi) in area. It is part of the Columbia River basin, being tributary via Kootenay Lake to the Kootenay River, which is a tributary of the Columbia River. It forms part of the boundary between the Selkirk Mountains, to its west, and the Purcell Mountains, to its east.

Cabonga Reservoir lake of dam at the La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, in Quebec, Canada

The Cabonga Reservoir is a man-made lake in central Quebec, Canada, with a total surface area of 677 square kilometres (261 sq mi) and a net area of 484 square kilometres (187 sq mi). It is located on the boundary between the unorganized territories of Lac-Pythonga and Réservoir-Dozois, and fully within the La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve. The First Nations reserve of Rapide Lake is on its western shores.

The White River is a major headwaters tributary of the Kootenay River in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The river is 65 kilometres (40 mi) long and drains an isolated area of the Canadian Rockies east of the village of Canal Flats.


  1. 1 2 USGS; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kettle River; retrieved May 4, 2007.
  2. Google Earth elevation for GNIS mouth coordinates; retrieved May 4, 2007.
  3. Kettle River Archived 2008-07-16 at the Wayback Machine , The Columbia Gazetteer of North America
  4. 1 2 3 4 Upper Columbia Subbasin Overview, p. 29-8; Northwest Power and Conservation Council
  5. "Holmes Lake". BC Geographical Names.
  6. "Kettle River". BC Geographical Names.