Columbia River Calling

Basin Maps, Part 10 – The Columbia-Snake River Inland Waterways

I am always on the lookout for maps illustrating various interests and river uses in the Columbia River Basin. Some topics, like salmon decline and recovery have a plethora of maps. Likewise, there is no shortage of maps depicting the number of dams and reservoirs on the Columbia and its tributaries. Finding a map depicting navigation has been more challenging. I finally found one that displays information important to navigation–where dams are located on the Columbia-Snake River Inland Waterwayss from the mouth of the Columbia to the inland port of Lewiston, Idaho as well as the elevation change from the mouth to the port.

Description: This map shows the four Corps of Engineers dams on the lower Columbia River and four Corps dams on the lower Snake River. The river mile and elevation of each dam is included.

Source: Pacific Northwest Waterways Association

Date: Unknown

What is unique: This map offers a profile view of the river, showing the elevation change on the lower Columbia and lower Snake rivers, which makes the rivers a great location for hydropower generation and reinforces how impressive salmon migration is.

What’s missing: I would be nice if the map also indicated where there are ports along the two rivers (though I did find a map of lower Columbia River ports, which I included in the bonus maps below). Other navigation-related maps I would like to find include a better map of the Columbia River Navigation Channel or dredging efforts (past or projected) in the Columbia River. Also, the dams depicted on this map are authorized for a number of different purposes including navigation, flood risk management, hydropower generation, irrigation, and conservation. Back in July, I saw a presentation from the US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District with a neat map illustrating what portion of water/storage was authorized for different purposes on the various dams in the Cumberland River System (see below for a version I got from fellow Hydro Research Foundation Researcher, Amy Shaw). It would be neat to see a similar map of the Columbia River and its tributaries or to add that information to the Columbia-Snake River Inland Waterways map.

Cumberland River System - USACE Nashville District

Cumberland River System – USACE Nashville District


Bonus Maps!

This is a map of the ports along the lower portion of the Columbia River. Goods and products from the Pacific Northwest and Canada are often trucked down to these ports and then shipped out for international export.

The map below includes part of the Columbia River Navigation Channel and North Channel, though they are not the focus of the map.

From source: The Columbia River lower estuary, in geographic context. The Navigation and North channels, shown in darker blue, are dominant features. Yellow squares and cyan triangles represent stations of the SATURN observation network. The blue lines in the inset are hydrographic lines (Grays Harbor and Newport, from North to South) of NSF’s planned Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI).

Here is a black and white version of the featured map.

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